First Look: The adidas
The package from
adidas Malaysia arrived at the office Friday. I was
surprise to note the size of the box which measured
just. I was to be just one of the two in the community
to see and lay their hands on the latest offering from
adidas Ė the miCoach
Pacer device. miCoach is adidasí answer to the many
online community based training portal such as MapMyRun,
Garminís Training Center, Nikeís NikePlus, and Polarís
Personal Trainer. So you can see that athletes have
plenty to choose from out there.
The miCoach Pacer allows instant feedback (including
voice) while youíre engaged in your workout. Your workouts
can be customized from the miCoach website and downloaded
to the Pacer unit. Thereís also an option to opt out
of the Coach mode should you wish for it. Sometimes
we just need music to move us along, donít we?
There are actually 2 miCoach devices, the Pacer and the Zone.
The miCoach Zone is a scaled down piece of gear worn on the
wrist to provide heart rate zone colors in real-time for instant
run feedback, displays heart rate, calories burned, and elapsed
time. This first look takes a look at its big brother, the
What you see below are the very first local photos of the
miCoach Pacer. Getting the unit out of the box required some
effort and I tore the bottom of the box a little. After some
careful maneuvering, the top came off and I slid the contents
Beside the Pacer unit, there also the Stride Sensor and a
lace clip, a CR2032 for the Stride Sensor, a heart strap to
which you attach the CR2032-run Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) and
a couple of user manuals. The HRM is water resistant to 1m
and the adidas website said that it can last up to 1,000 hours
of active use.
The quality of the Pacer unit is good and has a rubbery feel
while the really small Stride Sensor is slightly tougher to
handle. Due to the size and smooth surface, I had a tough
time taking the battery cover off, dropping it a couple of
times. Good thing I was sitting on the sofa. Having said that
the Stride Sensor has to be the smallest Iíve seen other than
NikePlusí in-shoe sensor. Because it comes with a lace clip,
adidasí Stride Sensor is usable on miCoach compatible shoes
(with a hollowed out section under the sockliner) as well
as conventional shoes. The small size is a definite advantage
over the humongous Timex and Polar shoe units.
Before you even head out on a run with these babies, there
are a couple of things to do. Firstly, youíll need to head
on to adidasí miCoach website to download a Mac and PC compatible
miCoach Manager application. Itís a light software running
on Java and this is your interface with the miCoach portal
when you connect your Pacer unit to your computer either to
download the latest firmware or upload your training data.
Download and installation of the software is quick and simple.
Secondly youíll need to register a profile with the miCoach
online portal which are pretty simple too.
Thirdly youíll need to charge your Pacer unit. The first
charge takes 3 hours and a single charge can last you 10 hours
of use. So using the miCoach device over an ultra marathon
is possible, though I wonít be running one just yet to ascertain
its battery life. Itís interesting to note that the Pacer
unit acts as a connectivity hub where you can plug in your
iPod (it shares the same 3.5mm jack for charging and the iPod)
and also an output to your earbuds (also a 3.5mm jack). Itís
a nice gesture that the popular 3.5mm standard is adopted
instead of odd sized ones. This way you can virtually use
any of your favorite earbuds.
Iíve not worked out the operational aspect of the miCoach
Pacer yet and itís best left for a follow up posting. Since
thereís a built-in clip to the Pacer, you can either clip
the unit to your shorts or armband, chalking up another usability
The adidas miCoach Pacer is not yet available to the public
as of this posting. Do watch this space for upcoming details
on the launch and as I put it through the paces in the coming