Rodale Auto Opt-In Email Marketing

I was going through my spam folder the other day and noticed a significant amount of emails from Rodale publications. Most of the emails were promoting products and services from Rodale advertisers or their own products. What was surprising to me was the sheet quantity of emails from titles that I never subscribed too.

My guess is when I registered at their forums at Runner’s World, they auto opted me into all of their promotional (aka spam) lists for their titles.

Clicking on the manage email preferences link at the bottom of one of the emails takes me to a nice screen where I can manage all my preferences.

Rodale SpamalmaThat’s great…However, by my count I am subscribed to 11 “newsletters” that I never wanted or knew I was going to be subscribed to. I’m sure somewhere in the fine print that was a note that I was going to get all this spam, but really, who reads that crap.

Instead of auto-opting me into these lists, why don’t you present me with a screen at signup that will let me choose which publications I want to subscribe. Permission based email marketing, it’s just polite and I don’t wear lingerie.



Garmin Connect adds heat map feature

Heatmap feature announcement

Heatmap feature announcement

Was planning my route for tomorrow’s run and noticed that Garmin had made some improvements to their website. One is a heatmap feature. It combines all other users activities to give you a visual of where the hot spots for running or cycling activities are in an area.

Its only been released in a few popular cities so far, but will be expanded. Nice feature if you are new or visiting an area and looking for what the popular places may be to check out.

Heatmap for downtown Portland

Heatmap for downtown Portland

They have also added OpenStreetMap (What iOS uses) to your choices of maps. So you now have Google, Bing and OpenStreetMap mapping options.

iSmoothRun iPhone App Review - Running Digest

There are quite a few options for apps that track your runs. I’ve tried a few out but usually found something lacking with them, until I came across iSmoothRun at the beginning of last year.

Most of the apps out there do the basics just fine, track your location, mileage, pace and will upload to a fitness site. What attracted me to iSmooth Run were a few killer features, which I will highlight below.

1. Ability to Export to Multiple Sites

iSmooth Run Export

iSmooth Run Export

I hate being locked into one fitness site. Runkeeper does a fabulous job for me right now, but who knows what the future may bring. I also like to have my data pushed to Garmin Connect and on dailymile. iSmooth Run will allow me to export to all those sites and more with no additional work on my end. Just tell it what sites you belong to, enter your login credentials and bam, it’s done.  They also have the ability to export a raw gpx file to your email or dropbox folder so you can bulk import to whatever you may want in the future.

iSmooth Run will export to the following sites

  • Runkeeper
  • Garmin Connect
  • Daily Mile
  • Running Free Online
  • TrainingPeaks
  • TribeSports
  • Strava
  • Nike+
  • 2PEAK
  • Drop Box
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


2. Built in Metronome

ismoothrun Metronome Settings

Metronome Settings

iSmoothRun has the ability to overlay a metronome sound over your music. You set the cadence (I’ll either do 180 or 90), turn it on and start your run. Having that playing through my earphones allows me to check my cadence to try and help my overall form. It’s easy to turn on and off mid run so you don’t have to do your entire run listening to it (i’ve been known to just leave it on).




3. Custom Interval Workouts

ismoothrun Custom Workouts

Custom Workouts

You can literally program any kind of workout you want. The interface can be a little confusing, but once you get the hang of it, you really see how powerful it is. I like to have interval tempo runs setup. You can choose to keep the audio cues on so it will give you feedback on wether you need to speed up or slow down, depending on where you are in the workout.




4. Shoe Tracking

iSmoothRun Shoe Tracking

iSmooth Run Shoe Tracking

I cycle through 3-4 different pairs of shoes depending on weather, trail/road or how I feel. iSmooth Run will track the mileage i’ve put on my shoes. Great to know when it’s time to cycle one out of the rotation and get a new pair.

5. Responsive Developers

They continue to develop, and improve this app and are very responsive to requests from users.

iSmoothRun Limitations

Here are a few areas where I feel the app can come up lacking at times.

  1. Treadmill tracking – Using the built in accelerometer, iSmoothRun attempts to track your runs on the treadmill, most the time it is way off. It will connect to a shoe sensor via an ANT+ dongle, so there is that option.
  2. Manual Entry – There is no way to manually enter an activity. that would be nice to input a treadmill run.

It’s $4.99 currently, and think it’s one of the best running apps i’ve ever used. There are several other small nice things it offers (switches to accelerometer automatically if it looses GPS signal). Check other reviews and give it a shot!

yurbuds review

A few weeks ago, fleet feet was doing a “guys night out”, so Owen and I went down to join in some raffles, equipment demos, Monday Night Football and an opportunity to take a photo with an authentic leg lamp (who wouldn’t want to miss out on that).

Owen with Leg Lamp

Owen with Leg Lamp

One of the reps that was there was a yurbud rep. It was great timing for me since i’ve been having problems with my current cheapo headphones popping out during my runs (been wearing a cap during winter, think it’s causing me to sweat more). Anyway, once the rep sized me, I popped in a pair in and immediately forgot I had headphones in. It’s an odd sensation. They don’t stay in place by jamming them in your ear canal, rather the wedge and “lock” into the ear itself.

My wife purchased some for me for Christmas, so I’ve had an opportunity to get a few workouts when them and so far i’m impressed. The sound quality is much better compared to what I was using before. Ambient noise can still be heard which is important when running on the roads, but the sound quality doesn’t seem to suffer for that.

I’ve only worn them for a total of a few hours, but already I can tell these will be my go to headphones from now on. I don’t experience any tenderness in my ear after a workout like I did with traditional earbuds.

My only complaints so far is the cord seems to like to tangle itself (I guess the Ironman edition comes with a cloth cord that reduces tangling). The other issue is the rubber boot seems to attract a lot of dirt and debris, so frequent cleaning will probably be needed.

They aren’t the most inexpensive headphones either, base model is $30 and the ironman edition is I think $50, which includes the cloth cable and a variety of sizing boots. The rep said the audio driver in the headphones was identical between the various editions, so sound quality should be identical.

I will be sure to update this after I’ve had an opportunity to run more using these.