Monday, August 09, 2010

Five Mile Easy Run using the Adidas Micoach

Ever heard of the Adidas Micoach? Well I was the lucky winner of an instant prize over on the Sennheiser/Adidas 5forsports web site. All I had to do was enter my 5 fav running songs and I won an Adidas Micoach which retails at £108 or $172 dollars at and at Wiggle .  So price wise and as a product it is competing with the older 205/305 versions of the Garmin Forerunner - tough competition as these are tried and trusted products.

When I have used the Adidas micoach for a week or two I will do a review and give my honest opinion.  In brief what you get for your money is a heart rate monitor, a stride sensor and a coaching device called a mi coach pacer. However I can see there is loads of performance stats to synch back to your computer after a run but more on this another time.

Initially I am using the pacer to set my self an easy programme to return to fitness after a long injury lay off when I packed on the weight. You have a choice with the mi coach pacer to run according to pace or by heart rate. I have never really used a heart rate monitor before but have decided to give this a go.

At lunch time today I ventured out for a gentle and slow five mile run. Conditions were very good warm with plenty of mid day sunshine. The Adidas Micoach links to your IPOD or MP3 player so you can listen to music or a podcast on the run but as and when there are updates your personal coach will overide the music and give you an update on a number of statistics that you can set.  There was a choice of coaching voices either male or female and I chose the later.Not sure what that says about me!

I had set the pacer to give me a half an hour coaching session. The session comprised of a 5 minute slow warm up in a heart rate zone called blue 113 to 128 bpm , followed by 20 minutes in the green zone 129 to 146 bpm before a warm down of five minutes in the blue zone.

During the run if I was running to fast or needed to speed up the coach would ask me to slow down. This was enjoyable and helpful and I found that during the half an hour there were 5-6 times when I needed to slow down. I can immeadiately see this is the big plus/selling  point with this gadget after all what would you have to pay to have a personal coach? I can see that once I have logged a number of runs the coach is going to be more and more of a personal coach as my previous performance , speed and heart rate is measured so as to base future runs by.

Did I keep to the pacer bpm zones? Not very well in fact for only 40% of the time. I think this was mainly due to my carrying on running after the half an hour session for another 20 minutes at a higher pace.

Interestingly the Micoach stride sensor over the distance of 5 miles registered the same distance as the Garmin forerunner which I also wore as a test to make a comparision. I was surprised by this but if the stride sensor is as accurate or nearly as as accurate as a GPS then this will remove a big obstacle in my mind.

Todays run was a slow one and I can still feel my heel pain , hope I am not coming back too soon. Time will tell. The achievement today was running 5 miles - not far but it felt a long way today. I just hope there is no after reaction in my heel.

More on the Adidas Micoach in a wek or so.

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