O Coach, miCoach!

An innovative coaching system gives Nike and Apple a run for their money

miCoach

The Adidas and Samsung system lets users easily monitor their workouts.Adidas

Nike is to Apple, as Adidas is to . . . Samsung? In the race to make people run, Adidas is gaining steam with this week's European release of miCoach. Like the iPod-based Nike + system, at the heart of miCoach lies a Samsung phone that similarly follows your progress and motivates your workout.

The phone wirelessly tracks data from a chest strap heart rate monitor and a stride sensor that hooks onto your laces (an advantage over Apple's system since it lets you keep your sneakers). Workouts are built and analyzed on a full-service website complete with graphic data and recommendations for your fitness objectives.

Each can be designed for distance, time or even heart rate zone. The miCoach tells you through the earbuds if you're short on time or above a specified heart rate. Updates on all your metrics are spit out with a simple click on the phone.

miCoach Phone

The phone, made by Samsung, displays data instantly and plays songs with rhythms that are tuned to your heart rate.Adidas

Its 4 gig MP3 player lets you ditch your iPod; though the Windows media file requirement means songs you purchased on iTunes will need to stay right there. But the system will match your heart rate to the rhythm ensuring there's no Enya pumping for your big push and a motivational song of your choosing (Eye of the Tiger?) is available at a simple click.

The phone itself is fully functional, complete with a two megapixel camera. Incoming calls will even pause your songs, just like the iPhone.

But, don't go chucking those Apple products just yet. The miCoach isn't expected on this side of the Atlantic until sometime in '09.

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