I run with a Garmin 620, which tells me many, many things about my running -- running dynamics is the official name for the particular group of statistics. During the run portion of my intervals, my averages are:
- Run Cadence: 200 spm (very good, but I prefer to be at 180 steps per minute)
- Avg Vertical Oscillation: 5.0 cm (less than 6.5 is considered excellent, so I am happy with this -- I do not spend much energy going up and down, which creates strain on the lower legs)
- Avg Ground Contact Time: 200 ms (200 or less is excellent, and is less strain on lower body)
- Avg Stride Length: 1.1 m (longer is better, and I need to do hip flexor stretching to lengthen my stride to the rear -- it is like a free speed boost)
The 620 also calculates my training effect, which slightly increased with this run (as I am recovering from an injury, I am not pushing myself aerobically yet, which requires more distance and durative speed than these workouts can give), and my VO2max, which is 42, and higher than than the median for my age group, which is 37. I am 1.4 points away from being in the excellent zone for my age group.
All of the above is helpful for training and motivation, as not every run leaves one with the satisfaction that everything is improving. Gimmicks? Perhaps, but also useful feedback when one does not have a coach or health facility to measure progress. I have a long way to go before the real numbers -- distance, heart rate, and speed -- become a factor. But I will get there.