Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for new technology. So, when I saw something on Facebook the other day for Pear Sports and their new training device/app, I had to go take a look. It looks like there has been quite a bit of development on the device, and now they’re working on the mobile version. You can either purchase the device kit (device, headphones, heart rate monitor) or the mobile kit (headphones and heart rate monitor, and the app is free). I purchased the mobile kit.
(Note: PEARSports has not compensated me in any way for this. I purchased the mobile kit at full price, less discount from a coupon code that I got from 13.1 Sports that I saw on Facebook, and all opinions are mine.)
I ordered it a few days ago and it came yesterday. I got the heart rate monitor set up with the app yesterday. You wear the PEAR heart rate monitor and it transmits data to either the device or your iphone. The calibration workout is 20 minutes. It takes you all the way from Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)level 1 (very very easy) to level 6 (somewhat hard, where you’re breathing deeply but comfortably, and if you went any faster, you’d be straining). You do the calibration workout to set the levels for the program, and you re-test every 4-8 weeks as your conditioning improves.
I walked the 0.36mi to Lake Harriet this morning, and then it was time to do my @PEARSports calibration workout. My levels were the following:
RPE Level 1: relatively slow walk (5 min)
RPE Level 2: slightly faster walk (2 min)
RPE Level 3: fastest walk I can do (2 min)
RPE Level 4: racewalk (2 min)
RPE Level 5: 12:30/13:00/mi pace (2 min)
RPE Level 6: 10:15-10:30/mi pace (3 min)
Cooldown walk at RPE Level 1/2 (4 min)
The app calculates my lactate threshold heart rate based on the test at 171. And it sets my heart rate zone training levels:
Zone 1: 128-136 bpm
Zone 2: 137-163 bpm
Zone 3: 164-173 bpm
Zone 4: 174-179 bpm
Zone 5: 180-230 bpm
So, they have a training plan called “Faster 5k.” It’s 4 workouts a week for 10 weeks. I’m replacing the Galloway 5k app with this, and we’ll see how it goes. The mobile app is new, so they only have beginner 5k and faster 5k plans. The app says the 10K, 13.1, and 26.2 plans are coming. They do have quite a few other mobile plans for one-time workouts for running, cycling, strength training, etc.
A note for those trying to decide whether to buy the device or the mobile version: It looks like they have a lot more plans developed for the device, so if you’re looking for a lot of training plans or workouts being available right away, I’d recommend buying the device. But if you have relatively simple needs or can wait for the 10k/13.1/26.2 plans, like I can, the mobile app seems to work great! I’ll report in on each workout and tell you what I think of the app and the training technology, as well as tracking my improvements along the way.
After I finished the calibration workout, I walked the 0.36 mi back to the house and grabbed Jetta to finish out 3 miles. We walked 3 blocks up to 44th and York, across to Zenith, and then we jogged up the hill to 45th and Zenith. We walked the next block to 46th and Zenith, and then we ran as fast as we could down the hill to 47th and Zenith (7:39/mi pace for one block… hey, have to start somewhere!). We walked across to York, jogged up the block and back to the house to get to 3.04 miles for the day in 47 minutes.
It occurred to me today that really, this is about the journey I take to my second marathon in October 2014. With that in mind, I’m going to countdown to the first Sunday in October, 2014. October 4, 2014 is the day after my 40th birthday. We’ll see if I can finish my 2nd marathon that day. If not, it’s going to be a good ride to try to get there.