Why quality data matters to your performance

If you are making changes or planning training you need data you can rely on.
What is quality data?

We use data all day long to make decisions, big ones and small ones, sometimes we don’t even pause to think about the quality of the data before making a choice. Whether you are looking at data to improve your sports performance or in the workplace to develop your business, you need to have faith that the data you are basing your decisions on is going to help you make the best decision.

Accuracy

Accuracy is head of the list for what defines quality data. Without accuracy your data is meaningless. At INCUS we use new, advanced motion sensors in a way that improves accuracy in several ways. Typical motion sensors are affected by errors that naturally add up over time, called drift errors. INCUS|NOVA ensures your results remain consistent and accurate throughout your session or race  with a new type of motion sensor, called MARG. This computes thousands of on-board calculations per second, using multiple sensor inputs, to correct for drift.

Unlike a GPS device the NOVA senses when your body stops and starts moving, giving you completely accurate timings. If you're held up by lights or crossings, GPS-only trackers often take too long to respond, this can make it look like you ran slower than you did. By directly measuring the body's motion, INCUS | CLOUD classifies running, walking and stationary movements quickly, giving more precise, automatic starts and stops. 

Any data gathering tool that uses averaging has errors built-in. Running foot-pods and sports watches take single-sided measurements and assume the other side matches up.
By measuring left/right strides  or strokes separately and combining timings, INCUS | NOVA achieves more accurate cadence or stroke rate.

 

Reliability

We conduct repeatable, objective, and where possible, peer assessed validation across the platform, we know that our data can be relied on. The INCUS | NOVA is not influenced by temperature so whether you are winter training in the snow or racing a triathlon in Dubai data can be compared. With INCUS enabled garments you can’t wear the INCUS|NOVA wrongly so you know that session after session you are gathering data you can trust.

 

Completeness

Data has to show the complete picture, that can mean several things, battery life that lasts to the end of your race and that you have data that covers all the aspects of your performance you want to analyse. Firstly with a 20+ hour battery life you are never going to stop recording mid-way through a session, so that is solved. 

Secondly the 10-axis MARG sensor allows us to capture a wider range of data than has ever been possible before. Independent left and right analysis allows you to clearly see any weaknesses and imbalance in your run or swim technique. Pitch and roll in the pool; swim economy and run power are all ways to give you a better understanding of every aspect of your technique and performance. Using INCUS you can find out what creates your best performance, not just see the time on the clock.

 

Relevance

We have worked with leading athletes, coaches and sport scientists to determine what data we gather and how we show the analysis in the INCUS | CLOUD platform to pin-point the aspects of technique where improvements will make a difference to your performance. These are the ones that matter. Even so not every metric will be relevant to you, and your performance. Speaking to our pro-athlete ambassadors most of them pick only a few metrics  to focus on, sometimes even one at a time, whilst still keeping  an  eye on the overview. The presentation of the data in the INCUS | CLOUD app allows you to hone into the detail and work on the technique aspects most relevant to you.

 

Timeliness

As athletes we want data that is fresh and reflects where we are right now in our training. Relying on data from six months previous means ignoring the changes and developments you have made. However, this scenario is surprisingly common, if you are using video to develop your technique then this isn’t something that is happening in every session, or even every week.  With INCUS|NOVA you have the luxury of monitoring your technique every time you train, so in every session you have the chance to make a change that will improve your performance.

 

Comparative data

Comparative data is really valuable, it allows you to see your progress and improvements over time. With a good amount of quality data you can start to spot patterns that can inform your training sessions and help you understand what the components of best performance are for you.

With the metrics available from INCUS not only can you spot trends in one area of our technique but you can look for how it might correlate with others. Pro-triathlete Ruth Astle, says that  “as soon as I am a bit tired from other training my swimming really suffers. Using Incus, I can see that even though I can’t hit the intensity my technique is good and I’m swimming efficiently.” This isn’t just good for seeing your technique progress, it is important for morale as well, “if I can see that my rotation and efficiency is improving it gives me a positive to take away instead of thinking, that’s another crap swim.”

Where data starts to be beneficial is in its predictive qualities, where you can start to see things ahead of them happening. For instance if over time you notice that a change in flight-time on your run precedes a painful Achilles you can start to work with what that might mean for preventing an injury. Ironwoman triathlete Roz Mcginty has been successfully using INCUS to manage recovery from injury.  You may also notice that your technique changes when fatigued so you can evaluate the benefit of longer sessions.

 

Putting your data to work 

Data alone won’t make you faster, it’s the understanding and application of quality data that will lead to performance improvements over time. Typical wearable trackers don’t have this analytics support and therefore cannot guide you, they simply collect the data and leave you to work out what to do with it. Without the expertise and understanding to make technique or training changes based on the data you gather that data is totally meaningless

INCUS | Machine Intelligence is the analytics engine that underpins the INCUS | CLOUD. Machine Intelligence is the ‘brain’ of the INCUS system and is a collection of advanced algorithms that automatically processes data to produce meaningful information and insights for you. The system interprets complex performance data, translating raw data from your  INCUS| NOVA into meaningful results and insights for you to use directly in training.

FAQ’s
Do you need to calibrate your NOVA?

No, there is no calibration required and you can use the INCUS | NOVA straight out the box and begin monitoring your technique and performance.

How long do you need to use it to get meaningful data?

You can get meaningful data from just one session. In fact we have seen athletes make leaps forward in their technique the very first time they use it. However, data built up over time will start to show patterns that you can use to perfect your training plans and your technique.

Start ensuring that your training decisions are based on the best possible data, Core Run, Core Swim andMultisport bundles are available in the store now.