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How Do You Compare – Part 2

On New Year’s Eve, we debuted our all-new HOW DO YOU COMPARE page, which is chock-full of real life 2016 data across all the metrics the Pod collects. Filter by gender, pace group, age group or shoe type to compare yourself on averages based on a million miles of Pod-collected data.

Between working on all my New Year’s resolutions and starting strong on my 2017 training plan (hmmm…sort of?!) I pulled out some interesting insights about runners, running and shoes. Take a look!

Shoe type insights:

  • There is a link between runners wearing Minimal shoes and a more forward landing strategy (mid or toe) compared to all other shoe types. Note: This result is with similar stride lengths, so the forward landing was generally not attributed to a shortening of stride.
  • Men’s shoe type makes a difference in the weekly mileage. Neutral shoes saw an average mile per run increase over both Minimal and Trail shoes. Ponder: Do endurance runners lean toward neutral shoes or do neutral shoe wearers tend to run longer?
  • Overall, Minimal shoes ran 9% less mileage each week compared to Neutral shoes. Moral: This shows runners really are using their lighter, less cushioned shoes for shorter workouts, and move toward more cushioning for longer workouts.
  • For women, Trail shoes saw the most mileage per week. Discovery: Maybe this is a result of the Pod’s growing popularity in the ultra-running community!

Age group insights:

  • From the age of 20, men continue to increase their average run length through at least age 70. However, women steadily decrease their average run length with age. Thought: Do women slowly change over to more walking as they get older? (The How Do You Compare tables for 2016 is just our running data).
  • Starting at age 50, women’s rate of impact decreases as they get older. Tip: This is one way women protect themselves and maintain their ability to run as they age.
  • When compared to the average, teenagers have the lowest cadence. Lesson: It is important to coach young runners on good running form (and why it matters!) to encourage an injury free running life.
  • Women over 55 have a low leg swing 83% of the time compared to their counterparts… men have a low leg swing only 18% of the time. Tip: A higher leg swing is more efficient. See the latest Jackie’s Journey for tips on how to improve leg swing.

Pace group insights

  • The 7:30-7:59 pace group ran the longest each week, while the fastest runners (6:00-6:29 pace group) ran less.  Tip: Perfect practice makes perfect.  “We need to extend the ability to run at the speed you want and you can produce,” says coach Renato Canova.
  • Women got faster by increasing their cadence, improving by 1-3 steps a minute for each :30 second decrease in pace.  Moral: Men could take a lesson from the women, to increase leg turnover and increase speed.
  • Both men and women use higher leg swing and shorter ground contact time to run faster. Tip: more time in the air means less time losing energy to the ground.

Did you miss the How Do you Compare – Part 1? Read it here.

Have a great 2017! Dr. Steve.

P.S. Interested in totaling or averaging your personal MilestonePod data for the year? Download your Run Log to excel: Menu > Settings > Export Run Log. The file will be delivered to your email in seconds!

Author: Steve Suydam

Steve is a PhD and Director of Research at Milestone Sports. He can be reached at steve@milestonepod.com.