In the past few months, you may have seen many haikus relating to jogging, running, and trail-running. Since high school, I have been an amateur runner, and usually pretty disciplined about it. When I learned of WORS in 2005, I got even more into trail-running, and additionally, mountain-bike riding. This past summer, Rachel and I travelled to River Falls for a WORS trail-run and I won an Adidas miCoach which has helped me train better.
The miCoach has been a lot of fun to use in my training. The miCoach Pacer is comprised of a shoe sensor, heart-rate monitor, the Pacer, and an earbud. By utilizing the shoe sensor, heart-rate monitor, and Pacer, I’m able to record how fast I run, how far I’ve run, and how my heart has behaved during the run. When I add the ear-bud to the mix, I can listen to coaching prompts from the Adidas coaching program and I can hear current stats of the run I’m in the midst of.
Once I get done running, I connect the Pacer to my computer with a small USB cable. The adidas software syncs with the Pacer and brings my stats into the Adidas miCoach website. The website is where a lot of the value comes from. When I visit the website, I see my “dashboard” which displays my accumulated stats, my current workout and my upcoming workout. Also from the website, I can select any of a variety of training programs. If I was wanting to get ready for a particular race, I could have the website program my Pacer for a specific training regiment. You can also choose what sort of coaching narration you want to hear in your earbud–American Male/Female or UK Male/Female. It really is pretty cool!
A final note about the website is that is also allows you to easily create a “public” page of a specific run’s stats that you can share with anyone online. I regularly post my stats online, as it shows people what I’ve been doing training-wise and allows for shared inspiration! You can also post your stats directly to Facebook. (As a critique, I would encourage Adidas to incorporate a link shortener into their software. The link that miCoach creates, in order to share my stats, is verrrrrrry long and unwieldy. Every time I generate a link, I immediately go to a link shortener website and shrink the link to make it more manageable. It’d be nice if I didn’t have to do that.)
Currently, I’m following an “Increase My Cardio Capacity” program. Besides using the miCoach for specific training programs, I can also do a “free run” where the shoe sensor and heart-rate monitor record all my stats, without any coaching prompts.
The miCoach has been a great running accessory for me and actually makes me want to get out and run, if only to see what my stats look like!
In the photos below, you can see: what the miCoach gear looks like, me with the heart-rate monitor on, in my winter-running gear, with the ear-bud in place, the Pacer connected to my computer and a bunch of screen-shots from the online miCoach experience. The last screen-shot show the records from my most recent workout. The bright zones are what the miCoach was asking me to achieve and the “path” is what I achieved. Where the bright zones end, and my “path” continues, indicates when I was free-running and the miCoach was simply recording my stats.
You can also see the only “mod” I’ve done to the miCoach. I like using the ear-bud, but normally run the cord beneath my shirt or jacket. To keep the friction that occurs from pulling out the ear-bud, I’ve attached a cel phone ear-piece’s wire-clip to the ear-bud wire, so I can clip the cord to my collar and keep a little slack in it.