Most helpful positive review
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Great accessory for serious training
on November 14, 2012
This unit is identical to the one sold by Garmin so purchase whichever is cheaper. If your Forerunner, Timex Run Trainer, or MotoACTV GPS watch supports an ant+ foot pod, either "brand" foot pod will work.
There's not too much to say about these things...they're solidly built, relatively inexpensive, and they work. Depending on your watch they'll provide you with your foot cadence while running, allow you to turn off your GPS and run indoors on a treadmill, and provide you a backup should you lose GPS signal whilst running outdoors. You need to check the latest info on your watch about how it will work with a footpod as firmware updates to GPS watches dictate features.
Foot cadence is (basically) the number of times per minute your foot strikes the ground. This is a useful metric to track while training because the faster your cadence, the more efficient your running is. Most folks in training mode will attempt to keep their cadence at 90-95. It's not the most important metric while training, but it's very useful if you're serious about improving.
None of the Garmin GPS Forerunner line (or the Timex Run Trainer) currently supports indoor training (e.g. on a treadmill)--unless you use this device. Once paired with an ant+ foot pod, however, the GPS can be turned off and the watch will calculate mileage based on the accelerometer in the foot pod. Your watch will have a pre-determined "guestimate" on your stride and then calculate distance based on that, but it is HIGHLY recommended to calibrate your watch and foot pod by running a known distance (such as on a track). Again, this is very easy, and once you've done it your foot pod will be VERY accurate when running on a treadmill. You'll be shocked at how poor the calibration is on most treadmills in fact.
Finally, many GPS watches will automatically switch-over to the foot-pod if GPS signal is lost during a run. This can be very useful if you run in a city where large buildings impact the signal, or run trails where tree coverage might interfere. There is a big caveat to this however. Check the documentation for your watch to see if this feature is applicable to your specific watch. On my old Timex Run Trainer this feature was NOT available with the firmware I was running (it might now be implemented). And this is a point I should probably drive home...do your research on YOUR watch to check which features are supported. Not everything I've written about is supported on every watch. Some watches used to actually be an either/or proposition--you either used GPS OR you tracked distance by the foot pod--you couldn't collect both sets of data simultaneously. Firmware updates affect this, so do your research. All that said, I do highly recommend this foot pod (or the Garmin branded version) as essential tools for serious runners.