Technically, it's not the weekend but I promised a post on my new Adidas miCoach and since I'm taking a break from working on my thesis/screenplay (talk about huge stressor) I decided now would be a better time than never.
I was so excited to get my new buddy that I rushed off to the post office and opened it up the moment I got to work.
The pacer is the middle, the battery and stride monitor on the left and the heart rate monitor on the right. Below is the heart rate strap and to the right in the little plastic is the headphone, and cables provided by Adidas.
The pacer, which records all your workout information, is slightly larger than an iPod shuffle (not those current thin ones but the small clippable ones with the wheel right in the middle. 4th Gen? I can never keep up with the generations!) and comes attached to a clip. On one end you connect your mP3 player and/or connect to your laptop (for easy synching!), on the other your headphones. When I plugged in my iPod and own set of headphones, everything worked like a dream. The pacer can be off and I can still listen to my music. And while you're working out, there's no interference unless you've got the pacer on coaching mode (I'll get into this).
The first time I used it, I tried out the free mode. Just turned it on, waited for the device to pick up the heart rate and stride monitors and then clicked the little running man (etched onto the pacer) to start my workout. Clicking on the little running man (bare with me, I just like calling him this!) during my workout pauses it. Very nice when you're walking from machine to machine and don't want that small stuff recorded. I will admit though, pressing the button is a bit difficult. I find myself having to really put some force on it to get it to respond. To end your workout, you turn off the pacer with the slider at the top of the device. It then tells you how many calories you've burned, how long you worked out, your heart rate, etc.
The website is pretty nifty and easy to use. I signed up on the MiCoach website before actually using my pacer, and downloaded the MiCoach manager-- for syncing-- for my Mac (there's also one for PC). Syncing is quick and easy. Just plug in, open the MiCoach manager and let the pacer/manager do their thing. When you go on the website it will show you the amount of time you've worked out in total, the amount of calories you've burned, your distance and your number of work outs.
You can look at specific work outs you've recorded to see how much you burned during that given time, what your heart rate was, your number of strides, etc. The website has a number of different training plans, which you can customize. There's also a calendar to schedule in your own work outs or to see when the next work out in your training plan is.
The coaching device works in tandem with the website's training plans. (I have to fiddle with it to see if I can schedule in my own work out and have it coach me.) The coaching only butts into your listening pleasure when you're about to switch levels, or to tell you how much farther you have in a certain level (Adidas calls them "Zones": Blue for easy, Green for medium, Yellow for hard, and Red for extremely difficult. This is measured by either your heart rate or number of strides, which can be customized on the website. There's an assessment work out with every training plan so that MiCoach can compare data as you work out against your own heart rate levels/number of strides rather than the default ones.) Sometimes, if you need to pick up the pace or slow it down it'll butt it but otherwise you forget it's there. There were moments that I got paranoid and wondered if it was still keeping track (which of course, it was!)
Using the little running man allows you to flip through work outs either in your training plan or which you have personally uploaded to the website.
So far, I'm loving it. I'm still playing with it to see how to get it to record my runs separately from my Elliptical work outs and/or strength training work outs. I want to record them as separate work outs each day but I think I might just have to settle for pausing the device in between each.
Feel free to ask me any questions if you're considering it!