I had a chance to review a Tech4O running watch. It’s sort of like a pedometer that you wear on your wrist like a watch. It uses an “advanced accelerator technology” to determine if you are running and how fast your movements are based on your strides, and then it calculates your distance based on a predetermined stride length. One advantage of a pedometer-type distance device is that you never have to worry about a satellite signal, which seems to plague my Forerunner.
The one shown in the picture is the Men’s Accelerator Fitness model. The watch is stylish enough and certainly doesn’t have the bulk of the Forerunner. Also, for this model there is no constant charging of the battery because it runs out after 15 hours of use.
So I gave the Tech4O a try. I first had to figure out my stride length, so I went out and ran about 500 yards in front of my house and counted my number of strides, then put that into the watch. Then I went running. I brought my Forerunner to compare it to, so that I would see how close they came. Unfortunately, on a 3 mile run, the Tech4O thought I had run over five miles. Not so good.
I thought that maybe my stride measurement wasn’t accurate because I had done only one short run. So I went back and remeasured my stride length. This time I did three ¼ mile runs on a flat surface and then averaged the three stride numbers to give me an average stride length. Then I went for another run for about 6 miles. Unfortunately, Forerunner put me at 6 miles and Tech4O put me at about 8.
I think the issue here is that the Tech4O must assume a constant stride length in order to do the calculation, and this is not always true, especially for ChiRunners or for POSE runners. Your stride length is changing with your pace (small circles, big circles). In addition, your stride length changes with hills and how tired you are in your run.