This post is about running accessories I have purchased in the last few months. Do I NEED them? No. Do they make me FASTER? No. Do they make me a BETTER runner? No. Are you they good to have? Well, anything expensive is good to have.
Plantronics Backbeat FIT wireless headphones
An acquaintance recommended these earphones but I didn’t want to spend Rs 7490 (Rs 6,100 on amazon). I picked up cheaper wireless headphones in a local store but was horrified with the fit. I relented and bought this one.
Here are the features:
- 6 hours of run time which is awesome. You can comfortably use this for a full marathon
- The fit is awesome. It does not move up and down or let air in while am running. This was my biggest worry before purchasing it and am very happy with it
- It takes an hour to charge it completely which is quite good
- You have to press the black cover on right ear to turn it on, pair it with your phone and you are good to go. It connects automatically if turned on and the phone’s bluetooth is on
- Music quality won’t be as great as the Apple headphones but that’s ok. I can live with it.
- When you turn it on, the earphones will let you know if the charge is high or medium or low. Even it it is low, there is 45 mins of charge left.
- This does not pair with an Ipod which is very unfortunate but I carry a phone while running so not a problem for me. The phone is just incase I get stuck somewhere and need to call for help. All runners carry their phone along. After all, we run on Indian roads and anything could go wrong.
- You can move forward to the next song on the controls but I still don’t know how.
- The volume was low on my Windows phone and reasonably high on the Iphone. While running, you should keep the volume low enough to be able to hear traffic so you stay safe.
The wireless headphones come with this spiffy phone case. This is the best case I have used and keeps my phone safe during mild rains. If I had to purchase this quality pouch (it isn’t available though), it would cost me atleast 2k.
Overall, am happy with these earphones and have not had any issues with them. They are perfect for runners. Though, if you are looking for wireless earphones for listening to music, I wouldn’t recommend them. These are strictly for use while running. You may not even be able to use them at the gym because they are not loud enough to drown out the music played at gym.
Tom Tom multi cardio GPS watch
It is a sportswatch which can track runs, swimming and cycling. There is a version available which tracks only runs. But since I swim (during summers) and have started cycling, I decided to buy this one.
Available at Rs 19,974 on amazon (MRP is Rs 23,499). This watch has a heart rate monitor which makes it awesome. You don’t need a separate chest strap, the HRM tracks your heart rate through the pulse on the wrist.
I have a little trouble removing the dial but that’s a good thing. It means the dial will not fall at any time. The three dots on the right turn on the light when tapped. This is for using it in the dark. The button below the dial is used for scrolling.
- Battery claims to last for 1 month without charging. I need to charge it every 15 days and it takes less than an hour to charge fully
- The GPS is very, very quick. It takes less than a minute to get the GPS. I had an issue during SCMM in Mumbai but it was my fault. I had 30 mins to turn on the watch and let it catch the GPS but only did so when the race started.
- The watch can be used outdoors and indoors for treadmill and freestyle.
- Treadmill needs calibration when it is used for the first time. I have used it only once so cannot comment on the accuracy
- Freestyle can be used for gym workouts but there is an issue. This watch needs a GPS to track anything and GPS can be found only outdoors. The only way to work around this is to turn on the watch outdoors, let it catch GPS, pause it and resume it once indoors. Worked for me recently.
- You can have different kind of runs – speed/distance/time goal or interval or zones basis your heart rate to ensure maximum fat burn. I am still exploring these features.
- You can also add your best runs and race them. For example, I can add my best half marathon here and then try and beat it next time. Everytime you are ahead, the watch will vibrate and show “1” on the screen. It will show “2” when your run is slower.
- The watch stores maximum 10 recent activities. You just have to sync the watch to your app on the desktop or on your phone every few days. Easy peasy.
- While running, the watch gives me information of distance, pace, speed, heart rate, time, calories. You need to use the button below the dial to scroll down. You can customise what you see on which screen. For example, I only need distance, time and current pace while running. For all the other info, I scroll through the screen.
- When the watch is on, the green light will be on. This means the HRM is ready to measure.
This is the charger. You have to place the back of the dial in the seat and connect to a charger.
That’s the app on my Iphone.
A list of my activities on the app.
The info available on the app after syncing the activity:
Distance, time, calories, pace, average heart rate, strides/min, map.
And… heart rate per km along with pace and speed.
Does one NEED a sportswatch? No. I had to buy one because my phone was giving me an error of – 400 m per 5 km run. It translated to atleast a 1 km difference in a half marathon which is huge when you are training for timing. I love the watch and have had no issues with it. The heart rate monitor is a huge bonus because in other brands you either need a chest strap or the watch is more expensive.
I was used to getting updates through the runtastic app while running every few km so I wondered if it would be the same with a sportswatch. I like not getting updates on distance and time every few km and find it easier to just look at the watch.