Saturday, June 2, 2012

Product review: Revisiting the MOTOACTV

For someone who doesn't love math, I am a numbers junkie. Laps, pace, distance - I want to know it all, and I want to know it NOW. It's probably why I like the MOTOACTV so much.

Wait. Stop. Liked the MOTOACTV.

My favorite piece of gear, which was sent to me for review by the company, has begun to get a bit ... well ... unreliable.

 I first noticed problems with the device in March when we had those super hot, humid days. Mark and I were on a run, and the sweat was just dripping off of me. We were slated to run 6 miles and turned around at the 3-mile mark. We got home at 5.75. Now, I know that distance can be off running tangents but if I run 3 miles one way, I expect the return home to be 3 miles.

The next run, I put a small piece of paper towel between the MOTOACTV and my wrist as the sensor is open through the band. It was fine. The weather cooled down shortly thereafter, and I went about my business.

Until this week - when, excuse my language, shit started to get effed the hell up.

Sunday, Mark and I ran another out and back where the distance didn't measure correctly on the return. Upon inspecting the map, I saw that it had us basically running on an odd tangent through people's yards and houses. I don't think Lolo Jones could even handle those obstacles.

(Note: I think I sort of hate Lolo. She's just too good looking and talented for me.)

Wednesday, I headed out for some speedwork. The goal was to warm up, run 1 mile tempo, recover for 400 and run 1 mile tempo before cooling down. I had the stroller and because of it, I decided to go by effort and not by pace. Nonetheless, I was happy to see miles that went a little like this 8:XX. However, as I began my cooldown, the GPS just sort of dropped off. I went from an 8:47 mile to running at a 38:27 pace. I know I put the brakes on but damn. Just damn.

Thursday, frustrated as hell, I decided to do a little experiment. Once a week or so, I like to plan a run (mentally and route-wise) where there are no stops - no breaking to check if Miles is sleeping or to see if Denali has to pee. I think these runs help with endurance and race pacing. Anyway, I did this run on Thursday. No stops. And while my pace will fluctuate, the chart shows that my pace dropped off nine times. NINE.

I have tweeted @MOTOACTV about the problems and they responded but did not follow through with questions. I sent a message via the MOTOACTV website and received a response seeking follow-up information as my concern was going to require "Level 2" support. I sent them the data requested but have heard nothing.

(Editor's note: Just as I was about to schedule this post - no lie - I received a DM from @MOTOACTV apologizing that they missed my original message from last week. Hmm ... I've emailed the address they sent me with all kinds of info. We'll see what happens.)

It's so disappointing because I like the features of the MOTOACTV - the display, touch screen, WI-FI workout sync and the ability to add custom workouts such as BODYPUMP. However, no matter how "cute" something is, it only matters how well it works. And it's not. At least for now.

Is anyone else a MOTOACTV user? Have you had any problems?


  1. i just read another blog post with similar things. That really sucks esp bc it seems so fancy pants that I was considering it to be my next device when the time comes. Hopefully they work the kinks out!

  2. Of course I'm no expert but it almost sounds like it needs a software update or something similar. Or, that possibly it got sweat inside of it and got messed up as a result??????
    Hopefully you'll hear from the experts. In the meantime, call the running store and talk with Eric - he might have some thoughts/advice/guidance. Good luck!

    How about once running with motoactive on one arm and your garmin on the other - compare at the end? Just a dumb thought.

    Have a fantasticaly less HOT weekend!!!!!

  3. Hi Kimberly, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  4. Kimberly, have you tried it out again? My Garmin watch band just broke, and it's $90 to replace it. SOOO, probably just going to buy a new watch. As it was not GPS, I was thinking of switching. My husband thinks the motoactv is just what I need, but I told him about this post. I was hoping you would have some updated input on it?
    Thanks so much! And fun wishes on Marathon training! I'm sticking with Halfs for now, so I'm super interested in your journey. Thanks for blogging!