METRIC MONDAY: Why are metrics so important?
Another week, another #MetricMonday!
Metric Monday sees us take an in-depth look at a range of metrics that impact your running, one by one, detailing their importance, what they mean, and how understanding and working to improve on each metric can help you in your running performance.
By understanding and working on these metrics for those crucial, performance-boosting marginal gains, you can improve on the key aspects of your form and technique and become a consistently better runner.
This week, we’re taking a step back to examine the importance of understanding running metrics overall, how they can help advance your running performance and how analysing your running regularly can help keep you safe from injury.
Over recent years, metric data has become more and more crucial to helping runners of all calibres understand their ability and performances.
Technology — like our very own fitness tracker, STRIDESENSE — has made understanding your running performance easier than ever, providing you with a series of accessible data points based on your run that tells you what areas you can improve and how you can do it.
But to really get the best out of your performance tracking tech, it’s important to fully understand what those metrics are telling you in order to boost your runs and take your performance to the next level.
What are the basic running metrics?
Most beginners will be aware of the traditional running metrics. Aspects like your time, distance, calories burnt, speed and pace are fairly routine and tell you little about how you can improve.
Here are the common-place, standard metrics that most wearable trackers will provide you with:
- Time (the duration that you run for)
- Distance (the length of your run)
- Calories Burnt (the number of calories lost as a result of running)
- Speed (how fast you run)
- Pace (your average speed)
All pretty basic stuff, right?
Of course, these are necessary metrics, but they don’t really offer you any new perspective — only the baseline of what you’d expect any tracker on the market to do.
If you’re wanting to progress your performances, then these aren’t really going to do much for you. The targets you’ll have going forward from analysing the basic metrics are fairly obvious — you’ll aim to run for longer, to run further, to burn more calories, run faster, at a higher pace, and so on. It’s only by getting into more specific and focused metrics that you’ll begin to advance your running performance.
Why do running metrics matter?
To really get into the nitty-gritty of what can advance your running performances, you have to look a little deeper into more nuanced metrics.
By understanding the finer details of your running performance, you can find new aspects of your running that you previously wouldn’t have known about.
For example, you may have a race time that is consistent and not changing, and want to understand what more you can do besides simply upping your tempo. Then you use STRIDESENSE to see that your cadence is too low, or that you have too much ground contact time, and are wasting too much time spent in the air with a high bounce rate.
Being able to see performances visualised and broken down can really open up your eyes to new aspects of your running, allowing you to develop your movement to new levels, and teaches you to cut out any bad habits in your form and technique that could potentially lead to future strains and injuries.
Running without such knowledge can come with particular risks of injury to your muscles and joints as particular stress in certain areas may result in injury if executed poorly or incorrectly.
As such, having a catalogue of personalised data and specific feedback offers runners a pathway to understanding which parts of your body are most in danger of being injured, and helps you work on your technique to stay injury-free.
What can understanding metrics do for me?
Put simply, understanding and using your metric data makes you a better runner. To really get into the finer details of what can advance your running performances, you have to look a little deeper into more nuanced metrics.
Thankfully, we’ve created a ground-breaking fitness tracker that measures a whole bunch of metrics just for you. Pretty great, right?
STRIDESENSE is designed to help you become a better runner through the power of our StrideMotion sensors that analyse your metric data and provide you with personalised feedback across a number of areas.
With a little bit of help from our app, you can work on more technique and form-based aspects of your run which will really bring better results to your runs.
What metrics does STRIDESENSE measure?
STRIDESENSE measures a number of metrics that you won’t find anywhere else on the wearable trackers market. Through our StrideMotion technology, we’re able to provide 3D motion tracking analysis that not only tells you how you performed but shows you too — with data captured to display your leg movement over the course of your run.
Here are the full metrics that STRIDESENSE measures:
- Basic Metrics (as detailed above)
These are the metrics most commonly found on traditional fitness trackers and are important for both reaching goals and monitoring your progression, including speed, split times, distance, time, and calories burnt.
- Cadence (the number of steps taken per minute)
While your cadence will vary at different speeds, the higher your cadence, the less time your foot is in contact with the ground, meaning there is less pressure on your feet and knees.
- Ground Contact Time (the duration at which your foot is in contact with the ground)
When your foot is in contact with the ground, you’re not moving forward but breaking. Therefore, the more time you are airborne, the faster you run.
- Bounce (the vertical movement during a run)
Most runners have a high bounce, which wastes a lot of energy — energy better saved for propelling yourself forwards, not upwards.
- Step Length (the length between each step)
Your running speed is a combination of both your step length and your cadence, with the optimal ratio between the two to get maximum speed differing for every runner.
- Pelvic Rotation and Tilt (the rotation and tilt of your pelvic bone during running)
Measuring your pelvic rotation and tilt monitors potential common traits of over-rotating and over-tilting, which are known to cause overstriding.
- Overstriding (the angle of your lower-leg on-ground impact)
Overstriding influences many metrics, including foot-strike and GCT, and affects your braking too.
- Symmetry (the symmetry in your left and right side during your run)
Symmetry is important for both efficiency and injury prevention — with a big cause of long term injuries is through compensating for asymmetries.
- Knee Elevation (the height of your knees during the extension phase of the stride)
STRIDESENSE can help you monitor how high your knees are to ensure you’re not under or over elevating.
- Kickback (how high your heel goes at the end stage of your stride)
Having a good kickback helps to improve your overall efficiency — much like your knee elevation.
- Shoe Rack (keep track of your shoes and get insights on how they affect your performance)
The STRIDESENSE app offers a wardrobe-style feature to help you monitor the impact of your choice of footwear on your runs, allowing you to track your mileage in each pair and monitor when a replacement is due.
By understanding these metrics, you’ll discover more about your performance, and find the aspects you can improve simply by tweaking your movement to squeeze out every last drop of potential from your runs.
Understanding metric data will help you to stay on top of your running and with precise, personalised feedback that can keep you safe from injury too.