With the 2012 Mumbai Marathon registrations having opened recently, you have a little less than five months to plan your training schedule before the big day on January 15. And while shoes and apparel are of primary importance to any runner worth their salt, gadget accessories and mobile apps shouldn’t be disregarded either. From sensors that detect your heartbeat and stride-rate to apps that tell you the distance covered, you’ll definitely find something to track your progress over the months to come. Nike and Adidas’ gizmos will especially help the hardcore runners, while apps like Runkeeper and Nike+ GPS will provide tonnes of data that you can also compare with other users across the world. Have a good run!
Adidas Micoach Pacer: $149 (Rs 6,500*)
From the other side of the camp, the Adidas Micoach Pacer is more professional than Nike’s offering, but costs more than three times as much. Foremost, you can use the Pacer with shoes of your choice, as opposed to Nike + iPod which only works with Nike+ running shoes. The Pacer consists of a stride sensor, a heartbeat monitor and the main unit that speaks out your progress via a headset. If the Pacer is over your budget, you can check out the Micoach app that’s available for free for Android, BlackBerry and Apple phones.
Available for free on Apple, Google Android and Windows Phone 7 mobile phones, Runkeeper is the first thing you should download if you’re interested in knowing the distance you covered or calories burnt. But the app does more than that. Once you’ve created an account on www.runkeeper.com, you can download workout schedules including 8-week programmes to lose weight or run a 21K half-marathon. The app even works with external attachments such as heart rate monitors for Apple and Android devices.
Philips SHQ4000: Rs 2,499
There’s nothing like music to fuel your workout, and that’s an area where most MP3 players and mobile phones fall short. The default earphones that come with most devices aren’t meant for vigorous exercises and generally fall out while jogging. A part of Philips’ ActionFit series, the SHQ4000 earphones aren’t affected by sweat and can even be washed post-jog. Additionally, the neck strap ensures the earphones stay in place even during 400m dashes. With silicone eartips, the earphones also suppress ambient noise well and offer good bass.
Nike+iPod: Rs 1,700
If there were just one gadget to help you get the most out of your runs, the Nike + iPod kit would definitely be it. Available at all Apple retail stores in the city, the device works with a variety of iPods and iPhones. Once you’ve tucked away the sensor in your Nike+ shoes, it’ll beam all sorts of data of your workouts to your device. This includes total distance covered, average speed and calories burnt. You can even wirelessly sync this data with www.nikeplus.com and compare your results with other runners. The Nike+ GPS app that’s available on the Apple App Store for $2 is also a cheaper alternative as it relies on GPS and works without a sensor.