Milestone Footpod – Initial Thoughts July 2018

Even though I ordered the Milestone Footpod by accident from Amazon, it was something that I was interested in looking at closer after reading a little about it and how it was recently acquired by Zwift. I was putting on my Wishlist, but when I made an order the other night, it showed up in the same package.

I had lost my Garmin Footpod last spring and was looking for a replacement for running on the treadmill and the Milestone seemed like a pretty good option to replace it. My Garmin 230 is not very accurate when I am using the run indoor activity setting. At about half the cost of the Garmin Footpod, the MilestonePod was a better value and looking at the website a few more metrics were being measured.

It seems that I was supposed to have the MilestonePod sooner rather than later.

Sometimes things happen for a reason – now to figure out what the reason was.

Enough background, let’s get to what I think after my first couple of runs with it this morning.

Unpacking and setup was quick and easy. Syncing between the pod and IOS app was done quickly. It was probably one of the easiest setups that I have done in a long time. It was intuitive and any questions I had were quickly answered on their website.

I did do a lot of reading of Milestone blog’s posts to get an idea on how things really worked and how to interpret the data that was going to be provided. I just wanted to learn more about the device and how it was supposed to help me with my running.

Today

This morning I wanted to run a mile to calibrate it to my Garmin 230’s GPS. The Garmin came in at 1.01 and Milestone pod 1.11 (out of the box), so that is pretty close.

I have a feeling that I will calibrate my runs a few more times for my own peace of mind. Although I imagine that I will have to re-calibrate when I move it onto the treadmill at some point. Which is the real reason that I looked at the Milestone Footpod in the first place.

So what did I learn from the first runs using the Milestone Footpod?

I am a heel striker – yeah, no news there.

Rate of Impact – Surprisingly I did a lot better here than I thought I was, especially when I was bombing down the big hill.

Leg Swing – this is something that I have to work on. I need to get things into the high range and I am primarily in the mid range – not quite an old man shuffle, but it means that I am not using my gluteus (my butt) as much as I should and extending the legs. I knew this, but to see in graph form really make it obvious what I am doing.

Cadence – Was over 170 – right about where I have been for a while. If I am running faster my cadence is faster. Although I was surprised at how well I maintained my cadence going up the big hill.

Stride Length – When I have a longer stride length – I go faster. No surprise there. When I shortened the stride to go uphill with a higher cadence my pace slowed. 🙂

Ground Contact – The lower the better, I did pretty good until I started going back up the big hill and then as my pace got slower, the ground contact time got higher and then when I picked the pace back up the ground contact got lower. While it wasn’t bad for the 8:00 minute or so pace I had for most of the run, it did show that I can improve, though I will never get to that elite level of sub 200 ms.

Runficiency – This is Milestone’s overall scoring of your run and it gives a score that can be used for comparison purposes.

So far the Milestone Footpod and app have piqued my interest and make me want to see if I can change some of the metrics for the better, even when I am running slower??? I don’t know if that is possible, but it will be interesting to work on.

I did run into one glitch – when I attempted to upload my data to Strava, I got the spinning wheel of death and had to send an email to support to see if I was doing something wrong or if there was a bug.

Other than that, not having to rely completely on a GPS watch as much, is something that I think is a good thing. If I want to use my Ironman watch, I can and still get mileage states that I like. Also it gives me some information on other things that I have wondered about, but never figured out how I could measure them.

The MilestonePod lets me do this to a certain extent – no I just have to figure out how reliable it is for me. Like anything else that is new, you have to gain confidence in it. So far things seem pretty promising and I am looking forward to using it.

By the way it is waterproof, after this morning’s runs in the rain it still works just fine.