A review of RunScribe just came in from Steve Magness and I thought it was so important that I had to share it with you immediately. If you care about your running and don’t want to keep getting injured, read on.
First off, let me just say that bumping a substantive post to the front of the line is a major pain in the butt. While short tiny posts can go out immediately, my more lengthy posts have a long lead time– I like have at least a week all scheduled to automatically go out when most of my readers are online. Putting a new post in that bumps all the others down means changing the scheduling dates on each post separately. Rarely do posts rise to this level of importance, but I thought this one did. Also, I usually don’t contribute to Kickstarter projects unless I think that they have to potential to be real game-changers (BSX Insight is one the few others to make the cut for me). This one was a no-brainer– particularly after seeing the value that Steve was finding in his prototype model.
Basically, the RunScribe is a tiny pod that attaches to the back of your running shoe and captures data about your running mechanics. “Big deal,” you might be thinking, “my [Garmin/Nike/Adidas] footpod does that.” Yeah, if only. The RunScribe captures data along 9 different axes. Of course, it can tell you easy things like running speed, stride rate, and all the usual stuff. But it can also tell you you SOOO much more important data. For instance, it can tell you things like G-forces, pronation excursion (i.e. how badly you pronate), and pronation velocity (i.e. how fast– and dangerous– your pronation is occurring).
Steve does a great job at talking about all the coaching possibilities. He includes sample data from track workouts he did along with some of his athletes and describes how the added running data may help him coach his athletes, develop cues that they can use to help prevent form deterioration, and workouts to help strengthen weak spots. So far, interesting but not captivating.
Then, Steve started talking about comparing running shoes and my ears perked up. For instance, imagine you’re shopping for new shoes. Instead of just relying on marketing fluff and a vague perception of how a shoe “feels” when you run in it, wouldn’t it help to get some instant hard data on how it actually works on your foot– especially compared to an identically “feeling” shoe from its competitor? Also, instead of retiring a perfectly good pair of shoes too early or getting injured because you have worn a blown-out shoe too long, wouldn’t it be better to know data like pronation excursion so you can say when it’s sufficiently far away from its new condition that it should be replaced? Below is some actual data that Steve was able to get from examining his own shoes– all of which can be easily gathered from any pair of shoes with a RunScribes attached to the back. I’m wondering if Steve is thinking about retiring the Gel Excel as it seems to have lost a bunch of shock absorption and has a markedly higher pronation velocity– especially for a shoe that’s not exactly the lightest shoe in the world.
Here is a direct link to the RunScribe KickStarter page where you should still be able to contribute– and get your RunScribe at a much discounted price. The fact that Steve already has his group of 30+ college runners already using it is a pretty good indication that they should be able to meet their KickStarter launch date on time. For a little more than $100, it’s a sound investment for anyone who is passionate about running and staying injury-free.
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