Monday, March 15, 2010

Detailed review - Micoach

After my weeklong break post March 7, 2010 BRM of 300km, I finally returned to running. This was my first run in March and I was missing it a lot. Plus I was super excited to check out and test my new running gear/aid - Adidas Micoach.

It took my about an hour to register on the www.adidas.com/micoach website, with my contact details, download and transfer the details to my PC and to my device (age, height, weight, etc to calculate distance, calories, max heart rate etc). After that I had to pair my Micoach pacer to the heart rate monitor (which was strapped on my chest)and to the stride sensor device (which is strapped to my shoe laces). Once paired its quite simple as the voice activated commands instructs you to do the rest (headphone is connected to the Micoach pacer device).

I don't believe in having specific pre programmed workouts, so I choose the free mode which allows me to do my own thing and the voice activated coach, informs me about my stride frequency, average speed, distance completed, Time taken, current heart rate, heart rate zone, etc, at the push of a button.

I run on the same route everyday, so I got to test the Micoach pacer over 2 days on the same route. It was nice to find that the readings were almost identical.

I am very new to the concept of having an heart rate monitor strapped on me, plus the readings that come off it. Strapping something on your chest while running is not really a nice feeling as one has to take deep breaths and this just gives you that claustrophobic feeling. On the second day I managed to get used to it, I also realised that the strap was adjustable. Now the most interesting bit, there are three zones, green, yellow and Red. Red being the danger zone. I realised that I was hitting the red zone quite a few times during the run, which might be for quite a few reasons, I was returning to running after a break, was yet to find my rhythm, the heat/sun and resultant discomfort due to late starts, etc. So I will have to give is a few more runs and somehow manage my runs while sticking to the Yellow zone.

Some interesting numbers which I discovered is that my average strides per minute is about 177, Now I need to check how good or bad is that. I remember watching a video called evolution running which had suggested the ideal stride rate for a long distance runner (and height of a person has no impact on stride per minute)

The device at the bottom is the heart rate monitor (which needs to be strapped on the chest with a elastic band, with plastic coated metal strips as sensors), on the left is the stride sensor and on the right is the main device (primary device which drives and collects data from the other two devices, and also connects with the PC for data upload and download).

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