In this article I am going to explain why I think that the Incus Performance Nova is a disruptor to the running tech industry like no other!!
I need to be straight with you – as I get older, I find that there is now just far too much data when I’m running and cycling. Why do I need to look down when I need to take in the enormity of the beauty of the nature that I’m passing through? When I get home, what am I really going to do with all of that data? These days I rank my exercise more on a happiness factor more than anything else. Exercise should not be data stress.
An elite athlete is different, their income, or future income is dependant on progression and progressing to being at their best. They have coaches and all kind of support staff to ensure that they are being looked after to the best of everyone’s ability. However, there is a significant majority who want to progress with their exercise and understand how and why they are progressing. Runners especially want to avoid injury. They want the same insight as the elite athletes get from their coaches and sports scientists. Enter the Incus Nova and firstly, it’s not a watch.
Previous developed for swimming, the Nova now works for running. As in the pictures, the Nova sits in a pocket in the rear collar of specially (and beautifully made) running tops. There is also a harness option, that can be worn under or over any top and this also has heart-rate monitor fittings. The Nova is either connected to the Incus app (on an iPhone in my case and previously on an Android device) and Garmin running watch (where no phone is required) is live and working. For me, this was great – I was running nude! I had no data to look at as the iPhone was in my AfterShokz phone holder and I could trot along focussing on the run.
Post run, the Nova is synchronised and the run appears in the calendar in the app. It’s here that the data can be analysed. This is where it gets really interesting.
Firstly, after the map of the run, is the pacing and cadence. This shows, for every split, the pace and the cadence. A helpful question mark can be clicked and Incus Performance’s scientist in chief, Liam Walton and his team, detail what good looks like. As the app develops, and for me this is the really awesome stuff, elite level coaching info is provided – an insight into your data and how to improve it. I’ve had the benefit of having Liam at the end of Wattsapp, where he’s told me where I’ve loafed in a run and where I was picking up an injury! How did you know that? …
For each leg – yes, for each leg, data is provided to show the impact and takeoff speed of each foot/leg. On the above, I was carrying an ITB niggle and the data clearly shows that something wasn’t right. I must add, that I should have rested, but this was all in the name of science – well providing Incus with data for their Sunday 5k. Like most people, we have various running shoes and testing the Incus Performance Nova, I’ve been able to compare the data between my standard running shoes with my Saucony Endorphin Pro shoes (carbon inset soles). The take off and landing speeds are different and the overall pace is different. My HRM shows very similar heart rates. Anyway, here is some more data…
Stride duration and flight time is a corker. It identifies if you are running optimally, nearly walking and walking. In fact, I reckon that this device can make race-walking fair!! Post race, the governing body, could easily take athlete data and identify any flight time – awesome or what?!
Incus are on the verge of creating a coach in your pocket. They could well destroy the ‘step on this treadmill and let’s see how you run’ mentality that’s out there. We’ve all had those sessions and some of us at St George’s Park in an under-water treadmill and the the forwards and backwards treadmill with laser beams. The Incus Nova has informed me more about my running that any of the former and I’m still learning! At not far off 60 years of age and with a spate of sub-3 marathons behind me, my running days nowadays are about avoiding injury whilst enjoying the run and I can get carried away and keep running until I break.
With the Nova, I can see where I’m beginning to break down and run only to this point, and then slowly progress forwards again. As soon as the Insights become live, bingo – we will not have to even study the data! The addition of Garmin integration, will for those who love live data, provide live running insights above and beyond anything seen before.
Details of the product and pricing can be found here:https://www.incusperformance.com/pages/cloud-run
And for me, this is a real, excuse the pun, step forward in running tech.
What next – cycling. With Alistair Brownlee as a board member and backer of the product, I am going to guess, cycling power meter integration, right and left leg power and cadence analysis and CdA (drag coefficient). Imagine that – comparing positions and gear for aerodynamic in the real world!