Disclosure: This shop (sponsored post) has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BioSport #CollectiveBias
I have written about my running multiple times on the blog, but rarely do I get the opportunity to discuss specific training methods and tools. Today, I am really happy to do so, because I am so in love with my new Intel SMS Audio BioSport Earbuds. These are not your normal earbuds. Yes, they are great for music, as I found out with the Disney tunes I listened to in order to psych myself up for my recent Disney Marathon Weekend adventure, but they are also an awesome training tool because, get this, they have a built in heart rate monitor! The benefits of this for all sorts of running and fitness activities are amazing. In this post I’ll cover a bit about the headphones and how to use them, some specific training uses, and a bit about my recent Disney adventure.
About the SMS BioSport Earbuds
The BioSport earbuds recently won the Fitness, Sports, and Biotech Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Here is why: The Biosport headphones include advanced technology features to deliver high-quality audio while gathering heart rate data on your workout. The heart rate monitoring is built into the headphones, so there is no uncomfortable strap that you have to wear. This is something that is awesome for distance runners like myself who chafe from monitoring straps. It all syncs with the free RunKeeper app (which I love), and the system features integrated charging, so power is never a concern. The BioSport headphones are also ultra-durable with a 40U-rubberized coating to resist chipping and scratching, and the headphones are IPX4-rated for protection against sweat and resistance to water. I can tell you right off that they appear to be the most durable earbuds I have ever owned, and they have a cool anti-tangle cord to boot.
As for Run Keeper, it will use the GPS in your phone to track your route, pace, and distance. So once you add heart rate data to that, you have a full training package. You also get a month free of the premium version, RunKeeper Elite, when you purchase the earbuds.
Darn cool right? So, what can you do with them? Read on!
Running with Disney Tunes
In terms of audio I got to enjoy that a bit during the recent Disney Marathon Weekend, where I ran the Dopey Challenge. The Dopey Challenge is 4 days and 48.6 miles of running (5k, 10k, 13.1, 26.2) through 4 Walt Disney World parks. The result is 6 medals. One for each race, plus one for the Goofy Challenge (running the half marathon and full) and one for completing the Dopey Challenge. I tested out my new earbuds on my last run before the trip when I listened to Disney music of course! The sound quality was absolutely perfect, and the earbuds were super comfortable. I took them along with me to Disney, but then didn’t wear them much during the races simply because I was not racing for time and was taking in the scenery.
It is for my next training cycle that I will really put the earbuds to use. I will be doing a rather intensive training program for the Bayshore Marathon in May, where I plan to try to qualify for Boston. So, here is a bit about how easy the earbuds are to use and some ways you can use them, whether for running or just for your general fitness workouts.
How To Use Intel SMS BioSport Headphones
Connecting the earbuds is super easy. Simply download the free RunKeeper app, plug in the headphones, and open up the app. Go to settings, then hit the line that has the words “Apps, Services, and Devices” in it. Then select “Devices” and “Analog Headphones.” It syncs from there. I once got an error message and just hit sync again and it worked. After that, simply make sure that the earbuds are in your ears and do a workout from the workout screens. A little heart will appear to show your heart rate. You can see my data below from when I took the system out for a test run.
For running or other fitness activities, having your heart rate data can be very helpful. Here are a few ways to use it:
Calculate your maximum heart rate by running several medium length intervals of hill sprints and then adding about 3-5 beats to the maximum heart rate you achieve at the end of that (you should feel totally out of breath). Or, you can use some general population averages from the American Heart Association. From there you can do workouts based on the percentage of your maximum heart rate. For example:
- For general exercise stay between 50-85% of your maximum heart rate
- For more endurance, run or exercise longer at about 60-75% of your maximum heart rate. This burns less calories per mile or minute, but allows you to go longer with less chance of injury.
- For quicker calorie burning and to trigger different physiological adaptations, do intervals, focusing on hitting 75-85% of your maximum heart rate and then slowing down below that in between intervals. This can be a great calorie burning boost.
For serious runners, there are a lot of resources on the web for training different systems to help your running times. By combining the SMS BioSport headphones with RunKeeper, you can have all the data that you need with you on your run. I will be using the system for my speedwork during my training to assure that I am not pushing above my limits. I will also use it during my long slow runs to assure that I stay in the lower heart rate zone for building endurance.
Where to Buy the BioSport Headphones
Look for the Intel SMS BioSport Headphones at Dick’s Sporting Goods. At my store they were right up front, just a bit before the checkout counters in a locked display case with the GPS devices. They were not on the main earbud rack. A nice store employee got them out for me.
You can also purchase the headphones at SMSAudio.com. There is currently a coupon offer for 20% off SMS BioSport Headphones there. Use code BioSport20. US only. Expiration date: 1/31/15. Purchase of the headphones also includes one free month of RunKeeper Elite, which is the premium version of the RunKeeper App.
You can also learn more on the SMS Audio social media accounts:
OK, so I love these earbuds. Bye bye chest strap, hello tunes and comfortable heart rate data! How would you use the BioSport headphones?
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