Sunday, February 15, 2015

My New Gadget

Well I couldn't resist grabbing a new to me, piece of old school technology. I saw a sale recently and had to buy what the runners of 2000 would have thought of as really cool stuff, but the runners of 2015 in the age of GPS would see as mostly useless. I bought a foot pod.

So before GPS watches were taking off, many runners used foot pods to more accurately gauge distance and speed. A foot pod is essentially just a small accelerometer that you wear on your shoe. It sends signals back to your watch via a unique code. Based on calibration, the foot pod will track a variety of metrics such as speed, distance, and most importantly cadence.

So there it is. Light weight and unnoticeable once attached and running. In this case I have a Timex branded foot pod, but because it uses standard ANT+ communication tech, it speaks just fine with my Garmin watch (do check for compatibility though if you try to mix and match brands).

In the winter I do a lot of indoor running and this of course means no GPS signal. I happen to run on an indoor track, but this can also work just fine on a treadmill. While treadmills generally tell you speed and distance anyway, they are notoriously inaccurate and it doesn't allow you to up load your run data to your favorite training log, you have to do it manually.

So after getting this little beauty, I took it to the track yesterday to try it out. 15 minutes in and I realize that my attempt at calibration failed. Maybe next time I will read the instruction (online of course as it doesn't come with any). After the issues were fixed I was back to running. It was great to see my cadence showing up and right where I like it, right around 90 per foot. In the end my average cadence was 176, but that included stopping a few times for a drink and a bit of a cool down at the end.

No more guessing on pace for me for my winter runs, or on dodgy hotel treadmills. My goal of making each run count so that I can focus on a less is more training philosophy has taken a new step.

Also it turns out my indoor runs were at a much faster pace than I realized. That didn't hurt the ego.

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