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OK, OK, I’m the first to admit that I would not beat Steve Way over any distance except, maybe 60m. And even that’s doubtful – although it would be close if you look at the times 🙂
Anyway. Steve kindly shares his Garmin stats to the world through his Forerunner 620. so here is some interesting info:
So it’s my 12 miles tonight vs a recent run from Steve.
Me: Avg Cadence 180
Steve: Avg Cadence 173 (avg stride length 1.35m)
Analysis: My cadence was near to theoretical perfection…but he’s faster 🙁
Here is a look at his vertical oscillation and Ground Contact Time. Some of the new Garmin 620 metrics. Undoubtedly these will be in the new Garmin Forerunner 920XT and they are already in the Garmin Fenix2.
The reason for this post is that few of us were sure how to interpret the new Garmin data, as detailed on Garmin support forums and dcrainmaker’s excellent site to name but a few. I would propose Mr Way as a totally unscientific benchmark – although maybe you should instead be looking at improvements of these metrics over time FOR YOU ALONE rather than comparing to someone else?
He’s an awesome Vet athlete putting in some remarkable times. His age must be working against him so maybe his technique is super efficient (oh yes and he probably trains a bit too putting in HUNDREDS of miles over recent years 🙂 )
and here is one I recorded earlier for myself.
It’s a bit hard to compare the two. My vertical oscillation may well be lower/better. But he’s faster.
My GTC goes down to 200 when I’m running ‘fairly fast’. I think my ‘fairly fast’ was broadly similar to the speed he was running at in the session I have his data for. (IE the Salisbury 54321 50 K ultra which he used as a training run whilst, to some degree, fatigued).
So. The vertical oscillation data appears inconclusive and it seems that ground contact time is reduced the faster you go. Which is kind of a statement of the usually obvious!!
Oh well. Back to the stats. No need to train today if I can just knock of 10ms from my GTC and 2mm from my VO.
Summary: It’s very hard to compare stats from one athlete to another as there are so many variables. Perhaps compare to your mates running the same sort of speed over the same course. Or perhaps it’s best to target personal improvement in these stats over time.