Four times a week, I dress to train for the New York City Marathon: running tights, a racerback tank top, undergarments that wick away sweat — and my GPS watch.
I constantly glance at my left wrist to make sure I’m jogging at the right pace during each workout. But a new “smart” sports bra Montreal-based company OMsignal launched Monday ($169, $69 for additional bras; OMsignal.com) aims to change that whiplash-inducing habit.
While it looks and acts like a normal sports bra, there’s a small chargeable hub you snap into the sensor-lined band before each run. Its unique selling point is that it tracks both your heart rate and breathing rhythms (and claims to be the first to do so) via a free app the company created called OMrun. After five runs, it’s able to determine your fitness levels.
You’re meant to spend 80 percent of a run in what the app says is a low heart-rate zone, called “endurance,” and 20 percent of it in a fairly high zone, called “peak.” The ultimate goal is to run actual races in a middle zone. In essence, you run slower (while training) to run faster (when it counts).
During a weekend of trial runs with the OMbra, I learned to focus a little less on numbers — distance logged, miles per minute — and a little more on the big picture. Staying relaxed instead of hunching my shoulders. Breathing regularly instead of in fits and starts. Taking smaller steps, not long strides.