Trail Running and Cycling with the Under Armour Gen 2 Sportsmask

Although masks aren’t required during exercise, I’m not taking any chances when I am trail running and cycling. We’re breathing harder than usual when we exercise—more so during intense workouts—a COVID-19 positive individual spreads the virus through exhaled aerosol particles. I get it, a mask often makes breathing more laboured and ruins the pleasure of exercising, I used to wear a fabric mask that would start off ok but as soon as it gets wet from sweat, the mask would completely collapse making breathing close to impossible.

With the Under Armour Sportsmask (I’ve never used the Gen 1) I was able to keep my mask on for the entire duration of my workout except when I took it off to hydrate or chew on an energy bar. At no time did I feel uncomfortable even during intense uphill runs that I had to rip off the mask to breathe. Even when the piece is completely soaked with sweat, I was still breathing OK. I haven’t tested this mask in the rain and I think there’s a reason the outer shell is waterproof.

There is one caveat I think that’s not mentioned in the reviews that I’ve read about this mask. So far I have feedback from two friends who found breathing difficulties during a hike and mountain biking (separate occasions) when they were doing climbs and breathing was more laboured. Being unscientific here, I think that has to do with their normally low VO2max. I have a VO2max of 52 according to my Garmin Enduro and a Resting Heart Rate of 47.

Garmin Enduro Battery Performance Review

From 100% full charge over a 32-day period, I used the Enduro in 18 combined Trail Run and Ride activities totalling 284km in 34:07:35 with 26% charge left enough to last another 33 days in watch mode or 19 hours of activity time. All activities in full GPS mode (Every Second Recording, GPS+GLONASS or GPS+GALILEO and Heart Rate). There’s more than enough battery life to handle more than a 100-miler event.

Stock functions removed or disabled include Activity Tracking, Pulse Oximeter, Widgets (ABC, Respiration, Stress, Body Battery, Hydration), Notifications, Bluetooth (turned on only for activity syncing), Watch face is stock Garmin.

Garmin Enduro Settings To Change For Elevation Gain Accuracy

Garmin Enduro | After a satisfying morning trail run at Bukit Korea

Right out of the box, the Garmin Enduro reports overly generous total elevation gain numbers. I prefer my GPS watch to be accurate not generous. Before the Enduro I had been using the Fenix 3 HR for a number of years and its accuracy has been time-tested against so many ultra trail races I’ve ever been in. So I have a solid reference to compare the Enduro with. With that said, I suggest making the following changes:

The Enduro comes with three satellite options: GPS, GLONASS and GALILEO. By default it’s set to use only GPS with options to select GPS + GLONASS or GPS + GALILEO. For Trail Running activity it’s highly recommended to use GPS + GLONASS for increased tracking accuracy. This is a per activity setting.

■ Long Press MENU button | Settings | System | Data Recording | Every Second

■ Long Press MENU button | Settings | Sensor & Accessories | Altimeter | Auto Cal. | During Activity: OFF | Not During Activity: OFF.

When enabled, Auto Calibration “consistently results in weirdness like me apparently going below see level by 20 meters or running off small cliffs as auto cal kicks in and adjusts altitude. Leaving auto-cal off you set your known altitude (you can check on various websites (or use DEM only before activity) and then altitude during activity will depend only on baramoter. This approach gives by far the most sensible data for me so far, but if weather (pressure) changes during activity you see slight errors but nothing as bad as Auto-Cal.” (user on Reddit)

■ Long Press MENU button | Settings | Sensor & Accessories | Barometer | Watch Mode | Altimeter (Default: Auto). I’ve found Auto jacks up elevation gain a lot and until a future firmware addresses this problem, the only way is to force Watch Mode to Altimeter (more info from Garmin).

Before starting an activity (I do this for Run, Trail Run and Ride) calibrate the Altimeter using DEM (watch connects to phone via Bluetooth for this to work and typically returns a value very quickly).

Optionally (to be confirmed by Garmin if this additional is necessary), calibrate the Barometer manually by using data obtained from a reliable source: https://is.gd/BarometerPlus. App runs on my Google Pixel 3XL smartphone that uses a precision BOSCH BMP388 absolute barometric sensor ibit.ly/O2MK. An absolute barometer (as opposed to gauge and differential) is necessary for accurate local atmospheric pressure and altitude.

BarometerPlus Android App

Photographer | Endurance Athlete

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