Not long ago, I saw a screenshot from Pete Larson of Runblogger showing results from a run that were collected from a device called MilestonePod. I immediately knew that I had to get my hands on one.
MilestonePod was initially introduced as a crowd funded Indiegogo project in early 2013. The initial devices were very straightforward. They automatically tracked the number of miles put on a pair of shoes. This was a valuable feature at the time because many running logs and sites were not tracking shoe mileage. Garmin for one just added this ability late in 2014 as an example.
While MilestonePod did not meet their funding goal, they were encouraged enough to release the product anyway. The original pods track shoe mileage and display the information in an app as shown below:
While the information is definitely useful and welcome, things have gotten really exciting in version 2. In this new version of the MilestonePod, the device tracks several valuable metrics. These include the following:
Distance: How far you ran
Pace: Average pace
Pace (peak): Fastest Pace
Duration: Total time of workout
Cadence: Average Number of steps per minute
Cadence (peak): Maximum steps per minute
Stance Time: Also known as ground contact time. Amount of time on average your foot remains in contact with the ground
Stance Time (peak): Average ground contact time taken from the fastest minute of the workout.
Stride Length: Average length of each step from the right foot and left foot touching the ground.
Footstrike: The percentage of time your foot contacts the ground first with the heel, midfoot, or heel.
Runficiency Score: A metric derived from cadence, stance time and stride length.
MilestonePod was kind enough to send me one of their version 2 pods and I excitedly put it on a pair of shoes to try out.
When I received the MilestonePod, I immediately installed it on my pair of Skechers GoRun 4 and synced it with my iPhone. When it found the device, it started to update. I took a couple Facebook Messages and then went off to the gym and ran on the treadmill.
When I was finished, I tried to sync the data and there was nothing there. I popped the battery and replaced it and finally got the phone to see it. Unfortunately, it seemed like there was no data. I then reset the device to go with another pair of shoes, my Kinvara 5s and started to sync it. The app advised me again that it had to update the footpod and this time I was patient enough to see that it was asking me to not interrupt the process while it was happening. I didn’t and it updated successfully. It also gave me the option to set the number of miles that already existed on the shoes. This was a nice touch.
Second and Third Use
Now that I got the MilestonePod synced up and ready to go, I took it out on two long runs with my Kinvara 5s.
The first of these runs had the following results:
I have been working on my foot strike for a while and increasing my cadence. I have been trying to hold a bit more of a mid-fore foot strike. Well, it appears that I may be missing the boat in the results.
I wore the footpad again and had slightly different results as shown below:
Well, there at least was some sign of a midfoot strike. Also, this was a 20 mile run and I was impressed that it got as close as it did for the distance. This was with no calibration, and the cadenced match my Garmin for both runs. After contemplating my foot strike issues, I decided that I should check the placement of the pod on my shoes and discovered that there may be a problem.
It appears that I suffered a case of failure to follow directions (it has happened in the past). I placed my MilestonePod between the first and second eyelet of the shoe instead of between the second and third eyelet as recommended in their video below:
So, I corrected the issue and put the MilestonePod on my shoe in the manner prescribed by the company. I then went on another run with the results below:
Sadly, it appears that my foot strike issue wasn’t caused by the placement of the footpad, but it is nice having the information. And that is the bottom line about this product. For $25, you are able to not only track miles on a shoe but also get some running dynamics to see if your form is as good as you would like it to be.
Keep in mind that getting this kind of information on a Garmin watch requires at least a Forerunner 620 which costs $400. Just this fact alone makes the MilestonePod an incredible bargain. It is inexpensive enough that you can buy more than one and have them on multiple pairs of shoes. You can then just reset them as you replace the shoes over time.
The MilestonePod can be bought at Amazon with my affiliate link below:
It appears that Amazon has sold out but more are on the way. In the meantime, you can visit the MilestonePod site at http://milestonepod.com/product/milestonepod/. Use coupon code “hamptonrunner” to get $5 off until 06/30/2015.