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Wearing Two Pods: Asymmetry Assessment

The MilestonePod fan base is growing in numbers and they are an active and vocal tribe.  We truly love getting user feedback and we keep an eye out for trending questions in case the explanation could benefit everyone. Most recently, we have heard from a number of you about wearing two Pods:

“Is it possible to wear two pods, one per foot, and collect and review the data in comparison? One leg is more injury-prone than the other and I’m trying to figure out if kinematic differences might explain this. Thank you” – Mark

The short answer is yes, you can wear two Pods and have them both sync to your App. The differences between each leg are typically slight, making the data from one Pod worn on either foot sufficient for most runners. However, for runners coming back from an injury or feel they are injury-prone on one side like Mark, wearing two Pods can produce fascinating insights.

Most of us at Milestone Sports wear two Pods on every run for various testing purposes. The trick at the moment is differentiating between the two feet in the Run Log. The brains in the back room of Milestone Sports are working to integrate more user-friendly App functions around wearing two Pods, which we hope to release early next year.

For now, we will show you a work-around using the current App and our data output feature.

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Step #1
Before adding a second Pod, rename your first Pod for the side it is on:  “left” or “right.”  To change a Pod’s name, tap the Pod icon on your Dashboard, then the pencil icon at the top right of the pop-up window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step #2.
Add the second Pod. Select a different but similar shoe model. For example, our CTO picked the Asics DS-Racer 11 for his left leg and the Asics DS-Racer 10 for his right leg. This gives each foot a different shoe image and color in his Run Log, helping him distinguish between his left and right foot (see header image). Name this second Pod with the opposite leg: “right” or “left.” This will allow easier navigation in the excel output in step #3.

 

 

For some of you, it will be enough to view and compare the metrics of each foot within the Run Log and Details sections. For those that want to dig deeper and analyze your leg asymmetry in detail, keep reading….

Step #3.
Next you need to output your data to compare feet.  As we have shown before in the “Find Your Shoe Replacement Sweet Spot: A MilestonePod DIY Guide,” start by downloading your Run Log from the MilestonePod App (Menu > Settings > Export Run Log to Excel). This file will include your entire Run Log and will be delivered to your email is seconds.

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Start matching your runs by “Run Date.” Right click on the column with the run date and select > format cells > Date > 3/14/12 1:30 PM. The time is now there as well.  Look for two run date and times that match each other within a minute or two to identify them as a single session.

Next, create a new row and start comparing data (Row 1 – Row 2). We recommend focusing on changes in average ground contact time (GCT) and rate of impact (ROI).

 

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If there are small differences between legs, do not worry, this is perfectly natural.  What should you do if you see bigger differences? Much research is still needed in this area. One idea is to focus on when those large differences occur and what you can do to reduce the change.

The MilestonePod is bringing the running world data that has not been seen before and by looking at the asymmetry of your runs, you are joining researchers in discovering how to run safer.

Congratulations on being interested in this topic. Looking at your symmetry is definitely a way Go Beyond Pace!

 

 

Author: Steve Suydam

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