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Are those footpod thingies any good?

3 watchers
Oct 2013
9:37am, 22 Oct 2013
174 posts
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I'm thinking of getting a watch with a heart rate strap and a footpod, so I can keep an eye on my HR and my cadence (and possibly get an idea of distance) while running. I've got a Garmin Edge on the bike and it's great, and Mrs. Pierre has a Forerunner which I can borrow but I've noticed that the pace reading on the Forerunner tends to be a bit erratic, often varying by up to a minute per mile when I'm keeping the same pace!

Without spending too much money (i.e. preferably under £100) I'm considering a fairly basic HRM with a footpod, but wanted to seek advice from the Great Fetch Experience Centre - are they any good? The footpod thing should give me a good idea of cadence, but what are they like for distance measurement? I've never used a footpod monitor before, I've no idea how much my stride length varies (or how it varies with cadence and / or effort - do the watches automatically adjust for that?).

If anyone can give me any pointers, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
Oct 2013
10:28am, 22 Oct 2013
3399 posts
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Footpod for distance/pace will be much less accurate than GPS. The instantaneous speed on GPS can be erratic, but over the whole run GPS will be much more accurate. Instead of instantaneous pace, set a field for average lap pace which will smooth out over each mile (assuming that you set your laps to a mile).
Oct 2013
10:30am, 22 Oct 2013
9742 posts
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I bought a forerunner footpod thingy a couple of years back, it's great if you don't want accuracy but if your stride length is anything other than average or you vary it depending on terrain then you might as well not bother - that's just my opinion of course, other opinions are available
Oct 2013
10:33am, 22 Oct 2013
175 posts
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Interesting points, thanks - I'm wondering if buying an ANT+ compatible footpod and using it with the Garmin(s) might be the best solution. And one I hadn't thought of. D'oh!
Oct 2013
10:50am, 22 Oct 2013
3928 posts
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Instant pace is a lot smoother with a pod. Some people find they are spectacularly accurate once calibrated. Me, I find that they're good at one speed only, other paces my footstrike must be quite different.
Oct 2013
11:01am, 22 Oct 2013
20 posts
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I have a footpod for my garmin 610, and find it very accurate. I really got it because I wanted to work on cadence. Turns out that 180bpm music is more effective!
Oct 2013
11:10am, 22 Oct 2013
3400 posts
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Agreed. Bit of drum n bass on the mp3 player and cadence is sorted :)
Oct 2013
1:39pm, 22 Oct 2013
4091 posts
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calibrated the Garmin footpod is very close to GPS in accuracy due to its accelerometer measuring the swing forces (some other makes are not so good, more like pedometers only measuring steps and assuming a standard stride length).

Still occasionally use the footpod but only for cadence having GPS on a fancier Garmin these days.
Oct 2013
1:55pm, 22 Oct 2013
3019 posts
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I had a Garmin footpod a few years back. It was ok when calibrated, but lost accuracy quite quickly - something I discovered at mile 7 of a 10k...It's was about as accurate as the Garmin iphone app, and it's much cheaper.

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Maintained by Pierre
I'm thinking of getting a watch with a heart rate strap and a footpod, so I can keep an eye on my H...

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