Here at Lumo HQ, we’re hitting the ground running (literally!) with development and testing of Lumo Run. As a small team of under 30 members, whether you’re our CEO or a little ole’ marketer like myself, we are all throwing on our running shoes and getting out there to put our sensors and algorithms to the test.
Just earlier this week, our Head of Engineering, Dave Woods, who is also one of our most avid runners within the company, road tested the Lumo Run sensor on the PG&E and Black Mountain trails of the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve in Los Altos, CA. For those of you unfamiliar, the PG&E / Black Mountain loop is a grueling, hilly 12 mile run – 5 miles uphill, and 7 miles downhill.
*The thickness of the black line indicates elevation; the thicker the line, the higher the altitude.
Here are the highlights of Dave’s run after we took a look at all of the data that the Lumo Run sensor captured:
The shaded blocks of color are the identified target ranges for each of these metrics that we co-developed with Loughborough University, a renowned institution in the UK who specialises in running biomechanics and form, in addition to our in-house PhD Biomechanist, Rebecca Shultz, who just joined our team after 9 years at the Stanford gait lab.
Looking at these graphs, you’ll see that Dave was within the target range for his ground contact time for most of his run at about 250 milliseconds but was over the target range for pelvic tilt and under for cadence. So what does this all mean?
Pelvic tilt is best described as the anterior-posterior movement of your pelvis during your run and is important because excess movement of this kind is what often leads to back strain and pain for runners. To simulate what an exaggerated pelvic tilt movement feels like, try sticking your butt in and out.
Looking at Dave’s pelvic tilt values, you’ll notice that he starts off pretty close to the target range at about 10 degrees, but this value slowly increases with time and mileage. This makes sense because as you run farther and for longer, fatigue kicks in and you have less control over your core. At about half an hour to an hour into Dave’s run, his pelvic tilt movement increases to as high as 18 degrees.
Lumo Run Fix: To reduce pelvic tilt values for long distance runs, focus on engaging your core while you run, and doing strength training exercises for your core outside of your runs. Learn more here.
Ground Contact Time and Cadence
Looking at the first two graphs below for ground contact time and cadence, we can see the near-perfect negative correlation between the two: as cadence picks up, ground contact time almost always goes down. In other words, the more steps you take per minute, the less time your foot stays in contact with the ground on each step.
Decreasing ground contact time is valuable to runners because extra time spent on the ground upon each step is indicative of lost energy and decreased speed. Learn more here.
The third graph below the ground contact time and cadence graphs shows the change in altitude over time. When you compare all three, you’ll notice that the sudden drop in ground contact time and the spike in cadence all align with when Dave begins his initial descent from the peak of the trail.
Dave noted that at the beginning of the descent back down the trail, there is a very steep, 50 meter drop within 90 seconds (that’s roughly the equivalent of 16 stories) until the trail flattens out again to a much more steady decline. This is likely the reason for the spike in cadence and drop in GCT, as he had to quicken his steps to catch himself from tumbling down the steep hill.
Dave started running 8 years ago as part of a new year’s resolution to run the 2007 Big Sur marathon, in which he finished in 3 hours 43 minutes (way to go, Dave!). He still runs about 3 times per week, both on the road and on trails, though he enjoys trail running most.
His favorite place to run is Rancho San Antonio, but he enjoys all of the beautiful mountain trails offered in the Santa Cruz mountains.
Dave is currently getting back into full training mode for the Napa Marathon after a 4 year hiatus after completing the Boston Marathon in 2011.
Lumo Run Product Update
It’s been almost a full month since the launch of Lumo Run, and we are happy to report that we are fully on track with both development and production of Lumo Run! As we discussed a little bit earlier, we are continuously testing and validating all of the data captured by our sensor, and working closely with coaches, runners, experts for the best coaching cues to help you become a better runner.
We’re excited to be able to take all of this granular running data for running biomechanics that include that ones discussed here, in addition to others like bounce, braking, pelvic drop and rotation to provide actionable feedback to help you run faster, farther and reduce your risk of injury. Stay tuned for more updates as they come!
Access lab-level data and insights with Lumo Run
Get accurate feedback on your cadence, ground contact time, pelvic rotation, pace and more to help you train better to improve your performance. Lumo Run also provides real-time audio coaching during your run, as well as detailed post-run insights through the Lumo Run App.