JUMP TO:

BUY NOW:

  • Amazon.com

COROS Pod 2 In-Depth Review: A Missed Opportunity

COROS has announced a new ‘Pod’, now becoming the second edition of such Pod units. This pod is a blend between a glorified footpod for smoother and more instant running pace, as well as a running efficiency metrics pod that gathers added data like ground contact time and vertical oscillation. The previous COROS Pod was attached just to your running shorts, but this new pod can be placed on your shoe or running shorts. And perhaps one day they’ll allow alternative placements for alternative sports. But today it’s all about running.

The main goal of the POD 2 is simply faster instant pace, and more stable instant pace. That’s because while GPS continues to get better, there are some cases where instant pace from a footpod is faster in big pace shifts (like intervals). Of course, unsaid is there are also scenarios where footpod-based pace isn’t as awesome (like very steep terrain that doesn’t have a consistent stride, or sometimes changes in surfaces – like running on sand). Nonetheless, the aim for the COROS Pod 2 is to provide better pacing in tough GPS signal environments, such as city running, or perhaps some dense trees. Additionally, they say it’s also targeted for indoor running, which otherwise would depend on wrist-based pace (usually quite good, but again, there are always caveats).

With that, let’s talk about what’s new.

What’s new:

DSC_4320

The new Pod 2 is a bit more expensive than the Pod 1, coming in at $99 versus the existing $69. There are both new features, but some removed features. In the case of the feature removals (running power), they won’t matter much since on COROS watches running power still comes from the wrist anyway.

– Adds pod-based running pace & distance
– Adds pod-based running cadence
– Adds pod-based stride length
– Adds pod-based temperature
– Adds pod-based altitude
– Adds pod-based elevation gain/loss
– Unrelatedly adds COROS Effort Pace
– Added magnetic compass
– Nifty charging case that also is a mini battery bank (5 charges worth)

Further, it maintains the following data types from the POD V1, when worn on the waist:

– Keeps Left/Right Balance
– Keeps Ground Contact time
– Keeps Stride Height
– Keeps Stride Ratio

Here’s a quick specs sheet overview with all the geekiness included:

Pod2Specs

So in short, it can be used in both footpod mode (on your running shoe), as well as on your running shorts/waist (where it does running efficiency metrics mode). The price is $99 (the previous POD1 was $69). It includes two shoe clips, and one waist clip.

Using the Pod:

This section will be silly short, because frankly, once it’s paired up, there’s nothing additional to see as a footpod – it just provides more stable pacing data. When worn on the waist, you will see additional data for running efficiency metrics (the same as with Pod 1). Further, in both cases, it provides data in a blended manner for stats like altitude and temperature. In fact, now’s a good time to look at this chart to figure out which data source comes from which thing. Note that the pod does not provide running power, that comes from the wrist. Also note, this chart is probably confusing AF at first glance. That’s actually OK, it’s more of a reference thing:

COROSPodSpecs

So, after tapping/whacking/shacking/whatevering your pod, the thing will wake-up and the little light will blink. At this point, it’s ready for pairing.

You’ll go into the accessories menu on your COROS watch (it’s only compatible with COROS watches, except the Pace 1, which isn’t compatible at all). Note that you’ll need to update your watch firmware if you haven’t done so since the date of this post shown above (Oct 27th, 2022), in order to pair with the pod.

clip_image001[6]

Once paired, it’ll show as connected, the pairing happens via Bluetooth. There are two options, one to change which orientation it’s in (footpod or waist, but I just left it on auto), as well as an orientation calibration option (for the internal compass).

clip_image001[8]

Now, we’ll go ahead and start a run. You’ll notice a new run screen while waiting for GPS, that shows the Pod 2 status on the left side:

clip_image001[10]

After that, we can press start and begin running. You might at this point also notice the pace data field has a slightly different name now, to indicate the Pod is connected and providing that data source. This is a nice touch, even if probably unnecessary. If the pod is not connected, it won’t show this added text.

clip_image001[12]

In addition, if you’ve got other data fields like temperature or altitude added/shown, the data is used including the pod data, as noted above in that fancy chart. At this point, everything else is the same. There are no other differences here from a running footpod standpoint.

Instead, let’s switch it up and run with it on our running shorts. In this configuration we’ll trade the pace data, and instead get the running efficiency metrics data: Ground Contact Time, Stride Height, Stride Ratio, and L/R balance. We still maintain temperature/elevation/altitude data, but lose pod-based distance, pace, cadence, stride length, and L/R balance. Further, we also lose the so-called ‘GPS track enhancement’.

clip_image001[16]

In this configuration, there’s nothing for you to do, it automatically figures out which position it’s in, and provides data streams accordingly. Now you’ll see that data on the watch, as well as in the app afterwards:

clip_image001[18]

Finally, if looking at a treadmill scenario, you’d want to use it as a footpod (obviously). However, if you want to use it on a platform like Zwift Running, you can’t pair directly to Zwift (as the Pod doesn’t transmit data via any open standards). Instead, you’ll broadcast with your COROS watch to Zwift, and the COROS watch will use the inputs from the Pod and re-transmit them to Zwift. This works fine of course, but kinda undercuts the entire point of a faster-responding pace device, since now we introduce another roughly 1-2 seconds of lag in there for the re-transmission.

Finally, for charging, you simply snap it into its little charging coffin, and plug in a USB-C cable. I found that while it charged just fine connected to my Mac, for some odd reason, it flickers when connected to my Lenovo Windows laptop (any port – also providing endless connected/disconnected messages). I’ve had no other device do this, so I’m not sure what’s going on there, but I have tried multiple USB cables without luck.

DSC_4324

It has a small charging light on the top to let you know what the current status is. Battery life is claimed at 28 hours of running usage, and 50 days of standby usage.

Effort Pace – Let’s Chat:

clip_image001[20]

Effectively unrelated to this entire Pod situation is a new ‘term’ they’re also announcing today, which is ‘Effort Pace’. COROS says the following:

“Due to the limitations surrounding Running Power, COROS has made the decision to keep Wrist Based Running Power as a metric for its users, but not develop this metric any further at this point. Rather, we are introducing a new metric, Effort Pace, that COROS can personalize to athletes, and continue to develop well into the future. Effort Pace will surpass Running Power as the metric becomes customized to each individual regardless of environmental factors.
Athletes can still pair with Stryd for a full Running Power experience if preferred.”

So what is Effort Pace? Well, Effort Pace is simply the previously named ‘Adjusted Pace’, now renamed. As COROS themselves notes:

“Adjusted Pace will now be named Effort Pace and will be further developed to take into account many environmental factors other than just uphill and downhill gradient.”

To which you might ask, what is “Adjusted Pace”? No problem, from their support site, “Adjusted Pace” is just what everyone else in the world calls “Grade Adjusted Pace” (GAP).

But wait, I thought Effort Pace was different? No, not yet. COROS says that at an unannounced time in the future, Effort Pace will include new data components that make it different than the current Effort Pace, and in turn, will do different things:

“Currently Effort Pace has the same data inputs as GAP, so while the algorithms are not identical they are incredibly similar measurements at this time. In the future we plan to include: temperature, humidity, altitude, and more.  Before end of the year: Effort Pace will be individualized to distinguish runner’s personal strength or weakness running flat, uphill or downhill.”

So, to complete this circle: Effort Pace was Adjusted Pace, which is just another word for Grade Adjusted Pace. The only difference is COROS is putting a crapton of marketing behind this Effort Pace concept, without actually defining what the heck it is. I could rename it OreoPace or BeerPace and it’d carry as much usefulness of a term (except OreoPace would likely be trademarked by Mondelēz International, and thus have to get renamed again to BlackAndWhiteCookiePace).

If you’ve been around the block here long enough, you know that nothing gets me more annoyed than companies “re-imagining” existing sports tech terms without any benefit to either consumers, or at least the sports tech industry. Further, COROS seems to think the industry is going to follow them on this term, but there’s exactly 0% chance of that happening. First of all, all their competitors are…well… ‘competitors’ – and have no desire to see COROS succeed. And secondly, most of them are already using the industry-agreed-upon term for this metric. Thirdly, COROS isn’t doing themselves any favors here by introducing a pod that’s compatible with (also) exactly 0% of the pre-existing industry standards.

The new COROS Pod 2 does not support the Bluetooth Smart footpod profile used by every app and almost every watch out there (even COROS’s own watches). Nor does the Pod 2 support the ANT+ footpod profile also used by many apps and any watch that supports ANT+. The BLE profile has been around about a decade, and the ANT+ profile has been around probably 15 years or so now. Not to mention the COROS Pod 2 doesn’t support the already established ANT+ Running Dynamics profile either.

Look – I’ve got no problems with new metrics as long as said metrics can be defined, provide value to consumers, or provide standardization to the industry, or heck, just do something at all. At this point, Effort Pace doesn’t do anything except confusingly rename a very functional term.

A Data Dive:

Now, there are two basic buckets of data types the pod produces:

A) Pacing related bits (e.g., as a footpod)
B) Running efficiency related bits (e.g., ground contact time, etc.)

Practically speaking, the pacing portion is where most of the (marketing) focus from COROS is on the new Pod 2, and technically speaking, comparing things like VO/GCT/etc is really tricky. Plus, it’s been done before.

So I really wanted to dig into a couple of broad claims that COROS made on the Pod 2, to see if they held water. These claims are roughly:

A) That GPS pacing is too slow to respond
B) That the Pod 2 is far faster to respond

And no better way to do that than to line up their competitors, and themselves on a not-so-simple 2KM circuit and do some tests in different configurations with different devices to see how things handle. This circuit included two passes under a three-bridge 10-12 lane highway/train overpass, as well as passing some tall buildings (and trees). It was perfect for a scenario of ‘lost GPS’ signal. In total, I was looking at pacing sources from the following units:

1) COROS Pod 2
2) COROS Vertix 2 (no external sensors)
3) Garmin Forerunner 955 (no external sensors)
4) Stryd as a footpod/pacing data
5) Garmin HRM-PRO Plus (for pacing data)

These were attached to a variety of watches, and all the data pulled together on the DCR Analyzer. Now, because I’d rather just show you data, let’s get straight into three scenarios that are easy to demonstrate:

Scenario 1: Zero to Steady-State Pace

In this scenario, I started from a stand-still, and then simply started running at my long-run easy pace (roughly 4:40/km or 7:30/mi). It takes about 1 second for me to stabilize on this pace once I push off. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s running incredibly steady without looking at a watch. Said differently, if a device can’t get stable pace results on me, it’s got issues. I did each of these tests about half a dozen times, and the below figures are essentially the average of those attempts, with outliers noted. The time noted is time until it reached my actual pace/stabilization

COROS Pod 2: 6 seconds
COROS Vertix 2 (no sensors): 8-10 seconds
Garmin Forerunner 955 (no sensors): 6-7 seconds
Garmin HRM-PRO Plus strap: 6 seconds
Stryd V2: 5-6 seconds

Now, at this point, you want to see me demonstrate this on a graph, and that’s actually surprisingly tricky. It’s essentially a ‘tree falls in the forest’ problem. That’s because a graph of pace won’t show pace when standing (duh, it’s zero), but consequentially, won’t show pace when the sensor is lagging/thinking from a standstill. Thus, it’s impossible to show what’s zero versus what’s “thinking zero”. Think of it like Jeopardy. There’s no difference in the answer time between a contestant that hasn’t pressed the button, versus one that presses the button but hasn’t given an answer. Both answers are still zero. Finally, adding even more complexity to it, is that while GPS watches do sync their time of day via satellite & Bluetooth (which is used for the chart alignment), the reality is that’s only accurate within about 1-2 seconds in most cases – which isn’t quite enough for our purposes. So I’ve re-aligned the charts based on what I actually recorded while running, so data alignment matches to observed reality. Got all that? Good.

Here’s the first chart, showing Zero to Steady State, with the COROS Pod:

Zero-Run-WithPod

And then showing the Vertix 2 without the COROS Pod:

Zero-Run-NoPod

As you can see, the TLDR here is that the COROS Pod/FR955/HRM-PRO consistently landed at stabilization in about 6 seconds. Sometimes the FR955 was 7 seconds, sometimes actually quicker at 5 seconds. But usually 6 seconds. Stryd tended to be about 1 second faster, at around 5 seconds. The Vertix 2 was consistently always the slowest (by a lot) at 8-10 seconds.

Scenario 2: Already Running to Interval Sprint:

In this scenario, I was at either an easy recovery pace or a steady-state long-run pace, and then accelerated up to an interval pace. In this case, I did intervals at roughly 3:30/km or 5:36/mi.

COROS Pod 2: 3 seconds
COROS Vertix 2 (no sensors): 6-14 seconds (or worse)
Garmin Forerunner 955 (no sensors): 4 seconds
Garmin HRM-PRO Plus strap: 6-8 seconds
Stryd V2: 3 seconds (but then overshooting)

In this case, we can see the benefit of the footpods by both Stryd and COROS, reducing that time to about 3 seconds. However, the Forerunner 955 was no slouch, a mere 1 second behind. Interestingly, I found that in the acceleration test, the HRM-PRO was actually a bit slower – around 6-8 seconds in total (or about 3-5 seconds behind). The Vertix 2 without a pod? In the best-case scenario it was 6 seconds, but it was often upwards of 10-14+ seconds. It seemed to depend on whether it was a slower ramp (which it did worse), or a shaper transition (it did better).

Here’s the first chart, showing steady-state to interval, with the COROS Pod:

Run-to-SprintWithPod

And then showing the Vertix 2 without the COROS Pod. I’ve made markers showing the Stryd overshoot, stabilization of most, and then the COROS Vertix 2 overshoot staying high on pace for another 10 seconds after I slowed down. Heck, so did Stryd.

Run-to-SprintWithoutPod

This is very hard to show on charts due to the scale. Instead, it’s easier just to see the lag on the screen in real-life. But the long and the short of it, which you can even see above, is the Vertix 2 takes forever to change pace without the pod.

Scenario 3: Stopping:

This was my favorite scenario. I simply stopped running abruptly, then recorded how long it took each watch to zero-out. I did this multiple times, and each time the results were +/- 1 second, so the graphs will vary slightly for each iteration. But the general gist of it was:

COROS Pod 2: 4-5 seconds
COROS Vertix 2 (no sensors): 6-8 seconds
Garmin Forerunner 955 (no sensors): 5-6 seconds
Garmin HRM-PRO Plus strap: 5-6 seconds
Stryd V2: 4 seconds (but sometimes stayed weirdly above zero)

This one was pretty straightforward, and basically matched what we see in earlier tests. The two footpods were very similar, though I will note that while Stryd showed a zero value in pace on the screen, in reality the watch was writing very low non-zero pace numbers to the file. I don’t know if this is a Stryd issue, or a Garmin issue, because I don’t know precisely what Stryd was transmitting. From a practical standpoint while running it didn’t matter, since the display showed 0:00 (which basically happens once you fall below ~20 mins/kilometer), meaning it tripped the lower pace threshold.

StrydLeftover

Anyways, as with the other tests, the Vertix 2 by itself was the slowest of the bunch.

Scenario 4: Pace Stability:

Next, let’s just look at some of the steadier state sections where I’m running along. Both without a tunnel, and with a tunnel. As you can see here, without a tunnel (mostly open sky), it’s perfectly fine. I thought it was interesting to see the Stryd differences in a few spots, especially since those spots didn’t match what the others were doing.

PaceStability-WithPod

And then a tunnel circuit without the pod, the Vertix 2 is also stable. The Stryd seems a bit more frisky this time. That could be real, or not.

PaceStability-NoPod

As I noted above, I tend to run very stable, and as a result, watches tend to be pretty stable with my numbers in this area. Maybe I just need to stand by the side of the running trail with a sign that says “Help Wanted: Inconsistent Runner Needed”.

Scenario 6: GPS Track Enhancement:

One of the items that’s included in the Pod 2 is GPS track enhancement. Meaning, it’s likely using gyros inside the pod to provide a secondary source of data for the COROS watch to figure out which direction you’re running. This can then act as a sounding board in bad GPS data environments (e.g., cities, bridges, tunnels, etc…). So again, let’s look at that. Here are two back-to-back images of running under this umpteen-lane bridge where we lose GPS. We can see how well it performs there with and without the pod.

First, the tunnels, comparing the Pod 2 (orange) with non-pod. Seems mostly a wash, though, the Vertix 2 actually did slightly better exiting the tunnels than the Pod 2 did, as it went into the water a bit.

GPS-WithPod GPS-NoPod

And then on a straightaway section with a few buildings, the Pod 2 track did considerably worse, being across the street and in some buildings. Positions of all watches were identical between the two circuits, and exact path run would have been within 1 meter at any point for each circuit.

GPS-NoPod2GPS-WithPod2

In fact, in looking at all the data on these circuit sets, in almost every location the Pod 2-assisted GPS did worse. I’m not sure it’s something I’d want connected at this point for GPS assistance.

Scenario 5: Treadmill Stability:

clip_image001

In this test, I went through three different treadmill paces. Basically just presets on the treadmill. One can argue all day on whether or not a treadmill is accurate, though, this particular one has largely been pretty close to accurate. Notably though, this specific Forerunner 955 was just factory reset yesterday, and as such hasn’t had much time to accumulate pace-learning for each pace level. Thus, I wouldn’t overthink that specific line for this chart. Here’s how each of the three levels performed:

Steady-State Run – 12.1KPH (Peloton Tread):

COROS Pod 2: 11.5KPH
Stryd V2: 11.3KPH
Garmin HRM-PRO Plus: 11.6KPH
Forerunner 955 Wrist: 13.5KPH

Sprint Pace – 20.1KPH (Peloton Tread):

COROS Pod 2: 17.8KPH
Stryd V2: 18.3KPH
Garmin HRM-PRO Plus: 20.0KPH
Forerunner 955 Wrist: 21.7KPH

Walking Pace – 4.0KPH (Peloton Tread)

COROS Pod 2: 4.0KPH
Stryd V2: 4.0KPH
Garmin HRM-PRO Plus: 3.2KPH
Forerunner 955 Wrist: 3.6KPJ

For all these values, I took it once the treadmill belt speed showed that it had stabilized. Since this treadmill doesn’t quite ramp up as fast as some, there was no meaningful difference between the ramp rates of the sensors and the treadmill itself. There were, of course, pace differences.

Accuracy Summary:

So in summary, these results show a few interesting – if not somewhat surprising things. Much of the reasoning from COROS to buy a pod is that it’s more responsive. And yes, that’s true – but it’s actually most impactfully true for their own watch, and less so for the primary competitor. In the case of the equally-priced Garmin Forerunner 955, it either was *at worst* 1 second behind the pod, but often either equal – or even occasionally a second ahead. Compared to Stryd, the COROS Pod was usually about 1 second behind, or equal in some cases.

What about pace stability? Well, again, using equally modern watches, the FR955 pace stability, even in the ‘tunnels’ was perfectly stable – matching that of the footpods. Because again, modern watches don’t just use GPS for pacing. They use wrist-based measurements to blend with that satellite data, something Suunto for example used to call FusedSpeed.

Undoubtedly, at this point someone will comment “One time at band camp, my XYZ watch can’t show pace right, burn them at the stake!”. And that may be true. It might be true that that particular watch might be less optimal. Or, your particular running stability might be less optimal. Or, some blend of the two. But if we look at the direction of GPS technology in 2022 about to go into 2023, with good multiband implementations, we’re seeing astounding pace stability and accuracy. That, combined with existing wrist-based counterbalancing, leaves little reason for newer watch owners to buy a footpod. It may however leave good reason for older watch owners to buy a footpod.

Wrap-Up:

clip_image001[14]

Look, footpods are hardly new. In fact, they are arguably about the oldest thing in the running sports tech book. Before there were GPS watches, there were footpods connected to non-GPS watches. It was literally the first way people started tracking pace/distance on watches, many years before watches could do so-called ‘wrist-based pace/distance’. The accuracy of said footpods has definitely improved over the years, though, and so has GPS technology.

GPS watches no longer use just GPS for pacing. They now use satellite signals from multiple constellations, blended together with both accelerometer and gyro wrist-based watch data to form a far more accurate real-time picture of what you’re doing. When one data stream is impacted, it silently transitions to another. This isn’t new either, it’s been doing this for years. It’s just that those sensor inputs have gotten dramatically better in the last 1-2 years. Combine that with watches now supporting things like running track mode (one of the hardest things for GPS running watches to tackle), and there’s even less of a need for footpods.

Still, there are many older watches out there that simply aren’t that accurate, or might need some loving assistance for better data. And, the COROS Pod 2 could have helped there. Same goes for indoor running on treadmills. But unfortunately, the Pod 2 is only compatible with COROS watches (except the Pace 1). As such, you can’t pair it with an older Garmin/Suunto/Polar watch that might need that assistance. Nor can you pair it directly with Zwift Running, or any other indoor treadmill app. Thus, in a nutshell, the people that need this pod the most aren’t the ones that can get it. Though, based on the test results above, one might argue the people that need it the most are the COROS Vertix 2 users…

Look – had COROS made this thing dual ANT+/BLE compatible following the industry standards for running footpods (and maybe even existing running efficiency standards/protocols, or the existing temperature sensor protocols), I’d say it’s a great thing. But at this point, it’s essentially only there to overcome COROS’s lesser instant pace responsiveness. All at a time when every bit of running sports technology is moving away from pods for these sorts of tasks.

With that, thanks for reading!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the COROS POD 2 or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the COROS POD 2 or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture

*

101 Comments

  1. Sonja

    No one cares about the old 1980 Ant+ stuff or Garmin watches. Especially I have a very bad experience with my 955 with the accuracy especially on hilly terrain and trails or in cities. Sorry.
    If they can improve on there own watches a lot that’s absolutely cool. Garmin has nothing like that. Again. Poor garmin.

  2. ferrarko

    Phew, I was really hoping for a new Apex watch! 🙁

  3. Joel

    There is a typo on the treadmill area…
    On one place you put KPJ…
    (Forerunner 955 Wrist: 3.6KPJ)

    I guess we are burning this post to the stake!

    😉

  4. yes i think it’s a missed opportunity as well by not complying with ANT+/BLE datastandards.

    coros had to come up with a different name from graded pace, EffortPlus, as once/if they finish tinkering with it it will be something different to what we all understand as graded pace

    reading between the lines, the real reason for EffortPace is because coros aren’t allowed to calculate power in a footpod due to patents owned by stryd. thus they’re reinventing it under a different name…although I’m not entirely sure that’s the best way to avoid patent infringement 😉

    • I have no problem with Effort Pace down the road, once they define what it actually is. But at this point, they’re committing the cardinal sin of data metrics: Changing the underlying meaning of data midflight, multiple times.

      There’s the meaning of it today, then the meaning of it by end of year, then yet another meaning of it next year. People that try and track trends (no matter the metric), now have three different data sets.

      To me this seems like an entirely unnecessary and rushed metric. If, down the road they can figure out what the heck it actually is – then launch it. But not now. And, that all sets aside the fact that everyone else is focusing on running power.

    • Nick K

      As long as it’s not watts, and it takes in more than gradient and wind, I think they gonna sail clean of patents Gestapo and might actually box Stryd if… if COROS is fast enough to procure patents of their own.

      In fact, with Garmin now having their own built-in power from wrist like everybody else and with all recent instant pace advances, I’m not sure what’s gonna happen first: COROS finishing their Effort Pace tinkering, or Stryd going out of business. I’ve don’t see any major player buying Stryd at this point, even for IP.

    • Robbi

      It’s not hard to understand. Shouldn’t be. It’s a pace. And a pace is a pace. Done.

    • Hi Robbi – I simply ask that commentators here use the same name when commenting, else it appears like it’s multiple people. In this case, you’re typing under multiple names (first above as Sonja, and then again now as Robbi). I’m not sure why you feel the need to do this, though typically speaking I only see it when companies or their ambassadors do such a thing, effectively in an effort of spamming to try and sway opinion.

      Cheers!

    • Nick K

      Ray,

      but the same can be said about running “power”. Nobody agrees on it and if I’m running without a Stryd, the data I’d get from my watches will be different. Hell, the data will be different even if I run with Garmin only devices! The accessories like HRM-Tri, for example, produce vastly different output from a watch like Epix2.

      Then let’s not forget Stryd themselves redefined their own power between generation of devices. First it was just power derived from speed and gradient changes. Now newer footpods account for wind. Hence, after I bought Stryd Air recently I can disregard 2-3 years of prior captured data because none of it accounted for wind, and I do tend to run in a pretty windy environment 5-6 months of the year.

    • Robby

      What’s wrong with my statement. And no. I am not Sonja. If you are a student sometimes you are living with others together.

      Again: What they do is to improve the pace metric. Yes. Behind the scenes it will change most likely the algorithm.
      But for the consumer it’s always the same: A pace. And if it’s getting more accurate. What’s hard to understand.
      It’s a pace which you can follow (in the best) in every condition – hills, heat and so on.

    • Hi Nick-

      Totally agree that differences between running power companies sucks. Though, this is different in that it’s one singular company. In my testing, going from Garmin strap to wrist power, I’m getting basically the same values. Or, with Stryd, while they improved for wind, the basics are all the same otherwise (values largely the same).

      In this case, COROS is going to change the entire foundational difference here. And again, that might be fine once they define it if the differences are neglible. But by definition of what they’re hinting at, they won’t be negligible – especially on flat surfaces.

      Thanks for being a DCR Supporter!

    • jww

      I thoroughly enjoyed this DCR smackdown.

      You’ve got to respect the creativity on robbi/robby/sonja’s comeback.

      “Not the same person, though it’s possible we’re both IN THE SAME HOUSE.”

      What a coincidence.

    • Finally, just so you know Robbi/Robby/Sonja, in this instance, you were using an Apple iCloud Private Relay address, which is, by its very design, unique to your specific device. As such, unless you handed your device off to Sonja for her to type, and then to Robbi to Type, and then back to Robby to type – your explanation seems unlikely.

      Look, my ask is simple: Use the same name, and if you’re a company representative or sponsored athlete/ambassador, that I’ve always asked that you simply put your company name in the name field. It’s easy – I welcome company reps all the time.

    • miCoachFans

      hi ray
      that’s what coros did on Chinese social networks. i’m really familiar with it. that’s why i don’t think they are a decent company.

    • Dan

      Ray,
      I can assure you that this individual is not an employee of COROS, nor are they writing in any way on behalf of the company. This is not a tactic that our team who you’ve gotten to know over the years would ever employ. Should I/we find out that this person has any affiliation with our brand it will be dealt with accordingly.

    • Thanks Dan – I appreciate it! I agree, it doesn’t seem like something I’d expect to see from your employees, based on my experience as well.

  5. maxfrance

    My guess is to date every major brand tries to keep customers in its own backyard, avoiding compatibility and refusing to share metrics with common standards.

    While this is pretty obvious, my wish would be to get rid of the awful quality Garmin straps (expensive and not “serviceable”, aside from battery replacement); anyway I already use Stryd, so before I completely change my mind, being stuck since at least 10 years in a Garmin environment, I probably consider an eventual upgrade to next gen Stryd and a nice Polar H10…

    Suggestions welcome !!!
    TIA

    • I agree that happens to some degree, but in this scenario, COROS is actually the only one. Others all play in the sandbox together. Stryd follows most of the standards, as does Garmin, and Polar, and Suunto, and Wahoo. So did RunScribe, and countless other running power and running efficiency companies along the way. They all transmitted as standard footpads, and if applicable, power. And in the case of running efficiency metrics, so does Wahoo too (as the RD profile).

  6. Jon

    So I if I have a Coros Pace 2, this Pod 2 works as advertised?

    I mainly interested in reasonable measurement of treadmill running and better pace stability and responsiveness.

  7. Ben

    At which garmin product iteration do the speed and distance tech become modern? in other words is it only the fenix 7/955 that doesn’t benefit much from the addition of a pod?

  8. miCoachFans

    i’d like to make some personal commets.
    1.coros is not good at algorithm atm. the running power algoritm of pace2/vertix2 are just a poor copy of stryd. you could find running power data sitick with stryd’s data but never change no matter facing the wind or not.
    2.pod2 is cool with the 9-axis sensor, but they didn’t finish running power yet. effort pace is just a pace-base algoritm but not strict. they want to cover that up because of pt.1
    3.foot-base gps track enhancement is ridiculous. how could a footpod detect movment of center of mass?
    4.coros are Eager to create a closed ecology but their product strength are no up to that level.

  9. RobertB

    Ray any explanation why it won’t work with the original pace? I only ask as the KIPRUN 500 sold by Decathlon
    is getting it, taken from coros webpage “KIPRUN GPS 500 Compatibility coming soon via firmware updates”

    • The Kiprun unit is basically a variant of the Pace 2, rather than the Pace 1, so the lineage and underlying components allow the changes more easily there.

    • RobertB

      Thanks for the explainer. If anything that makes the kiprun a steal. I assumed it was pace1 based due to the case design and strap fitments. Roll on the next gen Apex

  10. Chris Davies

    Great review Ray, as ever. I would be interested if you could explore the treadmill accuracy in more detail. Would you say the NPE Run is the gold standard (after all it is just counting a revolving line)? If so, could we put the contenders up against the NPE Run? I use a Stryd and it always seems to run at a lower pace than the treadmill (though it drifts faster as the activity goes on). It is noticeable that all the contenders are dramatically below the reported speed of the Peloton at ‘normal’ treadmill pace. If the Peloton is accurate then a 5% delta is pretty damning in such a consistent stride pattern environment….

    • inSyt

      Yes, anyone know how accurate pace reported by treadmills like the Peloton is?
      And Technogym treadmills? These are extremely popular at gyms.

      One would assume that it should be much easier for a device attached to a treadmill belt/motor to calculate pace than say a foot pod/watch.

      And it is extremely annoying that Garmin’s treadmill calibration does not adjust the .fit file that is uploaded to Strava.

    • Yeah, I’ve gotta resposition the NPE device under the TechnoGym MyRun, and have some near-term bake-offs planned. Concurrently, I did actually do some testing of the Peloton Tread previously – and what I found was that at lower speeds it was basically spot-on, but at higher speeds the variance was more pronounced. It was stable, but wrong. link to dcrainmaker.com

      This isn’t so far off from what I saw with my other treadmill, a ProForm unit, where at higher speeds it became far more erratic in accuracy.

      That said, I might do more testing over the next coming while. I’m actually planning on moving the Peloton Tread to home for the winter (it’s currently at the DCR Cave, but given I know have three treadmill there, that seems kinda silly). Albeit, we’re now in basically a heat wave in Europe, so my desire to spend any more time than necessary indoors on a treadmill is pretty low right now…

      As for the Garmin/Treadmill calibration – that’s odd. I’d have to look more closely at the .FIT file, but my bet here is that the instant values aren’t actually updated in the file, but rather just the total distance value (since in theory the point of that feature is to update for next time, plus total distance for this time). Those are all written to the .FIT file though in different areas, so I suspect this is actually a far more typical issue of Strava simply not reading the file correctly. Which…well…one only need to look at multisport support to see how that story ends.

      (Though, funny story, also of note is that if you export a Peloton Tread workout file from Strava, it annoyingly writes the to the .FIT file all dorked up and not following the standards, which is why I didn’t show it on the charts, because they mix up the units…sigh.)

    • inSyt

      Yeah, so I double checked. Garmin seems to be only adjusting the total distance in the .fit file (mainly for the next run), but they do use that calibrated total distance on Garmin Connect under activity stats and intervals. Strangely, the activity charts on Garmin Connect will use the non adjusted instant per second data.

      Strava also seems to use the non adjusted instant per second data (which it then adds up to get total distance). Consequently, people will then curse their watches in their activity descriptions, especially if the watch under recorded the distance (and they missed out on a monthly badge).

      Obviously, non of this is an issue if you are doing fast runs and the treadmill is inaccurate (thanks for the link). Some of us can now have an excuse for not hitting Kipchoge’s pace on a treadmill…

    • ekutter

      Garmin never changes the data point records in the .fit file after they’ve been written. They only add data to the end of the file. It’s similar with HRM-Pro data that you sync up after the activity. All the data point messages throughout the file will still contain what was recorded in real time and the HR data downloaded from the strap is tacked on the end. Viewing that data in GC, GC will show the HR data from the strap tacked on to the end instead of the real time recorded HR data. But viewing in any other program, you just see the HR data recorded in real time rather than the downloaded strap data (Strava, DCAnalyzer).

      In the case of pace, the only thing that gets added is a message showing the calibration change. I am kind of surprised GC doesn’t make that adjustment when viewing the data. It could easily.

  11. Tim Grose

    I think this is actually more interesting in the acknowledgement by Coros that running power isn’t really the next best thing after all. I tend to agree that nearly all runners are comfortable with pace and some “adjusted” one (or whatever they call it) is going to mean far more than say if I am doing 390, 400 or maybe 410 watts. Also who are all these runners that are “concerned” at the start of an interval that pace does not reflect for a few seconds. I am too busy actually accelerating. It seems then, despite some odd comments to the contrary, that I am fine with my Forerunner 955 which easily has the best distance and GPS accuracy and hence pace accuracy have ever had on a GPS watch.

    • ekutter

      Totally agree. I’ve always wished Running Power were called something else as it really isn’t running power. That said, no way Coros is going to set the standard here with their proprietary implementation.

  12. Ando

    Thank you for this review. I own Pace 2 watch, Polar Vantage V2, Polar H10 and STRYD pod. For me H10 and STRYD make perfect combo. I have ran years without them and it sucked most runs. My HR kept jumping up and down and pace went crazy between trees and buildings. Now with STRYD its constant and stable 100%. I wont go running without it. And I watch my pace constantly. Many runners dont but I do and to me its important.

    As Pace 2 is just an alternative watch because I want to see my current race predictor times which Polar dont have. STRYD works for both watches in same time. Coros pod wouldnt do that. So STRYD will be my only choice.

  13. Jeremy

    The main issue I see with Effort pace (which is a kind of GAP, if I understand well…) is that pushing it as a “essential metric” is kinda confusing because, you know…there’s the pace. And you can turn things in the way you wat, at the end of the day (or the race), the pace is what counts. Pushing a sort of pace i nfront of the pace is really confusing…even for pacing races (lots of “paces” here).
    With power values (or “effort proxy” displayed as power number), there’s no such confusion. Just as in cycling. And I think it makes pacing based on wattage value more easy to apprehend for a runner. Especially when the blood flow goes more to the limb than the head.
    Summing things up, it looks like something confusing AF.

    DCR, I’m pretty sure you’ve mentioned Apex Pro/2 (written like this 🙂 ) in the article, in a sentence speaking about device announcements…and this disappeared 😮

  14. runnsershigh

    Additionally using a pod which also has periodly to charge like the watch isn’t an item I was looking for.
    More/some of those functions & better battery lifetime combined in a new watch model which also is less heavier than the regular apex/pro – that’s much more I am interested in.

  15. Anna M

    Thank you for your review. I run probably 50% on my time on the treadmill and I have been using a Stryd with my Suunto 9 Peak watch. Now that Stryd has decided to do “subscriptions” I’m wondering if this might if this Coros Pod 2 might be a good replacement when my old Stryd dies? I hate that some of these companies are going to require subscriptions. I don’t need fancy metrics. I just want accurate pace & distance when running or walking on my treadmill.

    • Unfortunately, the POD 2 is only compatible with COROS watches, and so it wouldn’t work with your Suunto watch. Largely a big part of why I think it’s a missed opportunity.

    • SkyRunner

      I use Stryd Wind without subscription and still have all I need from it. Subscription is basically just for training plans and customized power-based workouts. I don’t use Stryd Workout app anyway, as I like to have other data fields on my Garmin, so I instead use power-based workouts and training plans made in Training Peaks. I still fail to see the need for Stryd subscription (don’t miss it at all after free trial).

  16. Carsten

    Would have loved to see that they use the pod to deliver indoor running power for their calculations in the watches. Without that I cannot see the benefits of the pod…

  17. Ned L.

    For treadmills, either get (1) Pod 2 + Pace 2 , (2) Garmin FR 955 (3) any watch + Stryd pod. It seems to me (1) is cheapest $200 Pace 2 + $100 Pod 2, FR 955 $500, (3) Stryd $249 + compatible watch price.

  18. Stan

    is it safe to say that future Coros products won’t have ANT?

  19. Mike Richie

    I don’t own a Coros watch and this Pod is only useful for someone who does. However Coros’s desire to create a new metric of Effort Pace should be good for everyone I would think. If Effort Pace is defined as “The overall effort equal to which would be expended to run at a given pace on a level track without any wind” then this metric has a clear definition unlike Running Power. Running Power is a metric that different companies can (and do) define differently and came out of a desire to have something like Cycling Power which IS, in fact, a defined “thing”. It is measuring the instant force the athlete is applying to the pedal (even if that force is measured downstream). By defining “power” in running as a combination of external values like speed, grade, wind and internal physiological measurements like “efficiency” the number loses any real definition and would vary amongst individuals. I would think running efficiency should be best looked at by examining the measurable components such as GCT and L/R variances and examined over time. Whereas Effort Pace would make it much easier to create and use training plans that are irrespective of terrain and wind conditions. If you add to this that Stryd appears to have a patent on Foot Pod based power and that this eliminates getting composite footpod based metrics for training without paying Stryd if you use the “power” methodology, it would seem better to focus on an “open” metric. How well a device can measure Effort Pace will be a differentiator with Coros starting now at, basically, grade adjusted pace. Clearly other factors like wind and surface conditions (or proxy) need to be accounted for.

    • Will

      Coros pod 2 does not measure wind. So they have tripped over their own definition somewhat.

    • Eugene

      Yes, running power is indeed very loosely/badly defined. I use my Stryd to use the power number to run with reasonable equal effort on hilly terrain. And I understand that is what Coros is now aiming at: don’t use the power term, but go directly to ‘adjusted speed’.
      But DC’s remarks are very true. Coros is taking the wrong approach, by having a ‘gliding definition’ so data sets can’t be compared over time…

    • Reggie

      Mike, I think you’ve missed the boat as to what the original critique was. It isn’t the effort, it’s that they’ve now (for the second time) renamed GAP. This is confusing to consumers, full stop. And they have said that this algorithm will change and include more stuff. Well, get the stuff in there, and then launch it. Today, they have just renamed a renamed standard metric.

      With regards to power, Ray has been pretty critical of the brand to brand discrepancies in the past. There needs to be a clear and obvious definition. Given that there are very limited places on a person to put a strain gauge, you are going to have to put calculations behind it – basically they’re trying to find the number of watts/pound required to propel you (the runner) ahead at your current speed, given the grade and wind you’re experiencing, then multiplying that by your weight. I think that’s pretty darn valid. It would be useful if Garmin and Polar would join Stryd and Apple Watch et. al. so that the numbers would be able to be compared across different brands, as they can be in cycling, fo sho.

      One thing that would be interesting to know is how Garmin is handling changes in your weight. Since the underlying calculation is a actually watts/pound and then they multiply it by your weight, your actual watts would change day to day as your weight varied. This is why Stryd tells you to set your weight and forget it, but that’s not the case with Garmin, especially for those of us stepping on an Index scale before we leave for a run each morning.

    • Will

      I know Apple Health updates power from weight.
      I’m guessing, but expect Garmin does the same for its run power.

      It’s messy for consumers.

    • Mike Richie

      @Reggle I wasn’t really commenting on the critique of Coros, however I was saying that having a Pace metric that will incorporate the truly measurable differences (like grade, wind and surface conditions) so you can train against that pace without regard to those differences would be a good thing. The goal being to incorporate all of them with Coros (and clearly by simply using GAP, lots of others) are starting with a pace metric that only incorporates grade. Hopefully Coros and others could better measure an Effort Pace. By instead going to an unmeasurable (although, perhaps, estimate-able) metric like Power you are not really even providing a trainable metric. Your comment shows the difficulty – “trying to find the watts/pound” is not measuring. And having to enter your weight (or not) for a training metric seems unnecessary. I actually think that Running Power came about because Training with Power on cycling was so effective. But on cycling it is a measurable force being applied to the pedals of the bike. Running Power was made up to try to produce a similar metric. My opinion is that Effort Pace or what Markus Holler calls “Equivalent Flat Pace – EFP” (a better name, I think) is just a better training metric. And use any efficiency metrics (GCT, Vertical Oscillation, etc.) to help you determine if you need to change something to go faster. I know that if I weigh less but can put out the same effort, I will go faster.

  20. runnsershigh

    I don’t think so that there is any patent of what “running power” is all about. In the end, every metric (pace, heart rate or even power) based on sport specific thresholds. In any case beside regular pace and/or heart rate measurement you have to use your current watch/equipment/software to identifiy your specific values within your current technical eco-system. With regard to this advanced metrics (running power, running effort or whatever) these days you will not change your eco-system (from garmin to polar or coros etc.) without any modify issues.

    • Damian Steward

      Stryd has a number of patents concerning “running power” on apparatus other than watches.
      Courtesy of the5krunner, the patents are here: link to patentguru.com

      I’m no patent attorney, but I’m assuming Stryd has sufficiently described these patents such that there will be no cheap/reasonable way to circumvent them.
      Thus, the only way around this for a company attempting to develop a pod which measures “running power” will be to license the technology from Stryd.

    • Damian Steward

      Just to clarify, Stryd cannot patent “running power” as such, but “running power” derived from pods or other devices.
      Personally, I only care about using my Stryd and power when doing hills, so grade-adjusted pace would be a reasonable substitute for me, if/when my Stryd pod dies.

    • Yeah, I haven’t dug into the Stryd patents at all. I’ve spent too much time in the patent database lately on the Wahoo/Zwift fiasco.

      However, as always with patents – for the most part, PTO is as noted, easily misled on things. Getting issued a patent is pretty easy, even if it’s not unique. What’s far more important is defending a patent successfully.

      But given Stryd’s filing date (earliest) was March 2017, and I reviewed other footpod based running power meters on an already released product Feb 2017 (SHFT)*, that’s challenging. But, Stryd also filed patents under a different company name – Athlete Architects, prior to that: link to patentguru.com

      I don’t have the time this second to go through and figure out when exactly they made the call-out to a footpod based one. And then cross-reference that with all the other existing footpod based power and efficiency metrics at the time, date-wise.

      However, my gut here is that in the right (lawyers) hands, almost none of the footpod based patents would stand-up. The depth of footpod tech is really old and expansive, especially in some of the academic realms, where it wouldn’t be hard to find prior examples of lab-type stuff that existed.

      Ultimately though, I don’t honestly think it matters much. The world is shifting away from footpads for running power, as more and more sensors give higher levers of ‘accuracy’ at the wrist.

      * link to dcrainmaker.com

    • Bruce Burkhalter

      So hopefully you are doing a story on the Wahoo/Zwift thing? It is so weird that it would happen now given how long the JetBlack has been out. There must be something interesting behind it all.

    • Zoltán

      “ Ultimately though, I don’t honestly think it matters much. The world is shifting away from footpads for running power, as more and more sensors give higher levers of ‘accuracy’ at the wrist.”

      I see it differently. While it can be true that in case of cycling power you can use rear hub, pedals/crankset etc. as the place of measurement, because you know the the level of mechanical loss between the place where power is exerted and the place where the “net” power is used by the bicycle, the uncertainty is much higher what your arm or wrist is doing during your run.

      Even the trajectory of your shoe is a more “liberal than the basic parts of your bicycle, but your wrist can do much more individual movement. Just think about the movement your arm is doing after you decided that you wanna check the data on the display of your watch.

      So all the measurements which are possible to be made at the bottom of your shoes should be made on the sole, which are not possible there, but possible around the shoelace (on the top of shoes) those ought to be measured on the top etc. Even a measurement on/at your knees is better than at your wrist.

      Or has I missed something regarding internal sensors.

  21. Nate C

    I know you can’t test everything, but this would have been a great opportunity to include the venerable $30 ANT+ footpod made by dynastream and branded by Garmin/Suunto/Adidas/etc, in the mix with the 955. I’ve accumulated a collection of about 3 of them (despite the fact that they’re nearly impossible to find aside from ebay these days), to just leave them on my various shoes in the rotation and not have to switch sensors.

    It would be interesting to see if the $99 Pod 2 and $200+ Stryd provide additional value over the $30 ANT+ pod of yesteryear.

    When I complained on the Garmin message boards site recently that I’m running up against the 30 paired sensor limit on my Fenix 7X, the general consensus was that I should stop using footpod sensors for running because GPS is so good (and I have an NPE Runn on my treadmill). I haven’t done the testing myself, but my sense is that there’s still value in the FP for instant pace, and possibly distance if well-calibrated in a challenging city GPS environment.

    • Funny, I almost brought one out. But, I’m often guilty of going overboard on adding more and more sensors and then making too big of a pile of stuff for me to get through, but that’s actually something I’m super interested in testing.

      I think at the moment, good multiband implementations with fused wrist-based pace are at the pinnacle of responsiveness these days. As the testing showed, only about a 1-second delay (and even sometimes faster, and often equal). That also has the benefit of generally working better in steeper/rockier trails (e.g. where you’re semi-bouldering).

      I’ve got another video/post on another multiband city (NYC) test that I might actually get out today. We’ll see how the day goes. I always seem to get distracted with something else.

    • Zoltán

      I also have 3 pieces of Suunto mini footpods , although they were sold not USD 30, but for appr. USD 50-60 in my country and I could buy the last one last year from the same store as the other two earlier. The first item was advertised notmally, the second one as last piece, and the third and last one was not advertised st all, but as a result of my push it was finally found in a drawer held as a replacement in case of an eventual warranty claim from a earlier purchaser. But nobody had bought in the previous 12 months, except for me, so they could sell it to me.

      And I also have an instance of Stryd wind, btw.

      I am a great friend of these “Gen 1” (or maybe Gen 2) footpods, I believe in them even if I know what limitation they have. The two biggest are

      1) a cal factor works accurately just in a speed range of appr. 1 km/h, so while my “city walking” footpod is rather accurate, my “hiking” footpod is accurate only if there are no steep ascents on my route. Just because of this limitation I use the Stryd for running while I decided to give away (just remember this word 😉 ) one Suunto mini pod to one of my children.

      2) at low speed it measures zero speed and distance is not accumulating, so when I am struggling on the steep ascents, especially on the rocks, it thinks I am totally idle and stand/sit still.

      Their biggest advantage for me that I can anticipate very well the level of inaccuracy vs GPS-based distances. And when I forget to stop and save the activity and am driving my car back home my GPS devices are not falsely accumulating distance. 🙂

      As regards Coros footpod since I dont really need it in fact, I decided to wait for the next Giveaway, should it be a simple one or a multi-devices Extravaganza. :-)))

  22. kevin

    Big thank you to DCR for this review.
    As always, very in depth and helpful giving real user perspectives.
    I like the width of experience you bring to comparisons, because of your cycling and other activities.

    Seems like different brands out there want to define stuff for themselves and customers then get lost in all these having to untangle the mess of technical terms.
    The Pod 2’s price point is rather steep, though not as high as the Stryd I’m thinking whether to start of with the Pod 1 version first…
    Now awaiting if there’s a new Apex coming along so that I can have an excuse to replace the existing one..

  23. Maryn

    HI Ray!
    During your test which exactly GPS mode did you choose for FR955?

  24. Will

    As much as I like the concept of run power, and have used Stryd since 2017, I also admit that most runners talk in “pace”. So using Effort Pace (grade adjusted pace, with temp and humidity in the future) is talking the language runners use.

    • SkyRunner

      Stryd Workout App for Garmin and Apple already offers live adjusted power by temperature and humidity: link to blog.stryd.com. Now, since I don’t like to use Stryd Workout App, I’d prefer this in a simple data field so I can combine it with the other Garmin data fields I use. There are some IQ data fields which do part of that job, though – e.g. Datarun Premium, when paired with Tempe, adjusts power by temperature. So, more could come in the future. Coros’ statement that Effort Pace will surpass Running Power seems to show they’re curiously unaware of these developments in running power and Stryd specifically.

  25. What I find most interesting about Coros’ statement regarding Effort Pace vs. Running Power is that their argumentation goes in the way that it’s a choice of investing manpower either into one or the other.

    For developers it is actually not too complicated to calculate an “Equivalent Flat Pace (EFP)” (sorry for this additional term, but that’s how I called it for my ConnectIQ app RunPowerModel to differentiate it from the GAP) from a runner’s current power number.

    So I think it would be more reasonable to continue working on Running Power and making sure it works properly under various conditions (including trails etc.), and the corresponding EFP then automatically improves accordingly. That way, both types of users (those who prefer power and those who prefer pace) would profit from it equally.

    Just a small side remark from a hobby developer 😉

    • Mike Richie

      As someone interested in this from a programming perspective (as well as a usability perspective), I am curious why you consider running power something that you can even get to “work properly” (honest question, not trolling). As I see it your EFP or Coros’s Effort Pace is pace, +/- grade adjustment, +/- wind adjustment, – surface adjustment (possibly calculated from GCT and stride differences) +/- ???. Whereas Power is EFP recalculated as a wattage (based on weight only ??) and then further adjusted by “running efficiency”. It is the running efficiency that I see as kind of a weasel number, in that it needs to be calculated from data you can actually gather (like stride length, GCT, L/R stride, pronation, arm motion, etc.) to create a “Grand Metric”. I just don’t think it is “real”, whatever algorithm is chosen. Whereas EFP or Effort Pace is real but will depend on how well it is calculated. So things like wind that may be based on weather reports or actual data will affect the result. And grade adjustments are not linear and may depend on surface adjustments. As an alternate method, adjustments could be created from known running data from individual athletes or a given courses. The running efficiency metrics however, I feel, should be examined individually based on the athlete with the goal of increasing your EFP or Effort Pace. I am however curious of other (or contrary) opinions 😁.

    • Mike Richie

      @Marcus – I wrote the above before looking at your site and have a better understanding of the biomechanics you are attempting to model in your power numbers and certainly feel there is value in that. I’m just not sure the attempted modeling can achieve the same kind of result you would get from a strain gauge on a bicycle (an external measurement of the culmination of the biomechanics that are modeled in running power). The ultimate goal being, I would think, to increase your EFP with actionable insight from other metrics.

    • Hello Mike,
      you’re right, running power certainly doesn’t achieve the same accuracy level as cycling power. Nevertheless it’s nowadays at a level where many (including me) see that it can bring a clear gain for both training and racing.
      I think it should be up to the user to decide whether they want to train with a pace-like or a power measure (personally I prefer power for several reasons), and to me this reasoning of “there are limitations to running power, so we abandon it” doesn’t make much sense. It is clearly hard to measure the objective effort of a runner under different, arbitrary conditions (I definitely know by own experience 🙂 ), but if you manage to do so then it is comparably easy to transfer this knowledge to both power and “Effort Pace”. My guess would be that they just haven’t thought about the possibility to calculate the EFP directly from the power.
      Based on my own experience the EFP works quite well in most cases (usually already much better than the GAP). The current main limitation is that I have to estimate some necessary input for the EFP (assumed vertical oscillation and cadence for flat sections) directly from the same activity – that would be much easier for a company to do since they can just use suitable input from other data.

  26. David

    Is running power really not another way of saying graded pace anyways?
    It is as much “power” as

    the whole stryd debacle and “change your weight, but don’t change your weight, but you can if you want to, but please don’t” annoys me

    • Will

      For Stryd it’s a case of, dammed if they do, dammed if they don’t.

      GAP is at least simple in that regards as it ignores weight.

  27. Testy

    I really like the idea of an Effort Pace. My training is based on plans that give me pace goals for each run. Of course, this is not easy to follow on hot days or in steep terrain. Would really appreciate something like this then

  28. JY

    Can Garmin Running Dynamics Pod use for Coros Pace 2 and will running dynamic data shown at COROS data field?

  29. Sean K

    Great review, as always. I got the first-gen pod in a package deal with my Pace 2. No need to upgrade, as far as I can tell, right?

  30. Tom Kaufman

    Thanks, Ray, terrific and very helpful review. It’s great to have a data-driven analysis confirming my assumption that I could drop my Stryd with a 955. I used it for years with a 945, but multi-band is so good that it just doesn’t seem necessary any more. Assuming the Apple Ultra’s multi-band eventually matches the 955, that’s a tough double hit for the footpod industry — their total addressable market shrank notably in the last few months with the release of the 955/Ultra. If higher–end Apple and Garmin users are no longer in play as potential customers (for most use cases), ouch, that hurts.

  31. runnsershigh

    do you really have to calibrate the pod2?
    link to youtube.com

    Hmmm….

    • Will

      Maybe not “have to”, but if it’s possible and if it improves data, then why not?

      But as said elsewhere, distance calibration will also be a separate option. Run around a track, or use auto calibrate from GPS data.

  32. SkyRunner

    “Due to the limitations surrounding Running Power, COROS has made the decision to keep Wrist Based Running Power as a metric for its users, but not develop this metric any further at this point … Effort Pace will surpass Running Power.”

    Lol, this statement surprised me with its plain ridiculousness. It makes Coros sound awfully uninformed and amateurish.

    • Eli

      Yeah, this doesn’t really make sense. Running power is an attempt to figure out how much effort you are putting out to guess at the power you put out (guess because its not really measured) Effort pace should have a direct correlation to running power as they both go up and go down at the same time only scale might be different (the power jump when going from 5kph to 6kpm effort pace should be less then the power jump going from 20kph to 21kph)

  33. Jessica

    Thanks for this comparison. However, it would be interesting to look deeper into the Garmin performance of the other FR like 255 or 745 without relying on their HRM-products. I think the Garmin HRM straps are total rubbish and deteriorate very fast and thus simply are not worth the money, although I was lucky to get a replacement strap when #2 fell apart within the warranty period. The Coros watches caught my eye because they are smaller than the FR955 which would otherwise be my next running watch.

  34. Margret Simpson

    When I first got my credit card, my credit score was very low and wasn’t the best but SWIFTHACKGENIUS helped me and gave me a chance to redeem my credit and restore it to an upgraded score which gave me the total liberation and privilege to be able to apply for a mortgage, he also helped me removed all the negative items and collections on my credit report,. This means a lot to me, Your service is awesome, The couple times I have referred them to my friends, they did an awesome job for them and they always come back to give me testimonies. Their credit restoration is nothing less than 840. I highly recommend him and his team. You can contact him and he will be ready to assist You. SWIFTHACKGENIUS AT g m a i l dot com. +1 636 548 0389

  35. Eli

    How could anyone else use “Effort Pace” if they don’t really define what it is in a way that others can reproduce the numbers? Its a proprietary algorithm. Though do think adding in lots more data points to GAP does seem useful, at least in theory

  36. Thorsten

    Stryd has a patent family (look up EP3194890B1) on running power coming from a foot pod.
    Coros circumvents this by transmitting an effort pace. Running Power to Effort Pace and vice versa can be easily calculated.
    Bottom line: Coros made a Stryd equivalent circumventing the Stryd patent. Of course on the software side they are not yet at the same quality level.

    • Yup, a bit higher buried in the comments we have a bit of discussion on the patent aspect: link to dcrainmaker.com

      TLDR: I’m somewhat skeptical the Stryd footpod power patent would hold water if challenged (getting a patent is relatively speaking easy, successfully defending it is what matters).

    • Will

      my 2p:

      I wonder, because Stryd say their run power is metabolic power, rather than mechanical power, that their “unique algorithms” are what’s being patented, not just “laws of physics”

      In the early days I recall Stryd developers showing images of runners on the road with metabolic gas analysis monitors in a following truck.

      Have Coros done the same to derive their own algorithms, or reverse engineered Stryd?
      Their wrist run power is very similar to Stryd’s power after all.

    • Thorsten

      Thanks, missed it, sorry for doubling. Interestingly Athlete Architect LLC has patented all power devices that estimate power based on horizontal and vertical movement based on inertial measurements. Including watches, breast belts etc. If it was a strong patent I guess they would try to enforce it.

  37. Tyler

    I think I still have a Garmin footpod rattling around a desk drawer somewhere…

    Too bad this message board doesn’t allow images.
    Elrond ‘I was there 3000 years ago’ image would be perfect.

  38. pimalu

    Walking Pace – 4.0KPH (Peloton Tread)

    COROS Pod 2: 4.0KPH
    Stryd V2: 4.0KPH
    Garmin HRM-PRO Plus: 3.2KPH
    Forerunner 955 Wrist: 3.6KPJ

    I see a HUGE difference here. Near 25% of difference between Peloton vs Garmin HRM-PRO Plus and Forerunner 955 Wirst…..Many, many people use it for light activity like walk.

    • Nate C

      I’m not sure that’s a valid comparison. If you care enough about treadmill distance accuracy, the choice isn’t between a coros watch and pod2 vs a 955/hrmpro. It’s against a 255/955 and ant+ footpod or Npe Runn. And if you compare the coros pod against an ant+ footpod or Npe Runn, I bet they’re pretty close.

    • Yeah, I’d agree if you’re a big treadmill user, then using some sort of external pacing device makes sense. Personally, I think NPE Runn is the way to go since i’s basically set and forget (forever). But if you travel, then some sort of external device makes sense (which, gets me to the entire basis of why I think COROS missed an opportunity here, since this device would be perfect for that *ENTIRE MARKET*, not just the very small number of COROS users.)

  39. Dipo Domys

    @DC agree with your analysis of “effort pace” I tried reading everything on the Coros website in the hopes of finding something explaining that “effort pace” is something new like a power plus elevation changes algorithm to represent “effort”. Alas, it seems to be nothing more than GAP. Coros must be desperate to stoop to this kind of marketing huxterism.