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RUNNING METRICS EXPLAINED

Firstly, what is a metric?

A performance metric is the measurement of key data points that lead to successful outcomes. Metrics are analysed on a continual basis to make sure you keep on track and meet your performance targets. If you don’t achieve the goals for your metrics, you know you will not achieve your performance goals.

As an example, if you wanted to improve your 200m sprint. Just measuring the time it takes to complete 200m does not help you get faster. However, if you could measure the speed of the time it takes to leave from the starting blocks, then if you could reduce the time it takes to do that, then your time to complete a 200m sprint would decrease as a result.

THE METRICS THE RPP ANALYSES

STEPS

What Is This Measurement?
Starting this metrics guide with the simplest of measurements! Steps are the number of time you put one leg in front of the other for walking or running.
Why Is This Measured?
When combined with other metrics like cadence and pace, it provides for more significant insights.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your number of steps is found on the run summary screen of the In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
Increase your steps per run by increasing your running distance and speed. The more you train and push yourself a little further each time, the more your body will adapt to running more steps. The amount you will increase your distance and speed targets will depend on your training plan.

STRIDE LENGTH

What Is This Measurement?
Stride length is defined as the distance between successive ground contacts of the same foot, so the distance it takes to do two steps.
Why Is This Measured?
There is an optimal stride length for an individual based on their body size and running goals. Overstretching and going beyond your optimal stride length can cause injury.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your stride length information is located on the run summary screen of the In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
There are a number of different exercises that can be done to improve stride length. Including hill sprints, resistive running, stair running, jumping drills, knee lifts and heel kicks to help boost your lower-body power and flexibility. This leads to an increase in your foot push-off strength and results in improving the length of your stride.

SYMMETRY

What Is This Measurement?
This is the balance of work done by each leg. Each leg should be working the same amount ideally.
Why Is This Measured?
Symmetry is a significant factor in improving running performance as it reduces the chance of an injury occurring by identifying overcompensating (favouring one leg over the other). When one side of your body works harder than the other, you are running asymmetrically, this typically results in a higher risk of injury.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your symmetry data is shown on the dashboard part of your In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
There are a variety of strength training exercises that can be done to help strengthen your weaker side if you run asymmetrically. Strength training will help improve the symmetry between both sides of the body. Some recommended exercises to help improve your symmetry include single-leg taps, single-leg squats, side-lying leg lifts and clamshell exercises.

PACE

What Is This Measurement?
Pace is the amount of time it takes to cover a specified distance, such as the number of minutes it takes to cover a mile.
Why Is This Measured?
Pace is a common metric in measuring running performance and so will be a useful metric in comparisons. The target pace for your training plan will be dependent on your running goals.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your pace data is shown on the dashboard part of your In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
Before you’ve even started there are a number of factors that can affect your pace; lifestyle, diet and clothing all have an impact. When running though, there are a number of factors that affect pace. Firstly, stamina – how long you can run for, and secondly using the insights provided by the App to help improve your cadence, step length, contact time, flight time, foot placement and symmetry metrics.

CADENCE

What Is This Measurement?
Cadence is a measurement of how many steps you take over an amount of time, typically measured as steps per minute.
Why Is This Measured?
Cadence gives an insight into running efficiency. Studies have shown that a faster cadence reduces the chance of injury as well as encouraging runners to mid-strike while running. Which is the ideal foot striking position. Cadence goals will vary between individuals training plans due to various factors such as personal goals and the motivational method chosen for feedback options.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your symmetry data is shown on the dashboard part of your In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
There are a variety of strength training exercises that can be done to help strengthen your weaker side if you run asymmetrically. Strength training will help improve the symmetry between both sides of the body. Some recommended exercises to help improve your symmetry include single-leg taps, single-leg squats, side-lying leg lifts and clamshell exercises.

DURATION

What Is This Measurement?
Duration is the amount of time you spend participating in a session running.
Why Is This Measured?
Duration is especially important when trying to build greater running stamina and the longer the duration of the run the more calories will burn. Your run duration will depend on your training plan goals.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your run duration is located on the run summary screen of the In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
Cardiovascular (heart) health and a healthy diet are the most significant factors in achieving better stamina and therefore longer run durations. The healthier the heart, the longer your maximum running distance will be. To help improve duration while running, improve the length of your runs by incremental amounts, such as an extra minute every run or two.

DISTANCE

What Is This Measurement?
Distance is the amount of ground covered between the start and end of your run.
Why Is This Measured?
This is measured as it is an indicator of stamina, the further you can run the higher your stamina. What distance is appropriate to you will depend on your goals and training plans.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your running distance is located on the run summary and dashboard screens of the In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
Your form, fitness and overall health play key parts in achieving longer running distances. The mental attitude should not be forgotten either, often making the difference between giving up and finishing a run. If a run distance seems daunting, it can help if you break the run down in your head into sections. As an example think of a 5km run, if that seems daunting then think of it as 5 individual sections of 1km and use those smaller goals as motivation when running.

CONTACT TIME

What Is This Measurement?
Contact time is the amount of time each foot is in contact with the ground for each stride.
Why Is This Measured?
Contact time is measured as lower ground contact times can help prevent injuries and is particularly important for how fast and efficiently you run. This is a key measurement because the longer your foot is on the floor, the more chances for errors to occur.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your contact time is located on the run summary screen of the In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
Your form, fitness and overall health play key parts in achieving longer running distances. The mental attitude should not be forgotten either, often making the difference between giving up and finishing a run. If a run distance seems daunting, it can help if you break the run down in your head into sections. As an example think of a 5km run, if that seems daunting then think of it as 5 individual sections of 1km and use those smaller goals as motivation when running.

FLIGHT TIME

What Is This Measurement?
Flight time is the amount of time spent in the air by a runner in between steps.
Why Is This Measured?
Flight time is measured because it directly impacts running efficiency and provides excellent insights into running form when compared with other measurements. So the longer your flight time, the more likely you are to be running with high levels of running efficiency.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your contact time is located on the run summary screen of the In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
The best way to increase flight time is to include speed training – training above your normal steps per minute pace. Building strength through speed will ensure your muscles are trained to propel your body forward and increase your flight time and therefore performances.

FOOT PLACEMENT – HEEL STRIKE

What Is This Measurement?
This is a measurement to show how often the heel is the first part of the foot that contacts the ground when running. This will be displayed as foot placement when taking the running goals into account.
Why Is This Measured?
Approximately 90 to 95% of runners are heel strikers. However, running like this leads to a strain on the body and an increased chance of injury. This is because when the heel strikes the ground it is essentially braking and sending a shockwave up through the body via the Tibia bone. Too much heel striking could cause shin splints and other issues.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your heel striking data is located on the run summary screen of the In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
To reduce the number of heel strikes experienced it is important to modify how your foot lands while running. To start, spend a few minutes each run consciously landing on the ground with a mid/fore-foot strike. The length of time to practice better foot landing on each run should be gradually increased to help train your foot landing position. This is one of the more difficult metrics to change as an individual, however with enough patience and practice, you will be able to amend your foot landing potisition without having to think about it.

FOOT PLACEMENT – MID-FOOT STRIKE

What Is This Measurement?
This is a measurement to show how often the heel and ball of your foot touch the ground simultaneously when running. This will be displayed as foot placement when taking the running goals into account.
Why Is This Measured?
This is measured as it is the most injury-preventative way for the foot to strike the ground when running. It also helps improve running efficiency as less energy is required to propel yourself forward than if you were heel striking.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your mid-foot striking data is located on the run summary screen of the In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
Mid-foot striking is the most efficient way for a runner to land their feet while running due to the weight distribution being evenly spread across the foot (including ankles, hips, back and knees) when striking the ground. A way to train to encourage mid-foot landing is to run barefoot and slowly undertake exercises that focus on landing on your mid-foot while moving, If done too quickly, this can result in tight calfs.

FOOT PLACEMENT – FORE-FOOT STRIKE

What Is This Measurement?
Fore-foot striking is where the runners’ ball of the foot is the first point of contact and the heel makes no contact with the ground when you run. This will be displayed as foot placement when taking the running goals into account.
Why Is This Measured?
Fore-foot striking is a way to reduce the stress endured by the knees and therefore the chance of injury. However, it requires a gradual change over a period of time.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your fore-foot striking data is located on the run summary screen of the In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
Fore-foot striking is a great running form style when wanting to increase your running speed or running up an incline such as a hill. Fore-foot striking over long distances will likely cause injuries to your Achilles tendons and calves. Fore-foot running is best for sprinting as it allows for the providing of enormous power over short distances.

LANDING FORCE

What Is This Measurement?
Landing force is the force transferred to the ground as you make contact with the ground and is responsible for transitioning the runner from the flight stage of the run, to the stance stage. Studies have shown that runners who have a higher landing force, sustain the most running injuries.
Why Is This Measured?
Ideally, you don’t want to land with too much force otherwise you run the risk of wasting energy by braking and increasing the risk of injury. When running you create a landing force of 1.5 to 3 times your body weight. This effect can be magnified by too long a stride length or poor foot placement.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your landing force data is located on the run summary screen of the In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
To reduce your landing force, practice running and ensuring your foot is landing under your body, with a mid/fore-foot strike. When doing this motion it is important to keep your knee bent.

PUSH-OFF FORCE

What Is This Measurement?
Push-off force is the force on the ground used to propel the runner forward, sometimes referred to as propulsion.
Why Is This Measured?
Push-off force is a key metric in running performance and key to maintaining a forward velocity. Your running speed is directly related to the magnitude of this force.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your push-off force data is located on the run summary screen of the In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
By transferring the momentum from your landing force (if done correctly with your foot under your body) you will have the best form to propel your body forward. To do this, lean your head forward first through this movement to direct the rest of your body forward harnessing as much forward propulsion as possible. Strengthening of the calf muscles will also contribute to a greater push-off force.

PRONATION

What Is This Measurement?
Pronation is the rolling of the foot inwards while running, where the initial contact is made with the inside of the foot.
Why Is This Measured?
If you over-pronate while running it causes the collapse of the arch of the foot, causing the ankle to roll inward while running. This can lead to pain and discomfort over time and increase the chance of an injury occurring. The strength of your foots arch will also impact pronation.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your pronation data is located on the run summary screen of the In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
Humans naturally tend to pronate while running and this can be made worse by unsupportive footwear or running excessively on hard surfaces. So changing shoes or choosing an appropriate insole may be a quick change you could do to reduce pronation quickly. Otherwise, there are exercises such as single-leg deadlifts, jumping lunges or calf raises you can do to help your body reduce the chance of pronating excessively.

SUPINATION

What Is This Measurement?
Supination is the opposite of pronation and is when the foot rolls outwards when contact is made with the ground while running.
Why Is This Measured?
Supination is the outward roll of the foot during your running stride. It is the opposite of pronation, which causes an inward roll of the foot. As your foot hits the ground during supination, your heel strikes first and your weight rolls to the outside of your foot.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your supination data is located on the run summary screen of the In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
The same ways to improve pronation apply to supination also.

PHYSIMETRIC

What Is This Measurement?
This metric is a combination of all the measurements above and translates to a percentage based on your goals and progress against them.
Why Is This Measured?
Many of the measurements above are related and thus improvement in one metric can result in a degradation in another. This metric takes that into account so you can see your overall improvement in your performance and form as a simple single number.
Where Is This Information Found?
Your PhysiMetic score is located on the run summary screen of the In:Sight App.
How To Train and Improve
This is a score that combines data from all the different metrics and combines them to give you a simple single number to gauge your overall progress.