The beauty of running lies in its simplicity. There’s no gym membership and no fancy equipment necessary. All you need is your body, workout gear and some motivation to get going.
Running’s philosophy is equally simple: To get better, you’ll have to run more. This will help you move faster and farther. But if you’re hitting the pavement every single day, it’s important to note that doing what feels natural might not always be best for your body. A lot of moving parts go into running, and bad positioning in one area of your body will likely signal another muscle group to overcompensate. Over time this could lead to injuries.
Whether you’re an everyday runner or just starting out, it’s important to focus on your overall form. This is, however, much easier said than done. You might not realize that your hips are dropping (a running deficiency that happens when the bulk of your body weight is being supported on one leg) or that you’re bouncing during jogs (which is a major energy-waster). And unless you’re willing to dish out serious cash on a real-life running coach, noticing these small gait issues is tough.
One startup, however, is hoping to make the process of fixing running form easier and more accessible to runners. Lumo Bodytech created the Lumo Run ($99.97; amazon.com), a discreet wearable device that sends real-time running form feedback to your smartphone. The idea is that the Lumo Run takes on the role of both a running lab and a coach, tracking and analyzing key characteristics in running form, including cadence, braking, bounce, pelvic rotation and pelvic drop. Since debuting on Amazon, it’s been featured on Amazon Launchpad (a subsection of the site that highlights up-and-coming startups) and has received a solid 4-star average rating.
Once you clip the sensor to your body and sync it up with an integrated app, you’ll be able to tap into your run’s results, including a detailed post-run analysis of your form and overall performance. The sensor works without your phone (should you want to be completely phone-free during your run) and will upload your run data to your phone after you finish up. But if you decide to keep your phone on your body during the run, you can also tap into some pretty neat real-time features like auditory and motivational coaching and personalized running drills that are based on your previous running stats.
It’s important to note that currently the Lumo Run is available only on Apple iOs, so only iPhone users can use the device and its corresponding app at the moment. The company, however, has mentioned that an Android app is in the works.
If you own an iPhone and are an avid runner, this device is arguably one of the most helpful fitness trackers on the market. Because if you can better your form, you can become a faster, more efficient and safer runner. And what can beat that?
Note: the prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.