These are products that are either already announced, in some form, or already released. I think they will all do well in 2017 and hope they will all make a positive difference to our training. Exciting times ahead for tri-gadget lovers.
LVL Hydration Monitor
Whilst cyclists ‘bang on’ about power meters and I occasionally mention running power meters more than I probably should, we could all instead be benefitting from one simple addition to our daily lives: hydration states.
BSX hopes to bring the LVL Hydration Band to market in August 2017 and their internal tests show +/- 0.5% accuracy. That’s good enough for me, if true.
I don’t need it to also be a HRM or an activity tracker (although I think it will be). I don’t need it to interface to my smartphone in real-time (it probably will) and I don’t even really need a Garmin CIQ data field (yet it will have one). The latter would be nice. All I need is my hydration status right here, right now. And ‘now’ can also mean at the end of my swim set when I’m waist deep in water.
Apparently, in the UK, simple dehydration is a major contributing factor to death of the elderly in hospitals. That’s pretty scandalous, if true.
When BSX get these out in the market, there will be one for my sporty wrist and one for my granny…just in case. Not in that order.
Price: About US$150 if you pre-order in Q1/Q2.2017
ALTERNATIVE: None that I know of. Really some clever person should build such a sensor into a HRM chest strap.
Trainesense // smartpaddle
Trainesense make the hand-worn smartpaddle for swimmers. No doubt it will morph into a triathlete’s swimming power meter at twice the price 🙂 But I’d be happy right now with a simple product that can measure simple force/vector measurements when in and out of the water during the stroke. And this looks to do just that. I think it is still a prototype but will hopefully hit the eShelves this year.
Some of you might be surprised at how quick they might be able to get to market. My understanding is that part of their hardware design is based on the Suunto MOVESENSE pre-built sensor. MUCH easier than designing it yourself when it’s been done many times before!
Everyone should have heard of STRYD. It’s a ‘wattever’ meter. I’m not quite sure if it measures Watts 🙂 But whatever it measures, in my opinion, is a good proxy for effort whilst running.
It can’t make a good cup of tea and it’s even worse at making latte. But it is a great tool for regulating running effort over mixed terrain. There are also other uses and other form/gait/efficiency metrics covered in the review, below. It’s also probably the most accurate running pace pod in the world. (Probably, like in the Carlsberg ad).
FWIW I use one for every run.
ESSENTIAL READING: STRYD Detailed Review
ALTERNATIVES: Some other running systems claim to produce power.
If STRYD measures ‘whatevers’ then so does Powerpod. In most cycling scenarios Powerpod is great at calculating Watts with a good degree of accuracy. It’s also considerably cheaper than a direct force power meter and easily swappable between bikes.
Perfect for the beginner and multi-bike owner
Perfect for the expert too. Why? Because if you combine the Powerpod, working on air pressure, with a ‘direct force/traditional’ power meter then the difference between the two sets of ‘watts’ equates to your aerodynamic drag. So you can work out how to tweak your riding position if you think about it. Cool.
ESSENTIAL READING: Powerpod review
There’s still no fully holistic training+coaching ecosystem for runners; although we are getting closer each year. SHFT is a neat run coaching system for providing real-time coaching feedback to help hone your running technique.
It could be slightly enhanced but it’s good for the money and can make a difference relatively quickly and inexpensively.
ESSENTIAL READING: SHFT Detailed Review
ALTERNATIVES: This could be one of the product areas where we see even more innovation this year. eg BOLTT, LUMO, KINEMATIX and others
You train 12 hours a week and yet you really have no idea how well you are recovering and adapting to the physiological stress of your training. You look at some of the stats on you Polar/Garmin/Suunto. Some of those stats are better than others but EMFIT’s stats are better (more comprehensive and more ‘correct’, IMO) than all of them. Actionable insights are key to a smart athlete. Seriously, every pro athlete should have something like this…I mean EVERY one, team sports and the keen ones like me, you, the lot of us.
Understanding the ‘getting better’ part of your training could be a game-changer for you.
If you can’t afford a whole-night monitoring system like QS EMFIT (or BEDDIT) then at least start taking waking HRV readings with ithlete or ELITE HRV. A little time-consuming and a little reliant on a specific reading over a few minutes rather than all night readings BUT you might find it to be worth a few pounds/dollars/euros for the app.
ESSENTIAL READING: Detailed Review QS EMFIT
ALTERNATIVE 1: Beddit 3.0 (Not reviewed, do NOT buy versions 1.0 or 2.0)
ALTERNATIVE 2: Most (all?) of the current crop of sleep trackers essentially look at basic heart rate (periodically) and physical movement. The new crop (2017) will add HRV analyses as already implemented by EMFIT and BEDDIT. You could wear a chest strap but …all night, every night? Perhaps not. but it WOULD be cheaper!
ALTERNATIVE 3: OURA Ring. I’m reviewing it right now (Apr 28th 2017) but probably have not updated this post yet to link to the finished article ;-). ‘Best’ sleep tracker ever ???