How Many Miles on Those Shoes?

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Before I had RunKeeper, I had a Garmin 201 and this Runner’s Training Diary:
^^broke my arm on Tuesday, went to the gym the next day (???), then had the NYC Blackout of 2003. Good job.

The training journal was also how I kept track of my shoes’ mileage:
Fun with numbers for the Math-challenged!

These days, I just try to remember when I bought my current pair of running shoes and check my mileage to date on RunKeeper. Better, but not ideal. If I decided to rotate more than one pair, for example, I’d have to switch to Nike+, which has a “shoe used” feature (RK doesn’t).

Or, for just $15, I might get one of these things:

This is a MilestonePod, a tiny device you attach to your shoe to keep track of how many miles you’ve run. It measures the position of the foot around 100 times a second using high-accuracy sensors/accelerometers… er, this is getting beyond me, so I just totally did the copy-paste thing from their Indiegogo page. The MilestonePod isn’t available on the market yet; they are currently raising funds to cover production costs. As of now, they are $15,012 into their $60,000 goal, with 20 days to go in the campaign.

I reached out to the MilestonePod team with a few questions, seeing how I have trouble with terms like “accelerometer.” (What is that, anyway?)

Here’s what I learned:

  • The MilestonePod may not be as accurate as your GPS watch if you go on a single run, but over time (and many miles) it will get you the same accuracy as pods by Polar, Garmin, Suunto… you know, the big guys.
  • This isn’t a mechanical device like a pedometer, but rather an accelerometer-based MEMS device. OK. I still don’t know what that means. But one of the team members used to be the manager of R&D for the developer of the sensors in XBOX Kinect, so I trust he understands the subject matter completely.
  • As you can see in the photos, the Pod has a USB input, which you can insert in any computer with a USB port to launch an application, which will include the user’s information. That’s cool. Kind of like RoadID for the computer-equipped, and more safety is always good.

[But do consider getting RoadID too, which will have your emergency information right there on your wrist for first responders. I mentioned recently that I ordered one after a biker fell and hurt herself badly right in front of me. They sent me a coupon code that you’re welcome to use: ThanksAleksandra19930072 for $1 off. It doesn’t sound like much, but the RoadID Slim is only $15.]

When it comes to running safely — and injury-free! — $15 isn’t a big price to pay. I hope the folks at MilestonePod meet their fundraising goal and get those pods in our hands on our feet soon!

To learn more:

FYI, I don’t get paid for writing this. I just like the idea.

Your turn: When do you retire a pair of running shoes? How do you track their miles?

Today’s run:

Easy:

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