Adidas miCoach: You Better Run Your Backside Off
Ever miss your high school gym coach barking down your back while you huffed and puffed around the track during the timed mile? As much as you know he couldn't have dragged his donut-stained face around the track half as fast as you, his screaming and taunting certainly made you run harder--even if it was into the woods to have a smoke.
One of the tragedies of adulthood is that you no longer have such a gruff, motivating voice prompting you to run harder and work out more. You may still have a lingering psychological complex from coach, but you don't have his stern motivation.
Well here's some great news: Adidas unveiled the miCoach Pacer for CES. On its face, this little device looks just like any other exercise monitor out there. Three pieces of equipment: a stride counter, heart rate monitor and a main computer unit are placed on your body to help you keep track of your performance through indicators like heart rate, calories burned and distance. Nothing special there. You can then connect the miCoach Pacer to the miCoach website and analyze your performance, set goals, etc.--nice, but still nothing that a dozen other devices don't allow you to do.
Where the miCoach Pacer steps it up a notch is in providing audible coaching to you as you work out. Plug a pair of headphones in and you'll get a swift kick in the posterior if you're slacking. Alternately, if you're going too hard, the Pacer will tell you to slow up and enjoy the fresh air.
The system is designed to help you meet your own personal fitness goals through four different intensity levels. And unlike your actual gym teacher, you can smash this one to pieces if it infuriates you while you're trying to catch your breath.
The new system is sold in two separate pieces: the Pacer, which provides the audible instructions, and the Zone, which provides an LED readout of performance indicators and is designed to be paired with a heart rate monitor. The Pacer will cost $139.99; the Zone will run $65.99, and reliving those awkward days of sophmore year will be well worth the investment.
If you're interested, be sure to check out this in-depth review on Fast Company. It'll give you a deeper look at how the miCoach system operates in real-world conditions.
If you like the idea behind this, but are more of a skier, check out the SkiGo, a similar ski coaching system.