Exporting Routes From Runkeeper

I was planning out a route for a 140km cycle and wanted to get some information like maximum incline etc of the RouteYou website. Unfortunately RouteYou’s plotting functionality is a little frustrating in manual mode so I thought I would plot it out in RunKeeper. However, I hit on the problem of exporting the route from RunKeeper.

This proves a little tricky, but I found a way:

  1. Plot your route using the Runkeeper route planning
  2. Create an activity that uses that route – annoyingly you can’t just select export as GPX as you would normally for an actual exercise route
  3. Goto My Settings and click on Export Data
  4. Select the date your fake activity is on and export the data
  5. Inside the zip file that gets generated you will get GPX plots for your required activity
  6. Remove the fake activity you created

I don’t really know why RunKeeper don’t support the import and export of routes to GPX – seems like a sensible feature to add – but then they haven’t added lots of features I have requested before.

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Runalyzer Heart Rate Monitor Review

Runalyzer Heart Rate Key in iPhone

Runalyzer Heart Rate Key

The Runalyzer HR key is billed as a small widget that plugs into the bottom of your iPhone and allows your iPhone to receive HR information from the ‘analogue’ heart rate monitor belts such as the Polar T31 Coded – which I own.

I bought this as I thought it would give me a bit more information about my HR and allow me to do easily do zone training with the apps on my iPhone. I bought this back in October 2011 and it has, to be completely honest, been nothing but trouble.

Continue reading

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Punctures, Perseverance and Puzzlement – Summary of the week

So Friday I picked up my bike from the LBS (Local Bike Shop) as it had developed some kind of noise that sounded like the bottom bracket had decided to die a painful death.

I get 500m down the the road and that all too familiar and dreaded ‘pssssssssssssstttt’ sound emerges from my rear wheel. Puncture…

I am about a mile from home and fortunately have some shoes as I had to walk to/from work from the LBS. So I get them on and walk the rest of the way home.


Once I got home and inspect the puncture I discover the rim tape on the wheel has moved to one side and exposed the sharp edges of the holes for the spoke. Now the wheel isn’t mine – it’s on loan from the bike shop (that is good customer service!) as mine is off getting it’s freewheel revived under warranty. Continue reading

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Pool Mate Watch Review

Pool mate Watch from Swimovate

Pool Mate Watch from Swimovate

When I started swimming on a more regular basis I quickly came to realise I missed the tracking that I was afforded by Runkeeper when running and cycling. I struggled to count laps and remember timing while trying to concentrate on what I was doing in terms of technique and breathing.

As with the Polar FT1 watch I bought this one about a year ago – so have put a few laps on it.

This watch does just what I need it to – it tells me how many laps of the pool I have completed and how long it took me to do them. It also gives feedback on your stroke rate and efficiency – though I haven’t really made best use of these metrics as of yet. Continue reading

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First Ever Brick

House Brick


1. A small rectangular block typically made of fired or sun-dried clay, used in building
2. Bricks collectively as a building material
3. A small, rectangular object
4. A generous, helpful, and reliable person

This post is about none of the above…

If I were to add a fifth definition – what I am actually planning to talk about – it would be something like this:

Prolonged physical activity that is considered crazy by the general population

Continue reading

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Review: Polar FT1 HR Monitor

Polar FT1 HR Monitor

Polar FT1 HR Monitor

I bought this probably over a year ago now when I started running so I have had some good use out of it.

The FT1 is Polar’s most basic HR monitor (and therefore its cheapest!). It comes with a HR monitor strap (T31 Coded strap) of the half plastic half soft elastic variety. Despite having a large chest size (~48″) the supplied strap fits fine, though I have to have it adjusted to as big as it will go.

The watch itself sports a single button that you do everything with. Little icons such as + and – and OK? prompts are displayed to show what function it is performing when adjusting settings. Continue reading

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What’s this all about? The beginning of it all…

This is a quick introduction as to what this is all about and how it all began.

The story so far… around 20 months ago I decided to get a bit fitter. University life and a job as a software engineer had caught up with my gut big time – it was time to act. I had tried the gym, but I couldn’t keep it up – I didn’t feel I was ever achieving anything – either in terms of my waist or in any other context. Continue reading

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Getting JetPack working

I had two issues with JetPack – but I finally got it working.

Issue one –

 Jetpack could not contact WordPress.com: register_http_request_failed.
This usually means something is incorrectly configured on your web host.
Operation timed out after 15000 milliseconds with 0 bytes received

This was resolved by setting the max_execution_time to 300 in my php.ini file – make sure you restart your webserver / fast cgi daemon.

Issue two –

Your website needs to be publicly accessible to use Jetpack: site_inaccessible
Error Details: The Jetpack server was unable to communicate with your site [IXR -32300: transport error: http_request_failed Operation timed out after 15000 milliseconds with 0 bytes received]

This was easily solved by changing the following value from 1 to 2 in my /etc/init.d/php-cgi script


(Credit to http://technology.bauzas.com/uncategorized/the-jetpack-server-was-unable-to-communicate-with-your-site/)

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Lenovo USB Modem in Linux (Ubuntu 10.04)

I recently bought a Lenovo USB modem for some experiments in telephony that I am working on. I want it to work on Linux. It is based on the Conexant RD02-D400 device. When plugging it in I get the following in dmesg:

cdc_acm 2-2:1.0: Zero length descriptor references
cdc_acm: probe of 2-2:1.0 failed with error -22

This seems to be a common problem – it looks like the cdc_acm driver is not correctly recognising and processing the descriptors.

The fix is pretty easy –

  1. Get root, install kernel source
  2. $ sudo -i
    # apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r` linux-source-2.6.32
    # cd /usr/src
    # tar xjf linux-source-2.6.32.tar.bz2
    # ln -s linux-source-2.6.32 linux
    # cd /usr/src/linux

  3. Now edit the cdc_acm.c file
  4. # nano /usr/src/linux/drivers/usb/class/cdc-acm.c

  5. Add the following lines in the long list of entries that are similar to it:
  6. { USB_DEVICE(0x17ef, 0x7000), /* Lenovo USB modem */
    .driver_info = NO_UNION_NORMAL, /* has no union descriptor */

  7. Prepare configuration (will pull config file from /boot) and build the entire kernel
  8. # make oldconfig
    # make

  9. To re-build the driver (can now use this to rebuild if you get the VID/PID etc wrong)
  10. # make M=drivers/usb/class

  11. Remove current driver
  12. # rmmod cdc-acm

  13. Test the driver
  14. # insmod drivers/usb/class/cdc-acm.ko

  15. You should get something like
  16. cdc_acm 2-2:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device

  17. Install the driver permanently
  18. # cd /lib/modules/`uname -r`
    # mv kernel/drivers/usb/class/cdc-acm.ko ~/cdc-acm.ko.bak
    # cp /usr/src/linux/drivers/usb/class/cdc-acm.ko kernel/drivers/usb/class/cdc-acm.ko
    # depmod -a

Note: I ended up using Ubuntu 10.04 because I was having a bit of a battle with 12.04. I suspect it was just some mistakes I made… the principles of the above should carry. Will update if I try it again on anything newer.

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Pairing Apple 1st Gen Keyboard (A1016) with Windows 7

I was having some errors pairing the Apple 1st Gen bluetooth keyboard to my media centre. I discovered that you need todo the following:

  1. Turn on the keyboard
  2. Open up Bluetooth ‘Add Devices’ and wait for windows to discover the keyboard
  3. Select the keyboard and proceed to the next step in the wizard
  4. While it is saying ‘Connecting to device…’ you need to type a code into the apple keyboard. Just type 1234 then return
  5. Windows will now ask you for the code – you’ll need a working keyboard to enter this
  6. The keyboard should now be connected

Some users have reported that you will need to unpair the device with any previous computers – so you may need to do this as well.

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