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I am used to run a lot. All the time outdoors rather than on a treadmill. Therefore, speed control is a little harder in my case.

I realized that my speed is far from being great, so I want to work on improving it. Of course, I can try and control it in general by pushing myself to run faster. However as another way to put more control of the speed would be some gadget that can accurately measure current speed, and, provide a low limit setting so that if my current speed falls lower that this limit it will notify me by beeping (for example). My question is if there is such a gadget that people use?

PS: There are mobile apps that "measure" your speed, but that number shown is an average on some interval of distance since all of them just use GPS for distance tracking and divide that distance by time interval between measurements. So mobile applications or GPS trackers are pretty much out of the question here as they won't be able to notify me immediately on speed being too low.

PPS: Have anyone tried Polar Footpod for this purpose?

  • @rrirower it clearly was saying in help that this is exactly on-topic question. Otherwise I'd have asked it in sports stackexchange – Alexey Kamenskiy May 22 '15 at 12:36
  • You are correct. I am retracting my vote. – rrirower May 22 '15 at 12:38
  • @AlexKey I've been given / played with both the Polar and Adidas miCoach/speed_cell trackers, and they capture the data you want. The miCoach has some target pace functionality but both app's currently appear aimed at post event analysis / playback. There's an official Bluetooth RUNNING_SPEED_AND_CADENCE spec, so I suspect there will be numerous generic toys / apps on the market soon, but most app's giving audio alerts based on Heart Rate zones, not pace / ground speed at present. – arober11 May 23 '15 at 20:26
  • Honestly, I'd say that, if you're looking for getting your speed up, your current immediate speed from second to second isn't really as important as an overall speed, which means the GPS tends to work just fine. – Sean Duggan May 24 '15 at 22:54
  • You're after exactly the same thing as me, except I'm going for a software solution... fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/24848/is-there-an-app-which-has-running-speed-goal-measures-speed-gives-audio-feedba – Ne Mo May 31 '15 at 15:40
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I have been working out with the Suunto Foot Pod Mini since 2012 and I have to admit that I love this gadget. It measures your current speed and distance and is compatible with the HR monitors (watches) from Suunto (e.g. Suunto t6d or Suunto M5) and quite accurate (measured 31,3km on a 31,1km run, I think that is an acceptable deviation). Furthermore it does not rely on GPS (I think it measures with the aid of ultrasound) and it is quite responsive - you can see your current speed during workout on your watch together with your heart rate (which is great for interval training). The battery does not deplete quickly. All in all a great tool (though no alarm when getting slower) and I do not regret the investment (about 300€ together with the t6d). The speed and HR info are a great way to improve speed :)

P.S: A friend of mine used the Polar Foot Pod (which was a bit bigger than mine) and it has the same features.

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I've not played with the Polar Footpod but have played with the similiar Adidas speed Cell + x-cell combo, and if you ignore the occasional bluetooth dropout, and can wait till you have a PC in front of you the gadget appears to be fairly accurate, but not precise. Per the link I stuck in my reply to: Time yourself at 100m sprint?, there have been a few reviews of tracking gadgets eg. GPS Accuracy of Garmin, Polar, and other Running Watches that gives the trueness of the distance figures.

Also per that previous answer, be very sceptical of the distance given by a GPS based app, that's unless you're running in a straight line. Depending on your app a GPS location will only be captured every 5 to 15 seconds (Google's MyTracks allows you to adjust the default 10 second figure, the other are fixed, but you can see their chosen interval by simply comparing the timestamps between reading, in an exported activity track). Essentially they are useless for track running.

If you do want a precise speed your only real options will either to be to set up some timing gates on your course, or limit yourself to running bleep fitness tests.

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  • Please re-read question. This isn't answering what has been asked. I don't need distance tracking and I don't need it after the training. I asked for a way to control (at the time) that my speed doesn't drop below certain number. – Alexey Kamenskiy Jun 4 '15 at 0:10
  • @AlexKey in which case I'd suggest you find a friend with a bike and cycle computer and ask them to set the desired pace on a course for you. The speed from a cycle computer / app will be precise, that or limit yourself to running on a track with a stopwatch, where the distances are fixed and known, so a precise speed can be calculated. Neither the Polar Beat or Adidas miCoach app's give what you want in real time; the only app that I'm aware that attempts to give a Current Speed is Runkeeper, but this is GPS based, so not precise. – arober11 Jun 4 '15 at 0:42

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