MiCoach is a Smart Run watch for athletes who like to be told what to do, when to do it and how they are performing. My free trial occurred during my spring training and races including the Boston Marathon and the Fifth Third River Bank Run. I found it to be a powerful watch, superior to any of its predecessors I’ve wrapped on my wrist but there were some features I’d like to see improved in future upgrades.
What I like:
- The 1.45-inch screen makes it easy to read your wrist at a glance.
- The band is super comfortable and that’s really important as I’ve often crossed finish lines with bruised wrist bones from my Nike Sports watch and other less flexible bands.
- Customized workouts to meet my training goals. For example, while I downloaded the Boston Marathon training guide and I could have chosen anything from football to rugby and table tennis. Within each sport you have the ability to create cardio, strength and flexibility goals for a well-rounded training program.
- An audible coach paces your run or sport of choice.
- Vibration alerts speed up or slow down your pace based on your target distance and time.
- Color-coded heart rate metrics (red, yellow, green and blue) make it visually easier to match your target heart rate zone as set by miCoach.
- Running scores to measure your potential and estimate your finish time.
- 3GB music playlist storage with Bluetooth capabilities yet I wasn’t able to test these.
- Intelligent web apps that include tracking heart rate, calories, distance, route, speed, duration, pace, cadence, auto labs and manual splits. MiCoach also interfaces with Myfitness Pal (seems like this is a requirement for any activity tracker these days) to make fueling and refueling easier.
- Lots of real-time data to swipe between the pace screen (current pace, lap, current speed and distance within the current lap), heart rate screen (current heart rate zone, distance and time) and time screen (time, current lap time and calories burned)
- The video guides and tutorials base is extensive.
With any technology, there’s a wish list for the next upgrade. Here’s what I’d like to see Adidas improve:
- The GPS tracking system takes 3-5 minutes for a satellite to find you. This is highly frustrating, yet I’ve had the same problem with prior tracking devices. Oftentimes, I literally set my watch outside the door while I lace up my shoes to avoid the connection delay. This is the day and age of instant information. I don’t have the patience to stand still before a run waiting for a connection.
- The battery life is probably the most challenging feature. It takes 2-3 hours to charge, every 2-3 days. I’m sure this will improve with future models but I hate it when the vibrator alert tells me that my battery is on it’s last leg while I’m only ¼ of the way into a long run.
- I fear this wrist versus chest strap based monitoring device is a fair weather friend. I tested it during favorable weather conditions in the Midwest. I’m not sure how audible, much less visible or accurate the miCoach would be under double layers, gloves and other winter gear in 10 degree snowing, windy conditions.
- While I’m pretty good at storing my electronic chargers and USB cables in specific locations, I could see some people losing it and rendering their watch useless until a backup is ordered. With that said, my Nike’s charger was located in the wrist band itself and I had a hard time making a good connection with my laptop after 3 months of use so I’m also not a fan of the all in one either.
Bottom Line: I have yet to meet the perfect sports watch but they keep getting better and miCoach Smart Run is a good example.