I’m a big believer that there’s something to be learnt from every run. No matter how good, bad or indifferently you’ve performed, if you look hard enough you’ll find something to take away and use to be stronger next time out. Thanks to a new running gadget called the Lumo Run those lessons were even more surprising, and useful, for me at the Richmond Half Marathon.
The Lumo Run is a small clip-on tracker that monitors your running form to provide real-time and post-run feedback on your performance across a range of very detailed metrics including cadence, bounce (or vertical oscillation), braking, drop and rotation. Each of these has an affect on your overall running efficiency and Lumo Run offers coaching advice to help you improve across all of them.
I’ve worn Lumo for a while now as part of a test I did for Wareable.com on the best virtual running coaches but the Richmond Half Marathon was the first time I raced with it. What it’s showed me about how I run has been an eye opener.
My form is worse when I’m moving at pace
It’s very easy to think your running form is great and we can all feel that we look like Mo in full flow until we run past a shop window or see a race video and you realise you’re shuffling not flying. But for me personally, I’ve always been convinced that my form is better when I’m running at pace. According to Lumo Run that’s really not the case.
Because Lumo breaks down your form metrics against your splits you can see the changes in technique overlaid on pace. For every one except cadence, my performance dropped below target as soon as I went below a 7 min/mile pace. That meant despite slowing in the second half of the race, I was actually running with better form.
The hips don’t lie
The worst offender for me is my hip rotation aka the twisting motion of my pelvis. My target was an average of 15 degrees but I failed to hit that on all but two of the 13 miles. Overall I clocked 19 degrees. One possible cause of this is driving forward more with one leg than the other. I’ve always felt my right leg is much stronger than my left so this would make sense.
Pelvis is alive
Another thing I’d never have know without wearing Lumo is that at pace, the side to side motion of my pelvis or Drop as Lumo calls it, increases. This can be caused by weak abductor muscles.
Putting the brakes on
Perhaps most surprising of all is the fact that I brake a lot more when I speed up. Had you asked me this before I ran with Lumo I’d definitely have told you I run more forefoot at pace but that’s clearly not the case, my braking was actually at its lowest when I was running slowest. The cause? I might be overstriding.
The good thing about Lumo Run is that it doesn’t just leave you with your form problems, it offers up video drills you can to do to improve. Looks like I’ve got a lot of work to do before I take on the Centurion Running Thames 100 Mile ultra at the end of April.