As some of you may have seen, I’m quite the fan of Adidas miCoach. It’s a web app that’s integrated into several tracking devices, such as a footpod, a heart rate monitor or any popular smartphone. The version I’m most excited about is the Pacer, because it comes with both a footpod and a heart rate monitor. That way it can estimate your pace based on your steps/minute and the intensity based on your heart rate.
When you start out, you pick a training program of your choice. These range from absolute beginner programs to full blown marathon programs.
I first finished a Losing Weight program several weeks ago, because I hadn’t run for a couple of months and wanted to built up my running endurance slowly, without getting injured. Which happened to be the reason I stopped running the last time (and every time before that… but that story is for another blog post), so I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again! After that I started a marathon program and I’m around 25% into it. The start of the program basically looks like this:
As you can see by the different colors, workouts are based on Zones, which are intervals based on your pace or heart rate. While you can use an assessment workout to determine the correct zones, I’ve manually set them to the lowest intervals, so I won’t get ahead of myself.
Every workout begin and end with 5 minutes in the Blue Zone, which is a relatively slow pace and in my case means my heart rate shouldn’t go above 134 beats per minute. Then depending on whether you have an interval training, a threshold training, an endurance training or a resting workout (hmmm training/workout?) the Pacer will tell you when to speed up or slow down your pace.
Here’s an example of a recent workout, it has a warming up and cooling down for five minutes in the Blue Zone. Then twenty minutes in the Green Zone zone. What I like about miCoach is that I pick my program and don’t have to think about it ever again. I only plan my runs depending on how long they are, but I’ll let the system tell me what the actual workout will be. Also during running, it will only give you instructions when you need to change zones or when you are outside your zone (too fast or too slow). During some of the endurance runs, this means I don’t hear anything for most of the workout! Since I don’t run with music on, this really let’s me focus on my running and clear my mind.
Off course, just because its out of your way, doesn’t mean you can’t get any info during the workout. If you press the main button on the Pacer, it will tell you anything between 1 or all 8 stats available:
- Repeat Last Instruction
- miCoach Zones
- Heart Rate Value
- Stride Rate
However, what I like even more is hooking it up to my computer when I get home! You can simply plug it in with USB and the Pacer will automagically sync with the Web App, uploading your workout(s) and downloading new ones. Then you get a link to your Dashboard, where you can view your workouts and get real nice graphs of your heart rate, running speed, steps/minute or the GPS route.
This has helped me figure out whether or not it was a good thing to increase my steps/minute, whether I kept my pace steady during a certain interval or how climbing that hill affected my workout.
All-in-all I’m very happy with my miCoach, I’ve had it for slightly over a year now and used it to train for endurance running most of the time (100+ workouts in total). Since I’m currently eyeing a marathon program and haven’t had any serious injuries yet, I’ll keep you guys up to date on how it helps me along the way.
Filed under review