Nike plus vs. adidas micoach
Running Training Aids
The Nike and adidas micoach training aids are both designed to improve the quality of your running whilst running on the streets. With the lack of a track with set distances, it's hard to gauge the distance you cover when out running but most importantly it's hard to know whether your running at the right pace or not, which these training aids help with helping you to run further at a more steady pace which will ultimately make it easier for you.
Nike have looked at the pedometer and thought, how can we improve this? And what they've come up with is pretty amazing yet simple. Firstly, your going to need a Nike plus enabled shoe (look for the Nike+ logo on the sole), or I have seen holders that fasten onto shoelaces knocking about on the web. You're also need an ipod, touch, nano e.t.c or an iphone. Check the compatibility with the separate generations. What's good about the ipod touch and iphone is that they can connect to the sensor in your shoe without the need for an external adapter which can get caught up in your pocket.
Next you'll need the sensor or sensor+ receiver kit that retail for 13 GBP and 20GBP respectively. Once you have these your ready to go, the setup is simple and fast.
What it does:
Once you start running, it plays your playlist of choice to motivate you, and then at intervals chosen by you or by pressing the centre button on your ipod you get a spoken readout detailing your current pace, distance and calories burnt. I've found this to be surprisingly accurate and I never bothered to calibrate it so I would image it can only get better. Once you've finished your run, it logs the basics onto your ipod for easy viewing but the best bit is yet to come on the nike plus website. You plug your ipod in just like your going to sync it, and itunes pops up asking to send the information to nike, the website then goes onto show you your pace and distance on a graph allowing you to see how you progressed through your run. it does this with clear animations and also include bonus features such as recording the weather, your mood and any notes you may have.
My favourite part is the training plan section, where it builds for you custom training plans depending on what you select allowing you to follow it on your ipod on the days it says syncing with itunes after each one to check that your on target, which I found was great for motivation.
Ease of use 5/5
This is Adidas's take on the Nike + system. There are various types of it from the 'pacer' which involves audible coaching and a stride sensor, and the heart rate band.
I will be reviewing the smartphone variant which is available on iphone and Blackberrys which contain a GPS device. I have the blackberry app, which was simple to install directly from the app world, did I mention it cost me nothing too! I then had to register a few details and i was ready to go!
Micoach works by tracking your route via GPS and then storing the information to show you on a map when you've finished which is quite cool to retrace your run on a map afterwards to see where you went. I found the GPS to be accurate although one time it cut out minutes from my home which was quite annoying. The app provides vocal feedback just like nike +, but I found it's pace predictions to be scarily accurate. It also records your altitude which it displays on a graph when you finish along with your pace fluctuations vs. distance. Finally, the last thing it reads out vocally is the amount of calories burnt.
It also has a clever little function where you register your shoes, which have to be Adidas, and then tracks how far you've run in them and when they recommend you to replace them.
It does all of this while playing your music back via a playlist on your phone,keeping the playback clear and stutter free even with the vibrations of running. To store it while running, I found a short pocket with not too much free space was perfect to hold it in.
Having used the adidas micoach for the past few months I have come to the conclusion that it is much better than nike + for it's accuracy and quickness of getting your results. Ease of use still goes to the nike kit but adidas just has the edge in my eyes and when twinned with my blackberry it becomes a real winner!
I love the fact that it allows me to take my phone with me at the same time as I go running which gives me extra security.
Nike + Website
Once you've hooked up your ipod to the computer, (mac or pc it doesn't matter), itunes will prompt you to send your workout data to nike. Accept the request and it will automatically open your browser on the nike plus website. The page will display your most recent run, showing graphs of pace and distance. I find these great to look at after a run because they help you to identify where you need to improve on, but they also give you a sense of satisfaction for all the effort that you put in. You can then add extra information about the run such as the weather, how you felt, what surface it was on and any notes you may want to add.
But this isn't the best part of nike +, they are bringing out training plans all the time, professionally built by coaches to help you from sofa to 5km or half marathon and beyond for more experienced runners. They allow you to track your progress and map out on the calendar when you should be running and for how far and how fast. Nike + also has an active running community with forums for help and ongoing competitions between women and men or individual challenges helping to keep you interested in your running.
The nike website is in my eyes the best part of Nike +, check it out for more information.
Adidas Micoach Website
The adidas micoach website is similar to the nike + website however I find the user interface to be cleaner and easier to use in the long run. It also appears to be less of a gimmick than nike + with more focus on function rather than looking good, which may or may not be to your taste. You don't actually need the website to use micoach with your phone, as I can view everything I want directly on my Blackberry screen (map and pace chart) but if you want more advanced advice such as coaching plans for marathons e.t.c then a visit to the website is highly recommended.
Nike + Commercial
Shows off Nike + in a fun way.
How far do you run a week?
How far do you run during the week either on the streets or cross country.
Distance ran per week on average
Consider what you want from it..
If you have a supported phone with gps then before you go out and buy the nike + sensors then download both apps and take them both for a spin around a set route that you know the distance of. Then either pick the most accurate for you or ideally if the accuracy is say a metre out pick the one that for you works best. Be it nike plus due to it's massive online forums and competitions which I've found really helpful along with it looking vibrant and really making you want to go out and run. But on the otherhand theres the adidas offering that just works, yes it may not look the best on screen but it's features are improving all the time along with its interface, and hey i'm not complaining that jessica ennis is the one telling me i've done great at the end of a run where all I want to do is sit down and not think about running that far again (when I say far I mean 10k i'm really not cut out for marathons yet I love track way too much). So yeh don't let me decide on which one you use, go and try both if you have the option!! Thanks for reading and feel free to drop a comment if you're still stuck :)