GPS sports watch reveals the secret to better running
If you have just recently acquired a GPS running watch, you have probably come across jargon such as vertical oscillation, cadence, and other sorts of words commonly used in the field of fitness training. What you need to learn is the meaning of these terms and how a GPS enabled sport watch can make you a better runner. Here are a few smart watch jargons that you should learn how to interpret for the betterment of your training.
1. Vertical oscillation
If you observe any professional runner in action, you will see that the movement of their upper body is very less. It just glides with the flow while their legs are actively working on the ground. Vertical oscillation is the measure of the extent of bounce that occurs in your running and this measurement is important for optimizing your running efficiency.
With your GPS enabled sports watch, the heart rate monitor attached to your chest has a sensor to measure your bounce in centimetres. The recommended oscillation ranges from 6 to 13 cm with the best runners of today maintaining an oscillation closer to the lower end of that scale.
Cadence is the foot strike rate measured in number of steps per minute (SPM). This statistic is essential for analyzing the efficiency of your performance so as to improve it in case you are behind your targeted measurement. SPM can also be measured with a chest strap from a heart rate monitor or a shoe pod can do the trick as well.
General cadence for professional runners should be about 150-200 SPM but physicists advice 180 SPM as the maximum point of running efficiency. The best way to work on this measurement is to glue yourself to a soundtrack that records at 180 beats per minute and use the beats to keep your strike rate on guard.
3. HR Max
This is the maximum number of times your heart rate monitor will beat at workouts that are most intense. Your personal optimum heart rate depends on your age and your genes. This stat is important because it can dictate what your heart rate range should be for all training zones. The accuracy of your heart rate max will improve the accuracy of your zones, hence leading to more effective workouts.
Your HR Max is best calculated in the lab. The 220 - AGE formula also works well. This figure can either be manually entered into your GPS running watch or the watch can estimate a figure based on a recent workout or fitness test.
Keep in mind that HR Max is a figure that cannot be improved with training.
4. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
This is the measurement of how much calories you are burning over a specific period of time. There are expensive lab tests to do this for you but your GPS running watch can provide an estimate by analyzing certain information provided by you: age, weight and height. Your watch is able to tell you how much energy is being burned on a day that you spend resting throughout. This information is useful for weight loss programs and to know what your diet requires for you to have enough energy for your training program.
5. Heart Rate Zones
By using the HR Max statistic, your GPS running watch is able to categorize your heart rate zones with different names or colours so that you can understand them better. Depending on your watch, the segmentation may vary.
One should keep in mind that people burn fat, not carbs, as the critical source of fuel for different levels of heart rate. However, an estimation of your heart rate zone will allow you to get a more effective workout.
6. VO2 Max
Although this may sound like a chemical compound from a chemistry lesson, it is actually the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen consumption at optimum performance levels and is measured per minute per kilogram of your body weight. In other words, you can call it a measurement of your aerobic capability.
Similar to HR Max and BMR, accurate VO2 can also be measured with expensive lab tests. However, with the help of algorithms, your GPS running watch can estimate your maximum VO2 with data regarding recent performance and other vital statistics. VO2 Max is a measurement that can be improved with training.
7. Orthostatic Test
This test records your heart rate during your rest period and during a period while you’re standing up but are static. These measurements can indicate your maximum heart rate, resting heart rate and standing heart rate. As a result, the orthostatic test allows you to benchmark your condition so as to know how soon you can begin training again. For example, if your resting heart rate shows 10 BPM more than your average, this is a sign of overtraining and you should consider resting for a bit longer.
8. Ground Contact
With a GPS enabled sports watch, you can improve your performance by measuring your ground contact. This shows how long during your run that your foot stays on the ground instead of flying in the air. The standard measurement for a typical runner ranges between 160-300 milliseconds of ground contact time. Expert runners maintain about 190 milliseconds of ground contact for maximum performance.