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ZwiftPOD Review

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Zwift Pod Review (Reviewed as Milestone Pod)

This Zwift Pod Review includes a brief overview and a more detailed look at the differing aspect of the POD.

Zwift bought Milestone in 2018

The Zwift POD has been around for a few years. It is now on its third hardware iteration and has moved on considerably from it’s first appearance as a souped-up shoe mileage tracker.

It currently has: some rather clever nuances; interesting levels of accuracy; and a low price tag. Q3.2017 looks to see some of the running metrics being broadcast over Bluetooth that are currently (10July2017) only visible ‘after-the-fact’ on the Milestone app.

Let’s take a look at the current version which has just got all the new released functionality (13 Jul 2017) and more on 5Dec2017

WHAT IS IT?

 

It’s a low-cost running gait pod for Bluetooth Low Energy devices which include: Polar V800, M400 and M430; Suunto Ambit3 and SPARTAN; Garmin Fenix 5 and 935 series. Interestingly it also work with ZWIFT RUN, STRAVA and several other running apps.

WHAT DO YOU GET?

It’s a footpod that is powered by a CR2032 battery and is easily transferable between shoes.

The free companion app tracks your shoe mileage and gives you various bits of feedback on your runs.

You can even subscribe to personalised feedback which, after your run, comes in the form of an email giving you tips on how to, for example, improve your ground contact time.

HOW DO YOU USE IT?

 

Pretty simply you just attach it on to your running shoes by going over two laces; pair to your watch/app and run. There are no buttons to press.

As you run, you look at the ‘standard’ data on your 3rd party app or supported watch. Additionally, or instead, you synchronise with the MILESTONE app when you get back home to delve deeper into the running data.

WHAT DATA DO YOU GET?

 

You get these standard metrics: cadence; ground contact time; duration; and distance/stride length/pace. These are the only ones that your Bluetooth sports watch MIGHT be able to display and interpret.

 

You also get: footstrike (mid, fore, heel); rate of impact; leg swing; and the proprietary RUNFICIENCY metric on the app.

The app has some straightforward and nice charts showing how stride-length, GCT, cadence and RUNFICIENCY all vary with PACE.

The RUNFICIENCY metric is a composite of the other metrics and is actually good at focussing the mind on improvement. Much more so than knowing your GCT is 218ms…what would that mean to you?

IS THE DATA ‘CORRECT’

 

Anecdotally it seems in line with some of the comparable metrics on Garmin Connect and it generally agrees with my view of myself as a runner.

For example, it says I could swing my ankle higher and that my RUNFICIENCY is 88% – I’d agree with that. However, it sometimes says I heel- and mid-strike approximately equally and, on those occasions, I would say that was wrong and that I fore and mid-strike approximately 20:80 when ‘fresh’ (and the wear on the sole of my running shoes would agree with me on that analysis) – the accuracy of the footstrike categorisation does seem to vary somewhat from run-to-run.

DISTANCE – INSTANT PACE ACCURACY

 

After my first runs I can’t be definitive. However the distance recorded seems reasonable even when uncalibrated. Others report ‘GOOD’ accuracy when calibrated…I’ll withhold judgement on that for a while.

When comparing INSTANT PACE on one watch with that on another watch worn at the same time there is a clear improvement over basic GPS-derived instant pace. The instant pace from the Zwift Pod seems broadly in line with a Garmin footpod, maybe a bit better. It does not seem as accurate as STRYD – which often seems ‘spot on’ but, of course, carries a significantly higher price tag. Let’s see later what further calibration brings.

TIPS + TIDBITS

IMAGES

Here are two slide shows.

The first shows some of the screens on the app. They are nice and simple and have, very much, a parkrun-aesthetic about them. The general flow and cleanness of the app is good.

The second slideshow shows some images of the  ZWIFT POD pairing to various watches – I’d still refer you to the link at the start of this post that shows the officially supported watches. I have not fully tested the ZWIFT with all of these watches. All those listed as supported seemed to pair except the Polar M400 which did not seem to want to play ball.

 

SUMMARY

It’s a cool little device.

Even as a basic footpod, for pace and cadence, the price makes it a ‘no-brainer’.

BUT you also get a neat gait-analysis app thrown in AND you get what looks to be a fairly accurate pace sensor – certainly ‘usable’ unlike the GPS on your watch for ‘instant’ pace.

To track shoe mileage you really need one POD per shoe pair. At $20 I’d do that but I might think twice at £30.

ALTERNATIVES

Personally I prefer to use STRYD for a few other reasons but STRYD is notably more expensive. I would say that I ALWAYS use a pod when I want to run to certain pace targets, most notably in shorter intervals. I used to use Garmin pods (I think I have 3) but STRYD has weaned me off Garmin and my recent semi-conversion to Suunto & Polar has forced me to use a Polar STRIDE sensor because of Bluetooth. I guess I’d have no problems using the Zwift POD there and superficially the Zwift POD might even be more accurate.

STRYD Review after 2000 miles | Running Power | Footpod Meter 2020 |

SHFT – detailed review of a dual app- and pod-based running coach

 

Best REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices typically $/£/Eu25 and UNlikely to fall.

 

PRICE, DISCOUNT and AVAILABILITY

Prices tend to hover up to around US$/Eu/£30 and there is generally good stock although it did seem to sell out in May/June 2017.

 

10% discount page
Best REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. Prices typically $/£/Eu25 and UNlikely to fall.

 

Best REI/Wiggle/PMC price is linked to. $70/Eu65/£50 and might fall in 2018.

For the UK and Europe I partner with the retailer New Running Gear you can get a 10% discount on most things by using the code TFK10 directly with their site as you would with any other online coupon or online promotion .

 

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