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Posted: November 17, 2015:  

Athletics: Milestone Pod Review

By: Nadine Frost

Iíve been running competitively and semi-competitively since I was 9 years old - and yes, I considered myself pretty hard-core as a 9-year-old! The past few years, I have trained with the Ottawa Athletics Club Racing Team (OACRT) in Ottawa, ON while completing grad school at Carleton University. With a busy schedule and a wide range of interests, I enjoy running as a stress reliever, to connect with the amazing running community and network of friends, and to compete at road races (5k to half marathons) to make sure I remember what that race pain feels like!

When laced into your shoes, the Milestone Pod is lightweight and is not noticeable on your run

I was really excited to have the opportunity to test out and review the Milestone Pod the past few weeks. Iím not a very tech-oriented runner - most days I donít even wear a watch when head out the door for a run Ė so I was happy to find out that the Milestone Pod is a very low-tech product.

After downloading the app and briefly wrestling with the pod to insert the battery, I waited for it to sync to my phone. This process took me several weeks, as apparently my habit of using out-of-date phones meant that the Bluetooth could not sync properly (Bluetooth 4.0 required). Once I had upgraded a phone to slightly above grandmother status, I was good to go!

Overall description of the product:

The Milestone Pod is small (slightly larger than a quarter) and lightweight - when itís in your shoes, itís not noticeable at all. The Pod automatically recognizes when you are going for a run without the need to turn it on or wait for it to find a signal. After your run, you can sync it to your phone (free app available) and it will provide you with a surprising amount of information for such a small and simple product.


Data tracked by the Pod:
  • Overall mileage on your shoes
  • Date, time, and duration of run
  • Calories
  • Number of steps
  • Pace (min/km) average and best
  • Footstrike (%Heel, Mid, Toe)
  • Cadence (spm) - average & best
  • Stance time - average & best
  • Rate of Impact (% Low, Mid, High)
  • Stride Length (cm)
  • Leg Swing (% Low, Mid, High)
  • Runficiency

After testing out the Pod on a couple weeks of runs, I am able to break down the Pros / Cons of this product from my perspective.


After a run, the Run Details show the main information in an easy-to-read format. All the other data is included below
Pros:
--> Affordable price!
--> The app is free and user-friendly
--> Set-up was very simple
--> Gives the option of entering your previous mileage onto the Pod for the shoes you are using it for, so you can start tracking on shoes that already have some use.
--> I love how the Pod can track multiple metrics of activity without needing to carry anything on a run. This is a huge plus!
--> The Pod stays tied into your laces and activates automatically, so thereís no risk of forgetting to bring it, or forgetting to turn it on. This is great for busy runners, especially if youíre always running from different places (home, work, friends) and donít want to remember to bring another gadget with you.
--> Visual description of runs is neat to see Ė comparing efficiency to pace and cadence etc.
--> Mileage tracking is a good idea for people that are injury prone. I am not good at tracking my shoe mileage (I usually retire shoes when there are holes through the bottomÖoops). This is particularly useful if you run in multiple shoes as part of a rotation. If itís within your budget, could get a Pod for each pair.

Cons:
--> The biggest con that I noticed for the Pod is that you canít Ďstopí it during a run as you would a GPS watch. Particularly if you stop for a bathroom break, or run through the city and have multiple traffic light breaks, this throws off your overall run pace. No selfie breaks next time!
--> The Pod gives the chance to calibrate the distance. The one time I did this (comparing to a friendís GPS watch from our run), the Pod underestimated the run distance by about 2%.
--> The Milestone Pod picks up any activity - the few times I wore my running shoes while running errands (yes, I am that person who wears skinny jeans and running shoes to the grocery store at 10pm), it picked up my walking as a Ďruní, again throwing off my overall average run pace. However, this problem could be easily avoided!

Overall:

I was pleasantly surprised with the Milestone Pod and will continue to use it on my runs to track mileage, pace, and any change in the efficiency parameters. In a world of complicated and expensive running gadgets, this is a refreshingly simple, affordable, and effective product. If you are someone who wants to track general running metrics but donít want to drop hundreds on a GPS watch, this is a great product to try out.


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