Getting il-LUMO-nated! Part 1

Last month, I was awarded a Lumo.Run smart running sensor as a runner-up prize from the #ThisIsMyCoach contest.  Upon delivery, I quickly tore into the box and started getting acquainted with my new gadget.  You clip this powerful little device on the back of your shorts and it analyzes your run form based on several metrics: 
•    Cadence (how frequently your foot contacts the ground, per minute)
•    Bounce (also known as vertical oscillation, is the up and down movement that your body experiences while you run)
•    Braking (the change in forward speed experienced by your body during a step)
•    Drop (the side to side motion of the pelvis)
•    Rotation (the twisting motion of the pelvis)

As an engineer, I believe the more gadgets, the better!  I LOVE data and digging into numbers.  Also, as an engineer, I know that no patterns can be established from a single data point.  In order to properly identify patterns in my run form, I decided to put in a month of running with my sensor and reviewing the data.  As a busy mom who frequently forgets things, I LOVE that this device is waterproof and will survive the wash cycle (I've been guilty of leaving it clipped on the back of my shorts)!  

After my first run with the sensor, I was REALLY nervous to look at the analysis.  I was worried it was going to tell me I was a MESS!  I was happy to see that my form reflects my running background.  For the five different criteria, my numbers were pretty much at, or near, the threshold values.  Phew!

It was really interesting looking at the data from this past month.  Especially comparing my slow, easy runs to my fast, interval runs.  The two run types produced different areas for improvement.  For my slower runs, my cadence was a bit below the lower threshold of 180 spm.   For my faster runs, my bounce moderately exceeded the threshold value of 3.30 inches.  The criteria that was frequently exceeded for both the slow and fast runs was braking (threshold value of 1.31 ft/s).  

With solid data collected and trends established, I have now identified the areas that need improvement.  That’s the other great thing about the Lumo.Run sensor.  It does more than just provide you analysis.  It provides you exercises and drills to work on to improve your specific issues with your run form.  And now that I’ve completed my last race for the season, I have more time to work on improving swim/bike/run efficiency and strength.


Over the next month or two, I am going to focus on the drills and exercises recommended by the app and follow up with a second post to detail my progress to improve my run form.