I was excited about the Coros Pod 2. I am no stranger to Coros and have used several different GPS watches and products over the years, including:
It’s funny because, in early 2019, I was one of the “early adopters” of Coros. People often ask, “can Coros compete with Garmin.” The answer is yes, and it has many cheaper features than Garmin does not. There are definitely a lot of advantages of Coros products, but now they are so well known, it doesn’t take a lot of convincing. In early 2019, people were nervous about switching to something that “wasn’t Garmin.” I digress.
What is “the Pod”?
The Coros Pod 2 is the second version of the original Pod. Does anyone remember the Nike foot pods from a decade ago? It’s a much more advanced one of those. The Pod can be clipped onto shorts, and the newest one can clip onto shoe laces. The Pod gives you more data than a regular GPS watch, including instant running pace, ground contact time, stride height, stride ratio, and vertical oscillation. If you are someone who LOVES DATA, you will likely love the Coros Pod 2.
Coros Pod 2 Specs:
- Improved accurate and sensitive instant pace
- Improved measurement inside, including: on treadmills and indoor tracks
- Improved GPS route and data consistency in dense cities (wahoo for not dealing with weird splits in big cities like Philly or Chicago)
- More accurate effort measurement from Effort Pace
- Advanced running metrics – Ambient Temperature, Ground Time, L/R Balance, Stride Height, Stride Ratio
- 28 hours of continuous running or 50 days in standby mode
- The portable charging dock supplies up to 5 total charges
- Worn on either the foot or waist.
Unpacking the Coros Pod 2:
The Coros Pod 2 comes in a small well-packaged box with a charging piece, charger: a USB-A to USB-C cord, two different shoe clips, a silicone waistband clip, plus a nice carrying case. Everything is packaged neatly and orderly, as expected in an electronic case. The nice presentation makes it a great holiday gift if you know the person who already uses Coros.
Charging is easy; it fits into a case and is plugged into a USB-C cable. Like other Coros products, it charges fairly quickly. The battery life of the Pod 2 is 28 hours of use and 50 days of standby. I’ve found that to be fairly accurate.
What can the Coros Pod 2 add to your running?
We all know GPS watches are packed with data. What is the point of the Coros Pod 2? What can it add that GPS watches cannot add?
This lightweight and water-resistant watch accessory can add a lot more data, including:
- Accurate real-time data
- Better GPS data is great if you run through cities or tunnels. No more routes that go through buildings or into the water!
- Advanced running metrics include L/R balance, stride height, ambient temperature, and Stride Ratio.
- Better indoor running data: it calibrates to your stride and can tell you how far you’ve *actually run* not just what the treadmill tells you. Because, let’s face it, most treadmills are not perfect.
My Experience with the Coros Pod 2:
You’ll need to pair the Coros Pod 2 with a GPS watch. So no, you can’t just own the Coros Pod and get all of the data with that. Sorry, you need a Coros watch. Think of the Pod as an extension of data versus your only data.
What many people don’t realize is that pods are not new. You could probably argue they are the oldest technology thing associated with running. When first tracking mileage, pods were the only thing to do so.
After you set up your Coros Pod 2, you’ll notice a new run screen while waiting for the GPS that includes the Pod 2. It will even show additional information, such as temperature and altitude.
The Coros Pod 2 gives two basic types of additional information:
- Better running efficiency metrics (worn on the waist)
- Better pacing-related metrics (worn on the shoe)
You cannot get all of the data at once. You decide what kind of data you want depending on where you wear it.
Running Efficiency Metrics:
When the Pod 2 is worn on the waist, it gives running efficiency and gait metrics.
Who doesn’t want to learn more information about their gate and running? I know I do. I remember using the original Pod and learning much about running. The running efficiency metrics you get with the Coros Pod 2:
- Ground Contact Time
- Stride Height
- Stride Ratio
- L/R balance
- temperature/elevation/altitude data
I found the information extremely interesting. It’s obviously very personal to you. It is accurate and you’ll find all of the information you could want. I’ve always known my gait is not exactly even, and I favor my left side more.
Pacing Related Metrics:
When the Coros Pod 2 is worn on the shoe, it gives better accuracy for GPS.
I live in the middle of nowhere, so you would think GPS would not be hard. I mean, there is more than just about anything versus buildings. But I do occasionally have GPS issues when going into the desert, and it says I ran up dunes I never did. I’ll take the extra 1000 feet of elevation gain without doing it, though…jk.
I’ve now tried the Coros Pod 2 in the desert, and it has better GPs tracking. So, in short, what they claim is true. No GPS watch or Pod is perfect, but I’ve found a Coros watch+Pod 2 gives the most accurate data so far. I would be interested in trying it in a big city. Will I go run in Los Angeles just for that? Probably not.
What I like about the Coros Pod 2 is its responsiveness. When you start running, it starts tracking. Occasionally I’ve had some lag time for a Coros watch to start tracking (around 10 seconds), and the Coros Pod 2 pretty much removes that.
Running Indoors and the Coros Pod 2:
I was actually extremely curious to see how the Coros Pod 2 would do indoors. I’m not running on an indoor track, but I often run on the treadmill. Especially when it’s 110 in the summer. I decided to try my Coros Pod 2 indoors and see how it responded. I own my treadmill and try to keep it calibrated, so I wondered how different the Coros Pod 2 would read. I actually found the Pod 2, and my treadmill was within .05 of each other on a 10-mile run.
It was the most accurate of any GPS watch indoors. If you are someone running indoors and really want the most accurate measurement, the Coros Pod 2 is a good option. I don’t *usually* turn my GPS watch on while running indoors, but I know many people do.
Effort Pace or “Adjusted Pace”:
The new adjusted pace on Coro’s watches gives runners an estimated pace if their run is on flat ground. It’s similar to the Gap pace that Strava uses. Now, if you excel as an uphill runner or aren’t great downhill, then it will not be fully accurate.
With the new Coros Pod 2 and future Coros watches to come, the adjusted pace is being renamed to effort pace. I know there is probably a point, but I don’t know what it is. Renaming things usually confuses people. Coros does say in the future more things other than hills will be accounted for in effort pace. That would be awesome if they could get weather, too, because so many people claim “their run/race” went even though it was 80 degrees with 100% humidity. So it would be nice to have a flatline comparison.
The Pod 2 has gone up in price by $30. Is it worth it? There are more features in the Coros Pod 2 versus 1. If you are a data-driven person and want the most, this is a great inexpensive option to do so. Especially because even with this add-on, it’s cheaper than most competitor brands.
Coros Pod 2 Conclusion:
The Pod 2 is an excellent update with significantly more information than the previous version and GPS watches. If you love data, you’ll appreciate Pod 2. I think it would benefit older watches that are not as good at GPS but sadly, it does not pair with them. Will I continue to use the Coros Pod 2? Yes, it does give significant data that GPS watches cannot.
Questions for you:
Have you tried the Coros Pod 2?
What is your favorite piece of running technology?