Five reasons why you should buy Vi personal trainer headphones (and two reasons why you shouldn’t)
Vi Personal Trainer Headphones were something I saw in 2018 (?) via kickstarter. The premise is through the headphones and software, it could personalise a training plan for newbie runner to get running or to improve their 5km or 10km times.
Through lockdown, I bought a pair (they are currently on Amazon for £16 – be aware you do need to purchase an ongoing subscription to get the personalised training) which came with 12 months subscription to the personalised training plan. I used them for three months through the first UK lockdown and here are my five reasons why you should buy a pair of Vi Personal Trainer Headphones.
Five reasons why you should buy
- AI Prompts – For me, this was the best part of Vi – As you run, a voice (Vi) talks you through the training session as though a trainer is there with you. Vi will tell you your current pace and heart rate, tell you if you need to speed up / slow down to match a particular pace. Other prompts include when you have hit time or distance milestones, prompts for change of paces (fartlek sessions for example) as well as a countdown (really helpful!) when you are gunning an interval – “Don’t slow down, only 15 seconds to go…. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… slow down to easy pace. Well done, you’re doing great!”
- Sound Quality – Made by Harmon Kardon, the sound quality of these headphones are great! Note, they are sound isolating, therefore if you are out running on the streets, you will not be able to hear much of the outside world. You can use the Vi Training program with any headphones as it’s an app, but using the actual headphones, helps improve the personalisation of the training plan due to the tech.
- Technology – Within the headphones there is a HR monitor (checks your pulse in your ear) and a pedometer which helps understand your current pace. This allows the personal trainer to understand your efforts at any given time (telling you to speed up or slow down for example) and also personalising your upcoming training plan as you start to improve your running and fitness. As mentioned above, you do not need to use the Vi Personal Trainer Headphones to use the app and training plan, but you do not get the same prompts as you would with the main headphones
- Training – All the different training sessions are available to the user, these include walking, easy runs, moderate runs, long runs and intervals. However, Using the headphones along with the subscription plan will unlock the personalised training. You select your target (say improve your 10km time), how often you can run each week, how long you have (say 8 weeks) whilst it also takes in other biometric data. The trainer then spurts out a weekly training plan for you to follow to help hit your target. As you complete each run, it takes into account your pace, HR etc and each week it will update the plan depending on your progress. For a new(ish) runner, I think this is awesome, maybe theyre too intimidated by joining a running club or speaking to a running coach (you really shouldnt be!) It is a “safe” environment for people to try and improve by following a guided plan, rather than a generic plan off the internet
- Music – Just a small thing, with the app, you can choose to listen to your own music (which is fine) otherwise, it will put together a playlist dependent on your training session. For tempo sessions for example, it will have a faster playlist, whilst with long easy runs, they playlist is more laidback
Two reasons why you shouldn’t buy the Vi Personal Trainer Headphones
- As mentioned, the headphones are sound isolating. This means you are less aware of anything around you when you are listing to the headphones (great for the gym for example). I personally use Aftershokz Aeropex for road running as I can listen to music, whilst still being aware of my surroundings – much safer!
- The total number of sessions are limited and if you’re a more experienced runner, then you may have “topped” out from the scheduled sessions. For example, all of my sessions were the same each week and all “level 3”. By this time – its most likely worth speaking to a running coach. But above, these headphones really are for the new(ish) runner
Overall, if you are relatively new to running, these headphones with the training program are great. The choice of programs from starting off running to wanting to improving the 5km / 10km times is a really good way of personallising a training program before looking to join a club or working with a coach. More than anything, it’s a good way of making running less daunting! However, if you are a regular runner the training programs are good, but wont take you much further unlike a real-life coach would.
Note, I do have a running coach, but the time I was using the Vi Personal Trainer Headphones, I only followed the plan from Vi. As it was lockdown, and all races had been cancelled, it didnt matter if the plan was terrible or not, I didnt have any race targets at the time!
Finally, for some reason, the headphones startetd to lose charge quickly, only lasting about 1 hour compared to the 6-8 hours I received when I first purchased them. Obvisouly just a faulty pair, but as I actually use Aeropex for getting out and about, I have just never bothered replacing them.
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