20 Feb

The MOTOACTV watch….

For the last two weeks I have been playing around with the new watch by Motorola called the MOTOACTV. This combination GPS, heart rate monitor watch and MP3 player is taking a lead into a new category of what I expect to come in fitness style watches.

When I first heard about the MOTOACTV I was like what? And not sure I really understood but the more I play with it the more I like it and think it’s pretty darn cool. I’m not a person who likes to run outdoors with music and headphones (I do like it on a treadmill) but I do have to say the features this watch has for those who do like to run with music and headphones then look no further this is the watch for you! They make it in an 8gig or 16 gig size so it can hold plenty of tunes. Plug the watch into the computer downloads the software and then sync it with your Itunes library. Now that you have your music into the device it’s time to go running or cycling. The watch learns your heart rate and exertion levels and mixes the music according to how hard you are working out. So as you workout in a low zone 1 or 2 it will play a little more mellow tunes with a beat and tempo more in-line with how hard you are working. But as you pick up the pace and the heart rate starts to creep up into the higher zones the music it selects becomes more upbeat and rocking. My first time using this feature was interesting because not only does it mix your music and give me a pretty good playlist based on my effort I was running at it would then talk to me. I was about ¾ of a mile into my run and this voice comes on and says “you are running at a 6:04 mile pace, your heart rate is 140 and you have gone .70 of a mile” I was like what the… but then was like very cool. As my run went on at about mile 4 the voice came back on and said nice job keep your run stride between 170-180 strides per minute. That piece I was really digging on how the voice can interject at various times of your workout and talk to you telling you what you are doing and give some helpful tips to maybe keep you performing strong. The headphones that come with the watch are the best I’ve ever tried very comfortable and they stay in my ears! The pair I have is a wired pair but they do make blue tooth ones that are the same construction. That leads me to the next part of this watch that is super cool; it’s blue tooth capable so you can sync it with blue tooth headphones you can also sync it with your android phone and during a workout if your phone is within 30 feet of you and you get a phone call you can take that call via the watch and the headphones how crazy is that!

The MOTOACTV has a very nice touch screen and it adjusts contrast based on light. I did a run at 5:30am in the dark and this watch screen was lit up and very easy to read. You can set the screen up to 4 panels to look at and the menu gives you a plethora of options from heart rate to distance to speed etc… and you have various options if running or if cycling.
The GPS can be slow to load as when you activate that part it does a count down from 5 minutes to lock onto satellites but it does pick them up faster sometimes. The accuracy of the GPS and how it records my data I’m still trying to assess how it compares to other watches I own and use like my Garmin 205 or the Timex GPS Global trainer. Most of my runs this watch has been pretty darn accurate and good with its distance and over time and pace of my runs. But on one frigid cold minus 10 degree morning the watch did have some issues and part of it could have been me stopping and starting it and not getting it to lock on and go right away because the runner I ran next to with his Garmin on calculated 21 miles and my watch came up with 19.85 miles. But then a few days later in a beautiful warm sunny day I did a run with my MOTOACTV hooked onto my hip and my Garmin on my wrist and they came out 9 miles and 8.85 miles so pretty close.

The watch looks like an Ipod Nano basically and it slides into a watch band, a clip you can put on your waist, a bike mount or a armband. I love the versatility of that because if you run with music and are using the wired headphones versus the blue tooth ones it’s nice to just clip the watch to your hip run the wire up the back of your shirt and keep it out of your way (which of course you could not do if on your wrist).

MOTOACTV has fit tests in it and it saves your workouts and you can race yourself later if you do the same run course loop over and over you can race your old times on that course, you can put it in coach mode and have it talk to you for a workout. There really is a lot of options and functions with this watch its almost overload unless you are really techy.

I really think if you are in the market for a new fitness watch you need to look very closely at the MOTOACTV and consider it. There is no need to buy an Ipod Nano with this watch so money saved right there! The basic watch kit to get the device has a retail price of $249.00 but then you will want to add some of the extras maybe blue tooth headphones, heart rate strap etc… so then you pay extra for those or you can buy the bundle package that has everything you need including all the bike sensors you need for cadence, speed, etc…. and that kit runs $399.00 so again still very cost effective. I have been very impressed with this watch most of my experience with it has been running but this weekend I did test the cycling piece of it at the Frost Bike Expo and it worked nicely.
One last note on it the online software MOTOCAST is quite cool and downloads all your data and saves it so you can review it and learn from it. The data will even show you the playlist of music it mixed for you during each workout.

Pretty much this watch can do it all so give it a look and have fun!

And how about this I’m giving you a discount code if you want to buy one log into http://www.motorola.com and enter this code at checkout ACTV2501

I’ll keep you update as I learn more of the many features this watch has to offer.

Cheers
Coach MB

As for my workouts:
Saturday was a 20 mile run with the marathon training group. The first 10 miles kept pretty relaxed the second 10 miles we picked the pace up and ran mostly about 6:44-6:52 pace miles in-fact we never ran another mile over 7 minutes except for mile 19 at 7:05 then we picked it back up and finished strong. After that I rode a bike on a trainer for 3 hours at the Frost Bike Expo.

Sunday: after a very long Saturday and a night on the town I choose to just teach my 2 hour cycle class. I rode hard and I thought about running after but the body was a little tired, I had some things I needed to get done and so I choose to rest and give the legs a day off as they have been getting a little tired from so many consecutive days of workouts.

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