New Year, New Choices: Running

Yes, that’s right: RUNNING.

It's time to start running!

noun [mass noun]
the action or movement of a runner: his running tore United to shreds
– the sport of racing on foot: marathon running

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I’m not a big one for resolutions. Hell, I haven’t even made any this year. But a strange thing happened on January 1st, something that I’m not sure has happened to me before; I woke up, around 8am, having only had only around 3-4hrs sleep (after much fun and shenanigans on NYE, of course) and I wanted to go on a run.

I hadn’t decided to

“I’m going for a run” I said.

And I did.

And the following day I did it again, and the day after that I ran again, and then on the 4th? Well, then I took a break. It seems not running for years and then taking it up again suddenly and rather aggressively isn’t the way to do these things. There was limping, and a fair bit of pain, and all my running friends (turns out I have a few) came out of the woodwork to advise on all sorts.

So here we go: the complete 100% newbie and unscientific list of things to do if you’re going to start running:

1. Actually go for a run
Yeah, it seems an obvious one but getting out there and doing it is the easiest way forward. Get that out of the way and you’re halfway there. No, scratch that, you’re all of the way there. You have done some running. Well done.

2. Warm up (and then down again)
I didn’t do this at first and I suffered for it. I recommend you don’t make that mistake.

STRETCH

Warming up? Some stretching before you head out is definitely a good idea (thanks to the comments, only stretch AFTER your workout – see I am a newbie! However you should definitely) Consider ‘briskly’ walking for the first five minutes of the route you’re about to embark upon. Stupid really, you’d think people would know to do this. Even when I went for my first run I remember thinking ‘Yup, we definitely used to warm before any sports in PE at school… but I’m an adult now! I don’t need to deal with such tomfoolery!’ – I am a numpty, clearly. But that means you could be too. SO WARM UP, (then do some stretching when you’re done too).

And that’s it really. Straight up – that. is. it.

Warm up. Run. Warm down. Done.

Well, there’s a few more, but these next few are 100% optional.

3. Pick an app
There are a whole ton of sports-tracking apps available for your selection, each of them measuring all kinds of things from the route you take, through to your avg. speed; some can plug into other services and some you can integrate into your entire LIFE.

Endomondo, Run Keeper, Nike+, there’s loads. Me? I’ve gone for Sports Tracker. Why? It’s across the most platforms and, given that I swap phones every month, it’s the best one there is. Your choice might be different. Do some research.

4. Get the right kit
When I say ‘kit’, I mean – these are the things that I don’t run without –

Kit

First up, my hoodie. It’s bloody cold out there at the moment (and it won’t be getting warmer anytime soon) and I’ve got one of those Superdry hoodies which is pretty damn cosy, and good for running in. It’s not rained yet, so I don’t if it does actually keep me Superdry, but only time will tell (christ, rain. I hadn’t thought about that). Either way, it does the job. Winner.

Second, my mobile. Currently Up until yesterday* this is was a Nokia Lumia 920** and [while it’s not the most robust handset in the world] it has done a good job of not only tracking my runs to date, but also providing the tunes to said workouts too.

Finally, some decent shoes!

New trinners

I got the above bad boy Asics from Runners Need on Great Portland Street. They cost me £70 and I got a free gait-analysis thrown in too. I’d never heard of that analysis part before but those running friends I told you about earlier? They all swear by it. Get tested, then get the trainers you need to mate.

Again, this isn’t gospel; you can run in plimsols if you so wish! However, I’m committing to this (hence the bloggage too I guess) and want the kit to see me through. And hey, if you find yourself on the streets of Maida Vale one morning (say around 7ish), look out for this knackered-looking guy –

Morning runs: ain't fun (yet)

– he may even fancy a race!

Maybe.

In time.

Like, in a month or three.

 

*Device at the moment is now the Motorola RAZR i, just while said uber-damaged Windows Phone is in for repair. Still using Sports-Tracker though, which rocks.

 **I know I moaned about it on The Voicemail, but since then it’s really grown on my and I’m actually sad to see it go.

 

Five things on Friday #48

Things of note for the week ending November 30th, 2012

[click to embiggen]

1. Pacific Rim
I first blogged about Pacific Rim back in July (when it was merely a launch poster at Comic Con), and this past week a blueprint for one the giant robots – or ‘Jaegers‘ – that feature in the film has turned up as well as the first part of the teaser campaign, below –

A few things –

  • I love Guillermo Del Toro and I’m quite close to believing that he’s never made a bad film.
  • The tech blueprint is a MUCH BETTER example on how to do tech blueprints (back of the class please Prometheus).
  • I’m well up for this film, 3D-post-conversion and everything.

2.  Deadmau5 + Nokia
The Lumia 920 launched in the UK this week and, to celebrate, Nokia threw a(nother) Deadmau5 gig somewhere in the south of London.

Deadmau5

It was a bit nippy, but overall we had a good night. I grabbed an awesome video and a decent collection of photos too. Check it.

I’m using a Nokia Lumia 920 myself at the moment and, if you’re interested, initial thoughts are up over on The Voicemail

3. Is Twitter ruining the celebrity endorsement?
This article, from The Verge, dissects the current trend of celebrity / technology placement and is fantastic food for thought, in more ways than one.

“As sales of physical recordings continue to decline, it no longer makes sense to spend six figures on a video that might not pay. That doesn’t change the production cost of a video, however, so product placement is increasingly used to fill the gap. Nokia has been particularly active in this space, with Lumias popping up in videos for Flo Rida, M83, Ke$ha and Katy Perry. Often, the deals are limited to the budget of the video itself, which can leave the performer unsure of his or her obligations once production is done. Was Flo Rida just playing a character who loved his Lumia phone, or was the “Whistle” video really a window into his life? Either way, it’s hard not to feel like someone’s pulling a fast one. Finding him tweeting from an iPhone would be like catching Bad-era Michael Jackson drinking a Coke. We can overlook a low-level sellout, but switching sides is just bad form.”

That last sentence kind of nails it for me. ‘Bad-era Michael Jackson’ wouldnever have been caught drinking a Coke because Bad-era Michael Jackson was around in the disco/pop, cash-rich, yuppy/money-can-buy-me-anything world of the 80s. NOT the new media/capture-and-share-anything-and-everything world of the post-noughties social media generation.

Basically, what I’m saying is, there’s nothing wrong with these placement deals – of course there isn’t. It’s just another form of marketing and advertising and, believe it or not, it does actually work. However, what’s required is a more in-depth contractual commitment that lives past the 4min music video. An arrangement that not only guarantees that you hold device X for one shot, but also defines that you throw device Y in the bin as you do.

The answer to the question is: NO, Twitter isn’t ruining celebrity endorsement. Poorly thought-through modern-day endorsement contracts are ruining celebrity endorsements; Twitter is just pointing out the holes.

When it comes to placement, brands need to think harder, and work smarter.

The end.

Sidenote: I love you Mike.

4. This Cheetah is Beautiful

Play it fullscreen, in HD.

You won’t regret it.

4. Live from New York
This gorgeous anecdote, via Bill Murray, over on HuffPo made me add ‘Live From New York‘ to my Amazon wishlist (hey, feel free to buy it for me won’tcha?) – and I’m fairly sure it’ll have the same affect on you too.

5. Laker Bros

For no reason whatsoever.

Like Deadspin, I just can’t stop looking…

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Before I dive into this week’s bonuses, a moment to pause –

This week I realised that this post marks the 48th part of a 52 week promise I made myself at the start of the year. A blogging challenge if you will, to reflect on the week that was and – at the end of the year – have a single blog post for every week that would show what I’ve achieved and/or done with my time on this earth.

I won’t lie. This year has been tough. For both me, and my partner. As we head into December reflecting on 2012, the year of awesome, is hard. Professionally I’ve had ups and downs, winning my first major pitch for Ogilvy was a definite highlight, but the low-points – in general – include more character assassination attempts than I’d care to shake a stick at (from friends, (ex)colleagues/girlfriends and enemies alike), as well as dealing with a few health issues affecting the one I love…

Somewhere along the line the Five things on Friday changed. Changed from things I found awesome and wrote in my Moleskine, to things I’ve found on the internet and thought you should read. I don’t know how I feel about this change. I don’t even know if I want to continue with the weekly thing [once the 52nd week comes to an end].

I guess my question is, to you dear reader, what do you think? This project was going to be a one year only deal, things have been mad – hectic even – is it worth carrying on into next year and beyond?

Let me know…

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Bonuses this week; Mark Ritson on John McAfee is an incredible read; if you’re a Mac user and need to brush up on your Lord of the Rings knowledge, it’s OK there’s an Easter Egg just for you; and finally, and rather unsurprisingly, China has a food problem.

 

Whatley out.

 

Lumia 800 spotted in The Wolverine?

Yeah, I think so –

Wolverine 2, aka ‘The Wolverine‘, is coming / rising soon. Filming is underway right now and slowly but surely set photos are leaking their way onto the internet. So far, we’ve only seen snaps of our eponymous hero but today, we got a peek at the two main villains he’ll be facing up against: Silver Samurai and Viper.

The really interesting thing is that the latter of the two has been spotted sporting what seems to be the Nokia Lumia 800.

Take a look –

That certainly looks like a Cyan(?) Lumia 800 to me. The flash is in the wrong place to be anything else.

But why?

Nokia has previous when it comes to placement in superhero films (trust me, I know), and it works best when it’s actually part and parcel of the film’s storyline as opposed to being fudged in at the last minute. Fortunately it’s looking very much like the former here – which is ace.

However, all I’m left wondering is: why the Lumia 800 and not the Lumia 820, or the 920 for that matter?

If I were a bad-ass super villain, I don’t think I’d settle for WP7.8.

 

#justsayin

Want a Lumia 920 on Vodafone?

UPDATE: AS OF DECEMBER 19th – IT’S COMING

It ain’t gonna happen…

 

Lumia and Vodafone? NO.

The Nokia Lumia 920 is the latest (and greatest?) Nokia flagship phone. It was announced on September 5th, 2012 and sources are placing its release at around the middle of November somewhere.

I like the look of it and, since knowing mobile tech the way I do, I gave it the fairly highly-regarded label of ‘My Next Phone‘.

But there’s a problem. This morning this happened –

Dan Bowsher is one of the super-smart social media chaps at Vodafone and, as managing editor of the Vodafone UK blog, it’s kind of his job to be on the button with stuff like this – so I appreciate the heads up, Dan, thank you.

The ironic thing is, the same episode of The Voicemail that Dan is talking about is also the exact same one where I name-check Vodafone as being one service that I could not live without.

But now, I am in a quandary –

I’ve been a Vodafone customer for nigh on 16yrs. I honestly can’t think what kind of data they have on record or how much customer equity I’ve built up over that time.

And they’re not going to range the one phone that I really, really want.

My options are as follows

  1. Buy the Lumia 920 SIM-free (not ideal).
  2. Leave Vodafone and join a network like EE (who are not only ranging the Lumia 920 but also launching with the first 4G network)?
  3. Ignore the Lumia 920 and perhaps consider a different handset – like the new HTC Windows phones or in fact, an iPhone 5 (which is genuinely a serious option)?

 

Opinions please.

UPDATE: Vodafone have published a blog post confirming the above Windows Phone 8 device strategy 

 

 

 

Six awesome PureView shots at take off

I’m trying out the new Nokia 808 PureView at the moment and, while there’s a full review to come very soon, I thought I’d share these long exposures I snapped just as we were leaving the runway a week or so ago for Cape Verde –

I am in love with the camera on this phone.

Enjoy –

Long exposures over Lisbon

Long exposures over Lisbon

Long exposures over Lisbon

Long exposures over Lisbon

Long exposures over Lisbon

Long exposures over Lisbon

Click through each image for the original Flickr uploads

 

Why I love Instagram

I started writing this post last weekend, before the big Facebook sale was announced, as I wanted to talk about – in light of the recent Android-owners backlash – I use (and enjoy) Instagram. It’s funny now though how that very same backlash has not only continued but also now includes all things Facebook. Incredible. C’est la vie.

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I love Instagram. There, I said it.
I also don’t own an iPhone.

So how?

Anyone who’s been reading this blog for any amount of time knows that I am a Nokia fan. My current phone du jour is the Nokia Lumia 800 and before I now I have waxed lyrical about its predecessors the N8 and the N86. Similarly, regular readers will also know that I am an iPad-owner also. Of that too, I am also a fan.

I am a social media junkie; If something is new and shiny, I take a(n educated and measured) interest and, in all honesty, the lure of Instagram was too much.

The next logical step? Install Instagram onto the iPad.

2012-04-09-21-34-36_8106A5AB-D46E-4CE2-B9F9-4D03BB8B824B

While there isn’t an official Instagram iPad app, the iPhone version doubles up just fine. Problem solved, right? Well, yes but that’s not enough. I own an iPad 2 y’see and, while it does have an onboard camera, you may as well give a packet of crayons to a pack of blind monkeys for all the use it’ll do you. A decent image it produces, not.

The great thing about Nokia devices however, is that the top end bad boys tend to come packing high-end mobile camera technology. Which is great, and as 99% of the images I snap with my Lumia end up on my Flickr account – all I need is a method of getting those images into Instagram.

Well, that’s where Flickr Studio comes in –

2012-04-09-21-37-09_5A593C92-3E6B-4B95-806B-0C8E6D9C7006

I can browse my Flickr photostream and download the images I want/need onto my iPad (you can see where this is going can’t you) which closes the circle nicely –

Lumia – >; Flickr
Flickr – iPad
iPad – >; Instagram

Yes, it’s a lengthy process and yes it’s not exactly ideal either but like I said, I like the network and I like the people I follow there. I installed Instagram onto my Nexus S a couple of days ago and I’ve hardly used it. I prefer the iPad experience. Plus, my pictures are infinitely better.

Since the Android release last week it’s almost too funny how much the elitist iPhone-owners have spat back at the network [EDIT: even more so now after the sale]. Apparently some slighted iPhone-Instagrammers are even flocking to new services to escape the influx of ‘tasteless’ Android-ers. Hilarious.

I’ve enjoyed being a part of the Instagram community and have never uploaded an iPhone-created picture, ever. That makes me happy inside and that’s how I use (and why I love) Instagram.

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PS. As I said earlier this week, post-sale, Instagram will be fine

;

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Originality + Mobile

Or lack thereof.

First, in 2009, this –


[Bungee jumping, shot on a Nokia N86]

Then, in 2010, this –


[A rollercoaster review of the N97 Mini, shot with the N97 Mini]

So far so good…

Straight after that, we got to work on this –


[Shoot what you like with the Nokia N8, shot on the Nokia N8]

With the winners being invited along to this –


[A zero G flight, shot on the Nokia N8]

Great stuff.

Later, in 2011, this appeared


[A rollercoaster review ‘unboxing’ of the SGSII, shot with a ?]

Brilliant? Yes. Familiar? Slightly.

Admittedly they went one better, with this –


[A skydive review ‘unboxing’ of the SGSII, shot with a ?]

Well done.

Imagine my surprise when, today in 2012 this appeared on TV for HTC  –


[A free-fall fashion shoot with the HTC One, shot with a ?]

Amazing. Not.

Seriously, three years of this now… come along guys, at least try to do something different. It genuinely doesn’t matter who had the idea first or even who managed to push it to the next level. All we’re asking is for some originality.

Samsung was blatant, HTC is just plain late.

And while it’s fair to say, admittedly, everything is a remix; if Sony can create something new, you can too.

Do. Better.