Milestone Pod review – Low cost much running data

The Milestone Pod is a low cost device that is clipped onto your running shoe, that collects data as soon as it senses movement. After your run you simply sync the data from your Milestone Pod to the MilestonePod App on you Android or iOS device.

I’m not a runner, but luckily my girlfriend is … and she is using a Garmin Vivofit HR in combination with a Wahoo Tickr Run heart rate strap. The Milestone Pod is perfect for use on treadmill in the basement, where GPS reception is less good.

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Milestone Pod Design

The Milestone Pod is s small run tracking device, that doesn’t need a GPS signal or needs to have an active real time connection with a smartphone. The third generation of the Milestone Pod measures 32 x 32 x 15 mm. and just weighs 13 grams CR2032 battery included. It’s simply small and compact, and is clipped easily on the shoe laces. The Milestone Pod Quick Start Guide helps you with attaching Milestone Pod correctly to your shoe: “twisting the Pod onto the holder until it clicks”.

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The battery is installed easily but unscrewing the battery door with a 20 euro-cents-coin and placing the CR2032 battery correctly in the door. Finally you need to screw-in the battery door until the door is in line with the back of the Milestone Pod. You will see a small LED light up once as soon as the battery is installed. The battery door of my Pioneer Power Meter has a rubber seal, but unless I’m mistaken I don’t see such a seal in the Milestone Pod. So it will be interesting to see how waterproof the Milestone Pod will be over time.

There is no on or off switch on the Milestone Pod. As soon as you start moving it starts measuring.

Milestone Pod Metrics

  • Cadence
  • Footstrike
  • Stride length
  • Ground contact
  • Leg swing
  • Rate of impact
  • Distance
  • Pace
  • Duration
  • Running efficiency score

It’s very cool to see that a small device like the Milestone Pod will measure and calculate 10 different running metrics. Some of these metrics aren’t even available on the girl’s Garmin Vivofit HR. So all in all an interesting device to start using to improve your running activities.

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MilestonePod App

Where the Milestone Pod is the measurement device, the companion Milestone Pod app is needed to sync and analyze your workout data. Please see the “Add your Milestone Pod for first time use” section below.

“Sync your Pod to the MilestonePod App to view detailed performance data and gait metrics.”

The Milestone Pod App is available for Google Android, Apple iOS and can be downloaded from the platform application stores. If you would like to be certain that the Milestone Pod application works, check the complete list with supported devices.

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MilestonePod App Menu

The MilestonePod app has an understandable menu structure, where you can get the most important information from the dashboard at start-up.

  • Dashboard
  • Rewards
  • Run Log
  • Insights
  • Add a Pod
  • Settings
  • Why it Matters

The dashboard provides a good overview of your recent efforts, while this is also the main place to start synchronization of your data. In the rewards section you will be able to track your rewards. however by the publication of this review nog rewards were present.

The run log is the place to be if you would like to get an overview of your workouts, but more important you can directly drill down in the various more advanced metrics. Via insights you can set sliders for cadence, stance time and stride length.

Via the Add a Pod menu option you can add a Milestone Pod. The steps to follow are described in the section below. Via the settings menu option you can export your workout data to Excel or change your profile info.

 

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Add your Milestone Pod for first time use

In order to sync the workout data from the MilestonePod to the Milestone Pod app you need to establish the connection first by following the steps below.

  • Download the Milestone Pod App from the application store;
  • Turn Bluetooth ON;
  • Open the Milestone Pod App;
  • Choose Register using e-mail and enter your e-mail address (only when you open the Milestone Pod App for the first time);
  • Click on the Menu icon in the upper left corner;
  • Choose the option “Add a Pod” and click on continue;

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MilestonePod App Screenshot 104515

  • Find your Milestone Pod in the list with search-able Pods and select it;
  • Enter the last two characters from Milestone Pod serial (in this example D8 are used for identification);
  • Configure your running shoe information (in this example Asics Cumulus 14 shoes);
  • After your shoe configuration you will get to the Milestone Pod Dashboard, which is the default screen from the app;

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MilestonePod App Screenshot 112007

You are ready to go. πŸ™‚

Using the MilestonePod

Well using the Milestone Pod is fairly simple. As soon as you start moving it starts measuring, so you don’t need to switch button on the Milestone Pod. You simply do your workout and when you are finished you turn on bluetooth on your smartphone.

You open the Milestone Pod App and hit tap to sync button in the upper left corner of the Milestone Pod App Dashboard. While the Dashboard shows you the latest information, you can zoom in on individual workouts via the run log menu item.

In each workout you get a load of data available from the metrics as described earlier in this review. The metrics are shown in a graph, however it is not possible to zoom in on certain time-frame, for example the interval you were doing uphill.

Using the Milestone Pod on Zwift

What personally interests me (as a cyclist) is the ability to use the Milestone Pod with Zwift. Zwift is a well known virtual reality platform that makes indoor cycling a lot more fun.

“Using the pod on Zwift requires a firmware update to Milestone’s real time beta firmware. Yes, their Zwift support is still in beta version… but it works!”

Eric Schalnge of ZwiftBlog used the Milestone Pod on Zwift and requested the beta firmware that enables the real time data synchronization. In addition you want to check out the Milestone Sports video How to: Pair MilestonePod with Zwift iOS App“.

However it is super cool to have this real time data available through Zwift, especially when you do a lot of indoor training on a treadmill.

 

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Concluding thoughts and wrap up

The Milestone Pod comes in a small package that is available for a customer friendly price point of EUR 30,-.  Installation and registration is fairly easy and very well described in the product documentation.

As soon as you’ve attached the Milestone Pod to your running shoes it is a matter of running and synchronizing your workouts into the MilestonePod App. And here comes the real work by analyzing the various metrics and compare it with your feeling and data from the girl’s Garmin Vivofit HR smartwatch. Running-technique-improvement experiments can be done easily. It gives more fun to a work out and taking the time to analyze some data brings a lot of awareness and focus pre- and post-workout.

Check-out the Gadgeteer review: “Milestone Pod run tracker (3rd generation) review” written by Dennis Moore. He does a cool hardware comparison with the previous generation Milestone Pod. Please also check-out a Dutch review of Jeroen van Omme: “De Molestone Pod Footpod” who also finds at a very cool device with lots of useful data.

Milestone Pod Business Models

Furthermore it is cool to see that Milestone Sports expands the Milestone Pod towards business-, research and educational use. The Milestone Sports team has clearly thought about different business models, which is fun to see. Check out the specific links below for more information (I did … πŸ™‚ )

What do you think of the Milestone Pod and what footpod do you use ?

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