I used Nike+ for running for just over a year. Unless you just walk casually I guess most people will need to monitor heart rate by a Heart Rate monitor such as this. When I first started I didn’t want to invest in professional gear like Polar.
The Nike+ and iPod kit has been around for a while I think they didn’t want to compete with Polar (the watch doesn’t play music I believe) in the same segment therefore the missing part from Nike+ is integration of heart rate monitor with iPod. This is where Adidas has come in.
To put it simple miCoach offers you
- heart rate monitoring
- records your pace, heart rate, distance, stride rate, calories, time, date of workout and analyze them on their website
- provides coaching advices using voice over your music
- plays music from your own music player, any MP3/phone/iPod … etc
- use your customized training plan by setting training zone for heart rate such that you don’t overwork yourself
The miCoach can completely replace my Nike+ iPhone combination, also the stride sensor can be attached to my running shoes lace therefore saving the investment on a new pair of Adidas running shoes.
The first screenshot above is the ‘assessment run’ (12 minutes) recommended, I had to run 10 little sections with verbal instruction telling me to walk, run a little harder …. etc.
I then tried a ‘free run’ which is without coaching instruction. I can hear running information such as heart rate, pace, distance … etc (configurable at website), by a push of a button while I run. During this run I also turned on the Nike+ with my iPhone, great news is that they don’t interfere each other, both gadgets use 2.4GHz.
Initial impression only, what I like about miCoach
- positive voice feedback that senors are connected
- special shoes not required, you could walk/hike with it
- comprehensive website to log/plan your training
- nice looking charting capability, e.g. overlaying information of your run
- your customized training plans, such that you don’t over-train yourself
- battery is customer replaceable
What I don’t like
- no graphical display, the gadget is too small for that
- fairly complicated setup, 29 pages of user instruction and very comprehensive website
- too many little pieces (7 of them) to worry about
- doesn’t work with iPhone, will never I bet
The miCoach instruction says calibration isn’t really necessary as accuracy would be 95% or 97% if calibrated. A first check is that distance recorded by miCoach and Nike+ was 1.56k and 1.57k respectively. This is pretty good as I only recently calibrated my Nike+ new stride sensor. The pace was 6.48 and 6.4 min/k respectively for miCoach and Nike+.