Sutton Massachusetts

Lake Park - Lake Quinsigamond

Lake Park is located on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Massachusetts. This lovely park, as the name might indicate, is located immediately on the shores of Lake Quinsigamond. It features both a smaller walking track located around a football field as well as a larger walking track which meaders through trees.

On the map below, the smaller track is visible as the oval in tan, to the top side of the image. I had to add the walking path track in myself with green. This park is just under a twenty minute ride from Sutton.

Lake Park - Lake Quinsigamond The initial 110 acres of Lake Park were donated to the City of Worcester back in 1884 by Horace H. Bigelow and Edward L. Davis. Nowadays you can find families, dog walkers, young, old, fit, getting-fit, and more enjoying its paths. Parking is free off-season, and in season it's $5 a car.

We use Lake Park to test out our pedometer devices. Here's a trial set we did on April 8th, 2012. Our devices were:

Lisa 1: Omrom Pedometer (zeroed)
Lisa 2: Biggest Loser SlimCoach (zeroed)

Bob 1: iPod Nano (zeroed)
Bob 2: BodyMedia (started at 1294 steps)

Of these, only the Omron and Nano give live updates. The other two have to be viewed at home on the computer, with summaries.

Smaller "Running Track" Testing
We started immediately by the stone steps that lead into the smaller track area, and drew a line in the sand path to mark our laps with. There is no other start / end line on this track.

Lake Park - Lake Quinsigamond

LapTimeOmrom TotalOmron LapNano TotalNano Lap
Loop 1-699580689583
Loop 2-12775781267578
Loop 3-18365591824557
Loop 416:0224035672398574

Given our other tests of the day, this means one lap of this smaller track is almost exactly a quarter mile. It's important to note that these two devices were on two different people - they can't be compared with each other. It just so happens that we tend to walk with the same stride when walking together. Our overall aim here is to test the accuracy of the SlimCoach and the BodyMedia against the known accuracy of the two pedometers.

With that test done, we then moved up to the larger track, which is a measured loop of 1.1 miles. The starting point is located near the visitor center, on the right as you drive in through the main gates. The line is there by a water fountain. It indicates that you should walk in a clockwise direction in order to be able to reach first the marked 1 mile line, and then the ending spot which is the full 1.1 miles.

We happened to start our first lap at the "end 1 mile" marker, i.e. ahead of the visitor center, since that was closer to the smaller walking track. The image shown below is the starting marker to the right of the visitor center. Note that when you reach the smaller parking lot before the quarter mark indicator that you need to walk to the LEFT of that parking lot - i.e. walk around its perimeter.

Lake Park - Lake Quinsigamond
LapTimeOmrom TotalOmron LapNano TotalNano Lap
end 1 mi mkr-2732-2792-
start / VC16:0929752433037245
end 1 mi mkr16:285165243352762484
(got water, fresh start below, now tracking time with stopwatch M:SS)
end 1 mi mrk16:315381-5520-
start / VC2:20 sw56222415761241
1/4 marker6:57 sw61675456317556
(started walking again at 7:18)
3/4 marker16:44 sw7266109974881171
(started walking again at 17:15)
end 1 mi mkr21:52 sw78075418039551
(values for the mile)-2185-2278
Steps/Mile Avg19 min-2309-2381

lap 1 mile: 19 minutes (rounded)
lap 2 mile: 19 min 32 sec, minus 21s and 31s = 18 min 40 sec

A mile has 5,280 feet in it. Therefore, our stride lengths according to that step/mile average are:
Lisa: 5,280 / 2309 = 2.29
Bob: 5,280 / 2381 = 2.22

A standard guesstimate that people who don't know their stride length is based on the height and sex of the walker. The values is .413 x height for women and .415 x height for men. That would come out with:
Lisa: 5.5 x .413 = 2.27 which is nearly perfect
Bob: 5.75 x .415 = 2.39 which is off.

However, there's an interesting dynamic when we walk together. We of course stay side by side which means one or both of us are adjusting our "natural" stride lengths. Also, we tend to fall into a rhythm of walking where we walk at the same beat. So again we are subconsciously adjusting our stride length and frequency to match our partner. This could mean Bob is shortening his natural stride to stay alongside me.

House final tallies:
Lisa 1: Omron - 8696 steps / 3.77 miles (I hard coded 2.29 stride length)
Lisa 2: SlimCoach - 9011 steps / 4.5 miles
... 4.5mi = 23760 feet / 9011
... 2.64 feet per strength - clearly its guesestimate at a stride length is wrong

Bob 1: iPod Nano - 8816 steps / 4.2 miles
... 4.2mi = 22176 feet / 8816
... 2.51 feet per step - clearly its guesestimate at a stride length is wrong
Bob 2: BodyMedia - 8643 steps (9937 - 1294)

Staying Fit in Sutton MA - main page