This portable training tool works provides real-time audible coaching to help users achieve heart rate and pace goals during exercise. The unit gathers data from a chest-strap heart rate monitor and a stride sensor that clips onto the shoe. With the miCoach PACER web application, users select pre-programmed training plans or create custom workouts and upload to the unit via USB cable. The PACER saves data for up to 40 workouts and syncs to the web application for tracking of personal data and coaching feedback.
56mm x 41mm x 16.75mm; weighs 22.9g; clips to workout apparel or MP3 holder via clip on back of unit; 1/8” stereo headphone jacks (TRS connector); rechargeable 5mAh lithium polymer battery w/10 hour life; programmed workout time capacity is 10 hours; charge time via USB is 3 hours; sensor communication ink: ANT+™ protocol to heart rate monitor and stride sensor; RF Frequency: 2.4 GHz; sensor communication range: < 2.5m; warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship for 1 year after date of purchase.
The miCoach PACER from adidas® offers fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike a convenient way to receive real-time coaching and post-workout feedback while tracking personal data online. The web application offers pre-programmed training plans for building a fitness base, running, soccer, basketball, football and tennis — plus the option to create custom workouts and training plans.
We loved the wide range of customizable options, from the training plans and coaching voices (male/female, British/US, and multiple foreign languages) to selecting which stats are announced during the workout and the ability to save favorite workouts. Users can also choose to use to use the PACER for data collection only, turning off the audible coaching if preferred.
We tested the “Get Fit, Stay Fit” plan for building a fitness base, and used the device for bicycling, walking, and light jogging. We used the PACER with or without an mp3 device and in all regards, it operated as advertised. With the real-time audio coaching, we pushed ourselves harder than we do in our typical workouts. The coach tells you to slow down, speed up or remain steady based on the selected training plan and data gathered from the heart rate monitor and sensors — and we found that very motivating. After each workout, we downloaded our data to the web application for additional feedback — such as “Slam dunk! Goal! Score! Touch down! You should get a medal for that one!” or “Your score is only 7%. Really focus during your next workout to see that number increase and get the maximum benefit from the workout.” The site also tracks achievements, such as most calories burned, best score, longest distance, and fastest mile — and allows you to manage your training calendar, keep a journal, and track running shoe mileage.
The stride sensor appeared to function only for walking and running; it didn’t work for bicycling, and the miCoach PACER support staff confirmed this. The sensor is designed to sense impact activities only, so it won’t work for most exercise equipment such as ellipticals, stair climbers and bicycles. For these activities, the user can de-activate the sensor online and simply use monitor heart rate for coaching.
The premium price of this training tool may deter some users, but if you like gadgets and technology — and thrive on feedback — put this one on your holiday wish list.
What we liked:
- Motivating, real-time and post-workout feedback
- Variety of customizable features
- Works with or without mp3 player
- Engaging, fun, and helpful web application
- Easy to set up and use
What we didn't like:
- Stride sensor only works for walking, running, treadmill exercise
- Premium price
October 25, 2010