Zoi, what's wrong with my running?
- Zoi, what's wrong with my running?
- Everything! :-)
Now I'm a believer, cause this masterpiece of technology saved my knees, and made me faster.
I appreciate the simplicity of Zoi. The life is already full of computers and gadgets, and I welcome something new only if it's simple and ready to use.
It's really simple: your phone shows you all the metrics on one screen, so you can experiment in real-time during your run.
Stepping a bit faster, and your step rate displayed on the smartphone screen raises. This real-time monitoring and the totals data help improving the running technique:
I was running like this for three month, less than 10 kilometers per week. Focus on one metric at a time - human brain just can't control 6 metrics simultaneously. Fixing asymmetry was my initial goal, but soon I realized higher step rate and lower bounce make me faster and less tired. How faster? The speed gain for 3 month or Zoi training is about 6 minutes for half marathon:
The first pic is my Helsinki City Run - flat half marathon track, just some bridges. The second picture is Ruis Run at Ruissalo Turku, half marathon in the forest full of step hills. The weather was pretty much the same, but at Ruissalo my heart rate was about 10 bpm lower, regardless of the harder track. I'm pretty sure the performance gain is due to the technique improvement, cause the workout volume this summer was just recreational: 5km twice per week, only 10km weekly.
Running technique metrics explained:
Asymmetry. Good values are in the range 3-6%. My values were 9-12%, and that can be interpreted as a Disaster. Really, I had to have the expensive injection in my knee because of that!
Breakage. Another extremely important and unique metric available only in Zoi. It shows how much you stop your own run every step you take. So the lover the better. Good values are around 0.05% of your speed, that means you want 0.2-0.3 at 5 minutes per kilometer. Higher value may be caused by overstepping or early pull. This is precious feature Zoi is worth buing for. I can confirm there's nothing like this neither in my TomTom multisport nor in my wife's Garmin 735xt.
Bounce rate. It shows how high you jump on every step. Jumping takes so much energy! The less you jump the better, you can save the power, save the knees and ankles, and get faster at the same time. Impact metric is somewhat close to bounce rate. Bounce significantly depends on the shoes.
Step rate is important, cause increasing the step rate is usually enough to improve all the other metrics. After I increased my average step rate from 170 to 180-200 my bouncing got lower and the technique become more energy-saving. The speed and endurance improved because of that. Also, the body impact metric decreased, that means less damage to my backbone and the joints.
Ground contact - never mind, everything less than 300ms is ok.
All the metrics depend on the speed - the faster you run the worse they get, c'est la vie. So you want to run with the same speed to compare and to spot the progress. Accurate measurement of Asymmetry also requires really flat track. I haven't made a comprehensive testing of different running shoes yet, but I promise to compare the technique in Asics, Hokka, Adios and Vibram before the end of the season. There's so many shoes I can afford cause now I can save money on expensive Garmin watch: all I need is a smartphone that I already have and affordable Zoi sensor. Zoi is even better: it shows more metrics, for example 'breakage' - the precious one.
Our smartphones are already smart enough to serve all or needs. With some software and extra sensors they can do it all, for free, no more expensive devices needed. This is what Ambalco project is all about.
The most interesting part of this experiment is people start talking to me at the events. Some just ask how do I run so easily at the same speed. They just don't know how high my heart rate is, he he. "walking" with no jumps at about 200 steps per minute looks like a easy thing from the side. Everyone believes I've got a power and they offer making negative split together or overtaking the next pacekeepers. Well maybe next time :-)