Emagine having your personal running coach with you on every run – no matter where you are in the World? A coach that follows every step you take, and along the way makes you both run faster, more efficiently and with a reduced risk of injuries?!
Sounds like a system that fits our lifestyle! We have tested SHFT.
The Virtual Running Coach is the first product in the World of its kind developed by leading Professors, Doctors, PhD’s, Professional Running Coaches, Elite Runners, Sports Scientists, Mathematicians, Data Scientists, and Developers to ensure the best approach to improve your running technique…… This is not just any kind of product. It’s a product based on years of research…. and validity is in our world a prerequisite to make a wearable interesting.
SHFT will not only inform you of basic running data like distance, pace, time, etc. (like regular apps and running watches) but will give you never before seen running data, like your impact, movement, efficiency and will coach you in real time while running, how to use these data, to improve yourself as a runner.
Especially the Watt measurement is one of the elements that helps to separate the SHFT from other existing products in the market. The team behind SHFT have deliberately chosen not to measure and monitor the runners’ heart rate. Pulse measurement is replaced by Watt measurement, which is supposed to be much more accurate and useful for runners who want to run more efficiently. In the cycling sport Watt has long been the cyclists most used metric as it very accurately puts numbers on their training efficiency
Take your running to the next level and run faster, stronger and longer….
The SHFT Virtual Running Coach is a brand new way to learn more about your run…. and it sounds so easy! Until now SHFT has mainly been branded through their SHFT Ambassadors (semi pro or pro runners)….We are not professionals (at all) but see running as an “add on” to our active lifestyle and believed that we, every day runners, could benefit a lot from the insight that the SHFT provides. Who doesn’t want to learn to run faster while using less energy and hereby prevent injuries?!
But we were, due to more reasons, a little skeptical when we initially started our testing:
- Practical perspective: Neither of us ever run with headphones (we like to listen to the nature:-)) or bring our phone
- Ego perspective: Running is for us a “free space”. We run because running brings joy and energy, but what happens when you suddenly change this space into a learning session? Instead of clearing your head, you now need to relate to a lot of data – will this effect the free space negatively?!
So…the SHFT was up for a challenge!
Testing…. while travelling!
The pod that is strapped into a chest strap, simultaneously with the pod on the right foot, measures how much you brake your run, how much you bounce your bodyangle and how much you lean forward, and not least, measures how many watts you use during your run.
We deliberately chose to initiate our test midst of a travel period as travelling plays a big role in our life and found that it was important to record how SHFT fitted this lifestyle. Further, it allowed us to try SHFT in different environments: hot, cold, rainy, hilly, mountains, flat etc.
It is very easy to get started. Big plus! And the interface of the app works brilliantly. It is easy to access data and you quickly get a feeling about what and how you need to improve and proceed.
The first time you use SHFT, the coach will do a test as “she” subsequently uses to determine where you need help to improve. This test is then repeated after 10 training sessions. Each session lasts for 3 x 6 minuts. At the end of each session you get a very constructive report. Here is an example:
Further there is a cool detail that is worth highlighting about SHFT:
- Graphic animation of your foot (steps): After each run you can see a graphic 3D animation of where you land on your foot, how you set off and further get exercises on how you for instance can reduce ground contact time.
What did we learn?!
We learned a lot…for instance:
- How to hold a constant pace, increase our numbers of steps per minute and hereby lower ground contact time and reduce the peak mechanical stress on our body – and so reduce the risk for developing impact related overuse injuries.
- Found a joy in having the same coach with us, no matter where we travelled. A coach who was there for you, motivated etc. despite being virtuel. A funny addition was also, that the presence of the coach made me (Anna) feel safe, no matter where I ran…. Normally I am not so fond of running alone in new places!
- That SHFT makes a strong mark by not just giving us objective numbers, but also to give us a subjective assessment of how good our running style is (called SHFT-score). It makes SHFT very easy and really fun to work with.
- That it’s important to leave your SHFT at home for some of your runs…. Like a baby that learns to walk… It’s good to get a helping hand, but also important to let go, so you learn to integrate the new techniques in your system.
Honestly, we still do not like to run with our phones, but it is fully compensated by the very usable instructions you get from the coach…. and probably a hassle that will be erased with time and development.
SHFT has a lot of interesting perspectives…..and is definitely not just a tool for the professional runner. Emagine if SHFT could be used to help people recover after surgery?!
SHFT allows you and me to have access to our own private running coach on a daily basis. That being said, we absolutely believe that it is very important to maintain the social perspective that running also can provide! So SHFT is not going to kill running clubs or destroy business for personal coaches, but add value as these are not always available to you.
We will continue our journey with SHFT – we have a mountain run coming up in August – and plan to let our oldest son (age 12), who is also a runner, be the next ginny pig…. everyone should learn to run right and in all fairness it would be much easier if we got it right from the start – so why not try it on children?!
Note: This blog post is not sponsored!