Hello everybody,

We are getting close to our crowd funding campaign, and are working on the last details of our product! We want to make sure that everything we do is based on science, and we always double-check our work together with world class experts.

Geoffrey Gray is the director and founder of Heeluxe, and he has turned his passion into his work: studying biomechanics and footwear to design the perfect shoes for runners! Geoffrey has used our wearable sensors in many different areas, ranging from running to skateboarding, and he has been a great help to us.

Today he will talk with us about the importance of measuring Ground Contact Time.

Knowledge is POWER

This simple statement applies to many areas of our lives, and knowledge of our own bodies is critical to reaching optimum health and athletic performance. Until the 1990s a stopwatch was the key information generator for a runner. Then Heart Rate Monitors gave us insight to our internal functioning and revolutionized run training. We are on the verge of a similar knowledge revolution coming from understanding how our feet function while we run.

Recently, new sensor systems allow us to study runner’s feet while they are running in the “real world”: no more treadmills or running back and forth across a small room. New systems are coming that bring this technology to every runner so they can understand how they run and how to become a better runner. Why is this important? Because KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

One key piece of data that comes from these sensors is Ground Contact Time (GCT). This data tells you how long your foot is on the ground during each running stride. There are two reasons why knowing this information can improve your run training:

#1: Faster runners have shorter GCT. So if you want to run faster, you need to train this aspect of your run stride. For instance, here are two runners that are running at 6 minute pace. E is a top collegiate runner and F is a well trained runner but not an Elite athlete. At this pace, E has a GCT of .190 sec and F has a GCT of .215 sec. E is able to apply his force to the ground more quickly and therefore has a shorter GCT.

Left side: amateur runner (F) with GCT of 0.215 sec. — — — — — — — — —Right side: top college runner (E) with GCT of just 0.190 sec.

#2: The slower we run, GCT increases. If we continue to analyze E, his GCT at 6 min mile pace is .190 sec and his GCT at 8 min mile pace is .228 sec. Similarly, for F his GCT increases from .215 to .260 sec at the same paces. By knowing this information, runners and coaches can seek to improve GCT at a given pace, which is reported to improve running efficiency.

Left side: running fast (E) leads to GCT of 0.190 sec. — — — — — — — — — — Right side: running slow (E) leads to GCT of 0.228 sec.

GCT is one variable that can become a very powerful tool when combined with pace, heart rate, and other training data. Now you know!

Heeluxe is an innovative independent laboratory that analyzes how shoes affect our bodies. Ultimately, we want every person in the world to have the best footwear and we work with footwear companies to optimize their unique footwear designs. We study all styles of footwear — “Everything from high heels to hiking boots,” we like to say — and running shoes make up more than 50% of our testing. Let’s keep it simple and say that we have a lot of data about runners.

Thank you very much Geoffrey! Your tests really help us to understand all we need to know about running technique!

We have also made more tests with top runners. See underneath our video.

We hope you enjoyed this post and we will be back next week with more information about our crowd funding campaign.

Stay TUNED!

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We are crazy about technology & wearables to help people run smarter. @_kinematix TUNE your running technique! #running #wearabletech

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