Heart rates are cool, but the BSX Insight wearable measures lactate threshold too

As a competitive runner, I’m always on the lookout for new wearables that provide insight to my training. BSX Athletics, a Houston-based company that provides cloud-based training plans fits the bill with its Kickstarter project for the Insight: A wearable device that measures lactic acid in your muscles along with heart rate, pace and cadence when running or biking.

BSX Insight main

Unlike many other health wearables, the Insight doesn’t go on a wrist. Instead, you wear it near your calf in a compression sock. The Insight then sends data wirelessly to a sports watch using the ANT+ protocol. Currently, ANT+ doesn’t have a standard way to send lactic acid information, so the team at BSX has created a bit of a hack. They are working on getting the standard updated, however.

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I typically use a heart rate monitor to manage my exertion levels when running, and the data from that helps me create different training zones. It’s a great indicator of how hard or easy I’m working out during a run, but it doesn’t directly measure my lactic threshold the way the Insight does.

To make a long story short, your lactic threshold is that moment during a workout where your body can’t flush lactic acid out of your bloodstream faster than it is being produced. It contributes to that muscle ache or burn that makes you legs feel heavy when running, for example. Here’s a fuller explanation of the lactic threshold, which varies by person and even varies in a single person as they get in better — or worse — shape, as well as how the BSX Insight works:


At time of writing, the BSX Insight has raised $21,208 of its $50,000 funding goal and has 30 days to go. Early bird deals for a BSX Insight plus six months of BSX training access for $179 are still available; the MSRP will be $249 for that package.