Using Counterpace outdoors

Using Counterpace outdoors

The treadmill is the easiest place to learn to walk, jog or run in sync with Counterpace guidance - learn more here. Read below to learn how to use Counterpace for outdoor walking and running.

First things first

Familiarize yourself with our getting started procedures here. Once you are wearing your and strap and sensor and everything is connected continue on.

Make sure you can hear the guidance

Open the app and select “Outdoor.” The primary guidance from Counterpace is audible, so make sure the volume on your phone is turned up so you can easily hear it during your exercise session. We recommend headphones, or s single earbud to ensure that the timing prompt (beat) is easy to hear over wind, traffic or other environmental noise. To begin, tap “Start” in the Counterpace app.

Allow for a warm up

Whether you plan to walk or run, it’s common for step rates to be higher than heart rates before you’ve adequately warmed up during a session. Provide time for your body to warm up and your heart rate to rise towards your natural step rate.  Don’t worry about stepping in sync at the beginning of the session. As you gain more experience you may find ways to get into sync earlier in a session.

Find your desired pace

Once you’ve warmed up, find the pace (speed) you’d like to maintain. After your heart rate settles down at this desired pace, take stock of where your heart rate is relative to your step rate.

Heart rate and step rate are close

If your heart rate and step rate are close, you should begin to hear the audible prompt. Focus on stepping to the beat and you should find yourself stepping in sync! You may need to increase or decrease your stride length to maintain your desired speed while stepping at the rate of the audible prompt.

Heart rate rises above step rate

If your heart rate rises above your natural step rate, you’ll be prompted to take shorter, more frequent steps. If this occurs, you’ll need to decrease your stride length in order to maintain a constant speed. The more you shorten your steps, the slower you’ll go, and the less your heart rate will rise.

Heart rate is lower than step rate

You may find that your heart rate does not naturally rise to meet their natural step rate. This is most common at slow to moderate paces, and because natural max heart rates gradually decrease as we grow older. In this case, you may need to increase your stride length in order to accelerate or maintain speed at a given heart rate.  During running, it’s particularly important to maintain proper ergonomics, and NOT heel strike, when increasing stride length. Lengthening strides to maintain intensity or effort level must be accomplished by leaning forward with your hips from your ankles, ensuring that your shoulders remain directly inline with your hips (i.e. don’t bend at the waist).

The following strategies can help bring your heart rate and step rate closer.

Use ankle weights

Ankle weights help by increasing effort level (higher heart rate) and also decreasing stride rate. Experiment with different weights to find ones that work for you. See below for weights we recommend.

Most comfortable, but fixed weight:

Gaxiog Ankle Weights


Not as comfortable but adjustable:

GYMENIST Ankle Weights


Note: Insertable metal bars can cause soreness due to pressure of end of bar on ankle when running several miles at full weight (5.5lb each ankle). This problem is solved by wearing them inside-out + upside-down, which places the extra padding on pressure points of ankles.

Walking poles

While taking pressure off your hips and knees, poles increasing upper extremity and core exercise - which raises your heart rate. This can help bring your heart rates and step rates closer together. Walking poles have also been demonstrated to increase calorie burn with a lower perception of effort.

Here are two of our favorites:

TNH Outdoors Trekking Poles
Urban Poling - Series 300 Nordic Walking/Hiking / Trekking Poles



Short high intensity sprints can raise your heart rate. Don’t try to stay in sync while sprinting, but rather following the sprint you can recover while your heart rate is still elevated and closer to your natural stride rate.


Simply running or walking up a hill will often help because the increased effort will raise your heart rate and step rates are often lower while climbing.

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