With the advancement of technology, running specific watches are now able to produce far more data than they ever have. But how do we use this to optimise our training?
There are a number of key features that I have my clients monitor whilst training. This is to ensure they are minimising their risk of an injury developing.
- One of the most important running variables to monitor actively whilst running, but also when reviewing previous runs. Multiple published studies have indicated that a cadence of 170-180 steps per minute has a considerable reduction in more common running related injuries eg Achilles tendinopathy, knee pain, shin splints. Cadence refers to the number of steps you take per minute, this number can vary slightly depending on your own biometrics, and speed/terrain in which you are running. If a runner can typically aim for a cadence of 170-180, then your risk of injury drops significantly. This is due to a reduction in stride length, and your point of contact with the ground – which should be in line with your body and not out in front.
- Heart rate
- With new technologies means that we can move away from having to wear chest straps to monitor heart rate, and instead a more convenient wrist heart rate monitoring. Now this is not going to be 100% accurate, the watch can give you a very good idea of your resting heart rate, exercise rate etc. Heart rate is important to monitor whilst training and race days. Heart rate can be used as a guide to know what training field you are in Aerobic vs Anaerobic, understanding what is your ‘threshold’ heart rate is, your cardio-vascualr fitness (based on how fast your HR drops to ‘normal’ resting rate post exercise). Using this data you can train specifically for your chosen event/race,
- Analysing running form (using a POD)
- This feature requires you to purchase a POD in addition to your watch, but what it means is you can start to understand more about what is happening at a foot/ankle level. The addition of a POD means you can track stride length, improved accuracy with your cadence, and ground contact time. All this is important to know especially if you are wanting to become a more efficient runner.
- Daily activity monitoring
- It is important to understand your ‘normal’ daily activity levels. The data produced from this feature include heart rate, and step count. Both important to keep in mind whilst actively training for an event/race, or during tapering prior to a event/race. Once you have established your ‘baseline’ you can work from there. For example if you work in a particularly active job, and you are in an increased load of your training phase, then being aware of how far you are moving, and what you HR is doing day to day is important for recovery purposes.
If you would like any further information, please feel free to contact myself [email protected] or you can book an appointment online.