Coach Carrie's Coolest Finds at The Running Event

AFM's fitness writer walked the aisles of Austin's annual fitness expo and found some attention-grabbing new gear.

(page 5 of 5)

Needless to say, the “big thing” this year are fitness trackers. Watch companies and designers alike are creating devices to track sleep quality, amount of steps, HR, pacing, etc.—all sold in an affordable and stylish package. I’ve been wearing my Garmin products long enough that I’m used to basically wearing a PC on my wrist. I don’t necessarily need a slick daily device and love the information I glean from my 910XT. There was one product I saw, however, that may be a game changer in the “performance enhancement” category.

Drum roll please.

It’s the world’s first wearable lactate threshold sensor!

The potential impact this device could have on the everyday athlete is huge. Although, I suspect the first target audience will be Type–A triathletes who want as much data as they can possibly get to enhance their training. As the company’s headline reads, “Knowing your limits is exactly how you exceed them.” Until now, knowing your lactate threshold involved exhausting and expensive laboratory tests and blood draws. Not anymore.

The BSX Insight is a small device that fits into a customized calf sleeve. Every 6–8 weeks you can administer your own tests using one of their three devices: running ($300), cycling ($370) or multisport ($420). Simply place the BSX Insight piece (It’s a small, unobtrusive device) into the calf sleeve, use the app to pair it with your device, run the test exactly how it is outlined on the mobile app, and then review your results immediately.

The multisport edition measures both running and cycling lactate thresholds to determine your training zones based on power (ANT+) and/or heart rate (ANT+). According to their website, you can use the results to customize workouts based on your personal lactate dynamics, fitness goals and future events. You can use it to benchmark your fitness, optimize your training, and track your gains over time. And, you can even share your data with coaches and training partners, or send it to all your devices for anytime access. They recommend retesting every 6–8 weeks during training to measure fitness gains and progress.

The quick product demo and overview at the booth looked simple enough, even for this non-techie. The product, which is taking pre-orders now, has been receiving a lot of press. According to staff, the accuracy level of the product in comparison to traditional lactate testing is close to 100 percent.

I’m certainly intrigued to try it for myself and see how it can improve my training efficiencies. I’m also personally curious to see how well the results match up to lactate tests I’ve had in the past. Needless to say, a one-time cost of $420 is much more economical than racking up costly laboratory tests and blood draws.

(Plus, it was hard to ignore their promotional t-shirts and buttons that said “Stop the Pricks.”)


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