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Running dynamics finally gets its own standard

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Yesterday, three and a half years after the running efficiency metrics ‘Running Dynamics’ were first announced by Garmin, they received their own legit standard.  In doing so, 3rd party companies can now add running dynamics metrics to their sensors and/or watches (or apps).  Up until this point, it was purely Garmin-only sensors and watches that could support this.

The announcement comes from ANT Wireless, which oversees the adoption of standards on ANT+.  They, in turn, manage the hundreds of member companies that use such profiles.  Speaking of which, that new profile is officially called the “ANT+ RD Device Profile”, and as you might have guessed, is already incorporated within the Garmin RD pod that was announced/released last week.

Now before we get into who might adopt this going forward and what it means practically to most folks, let’s talk about some of the tech details.  Oh – and if you’re looking for a general overview of running efficiency/dynamics metrics and the RD pod, I’d start with the following three posts:

Running Efficiency Metrics Showdown
Garmin’s RD Pod: Everything you ever wanted to know
Garmin HRM-RUN: Everything you ever wanted to know

With that, let’s talk tech.

Understanding the tech:

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In a nutshell, the RD profile takes the metrics you previously saw in the HRM-RUN/HRM-TRI/RD Pod units, and stuffs them as-is into a new device profile.  In other words, they made public what was previously considered a ‘private-ANT’ profile.  Whereas a public profile is one that any companies can leverage. Examples of specific ANT+ standards would be the ‘Heart Rate Device Profile’ or ‘Power Meter Device Profile’, and so on. There are some 20 of them out there today, and while many are fitness – there are numerous that are not.  As of this writing there are some 693 products at present that use such public profiles (plus plenty others that don’t bother to get listed).

Yet there are also numerous companies within the ANT realm that use what is known as ‘private-ANT’, which means they’re basically just leveraging the communications/wireless stack without adhering to a specific profile standards.  Examples of well-known ‘private-ANT’ implementations would be Shimano’s Di2 (whereas SRAM and Campagnolo use the official ANT+ Gear Shifting device profile), Garmin’s Cycling Dynamics (for Vector power meters), Pioneer’s advanced power meter metrics, and up until yesterday – Garmin’s Running Dynamics.  All are/were private-ANT.  Private-ANT is basically where things either start off before they gain support, or where they are kept behind lock and key for what a company believes is a competitive advantage.

So this is really about taking what was a private standard and making it public.  And it’s something any company can do.  For example, that’s how we got the ANT+ Gear Shifting standard.  SRAM (and others, but heavily SRAM) worked with ANT Wireless to formalize that standard.  Once it’s a standard then other companies can leverage it.  It’s ultimately what makes the world go round in this industry.

And that’s exactly what happened with the RD profile.  In the case of the running dynamics, the following specific data types are available/included:

Metric Brief Explanation
Cadence (#) – Number of steps per minute
Vertical Oscillation (mm) – How much bounce you have in your step – can help with running efficiency
Ground Contact Time (Ms) – A measure of how much time your feet are in contact with the ground
Stance Time % (%) – (Not displayed)
Step Count (#) – The total number of steps per activity
Ground Contact Balance (%) – Left-right bias in your step
Vertical Ratio (%) – Vertical oscillation / step length. A metric for improving running efficiency.
Step Length (mm) – How long your steps are, L to R or R to L foot.  Different from and generally ½ stride length, which is L to L or R to R foot.

Everything you see above should look pretty familiar to folks who have Garmin devices that already use Running Dynamics, except Stance Time %.  That metric is used more behind the scenes to calculate other metrics. Sorta like how power meters don’t generally transmit watts to head units, but rather transmit torque and cadence.  And speaking of cadence, in the case of the above table, running cadence doesn’t technically have to come from running dynamics.  For example, almost all running watches these days can generate that metric within the watch itself via accelerometer.  Or it can come from a footpod too.  This doesn’t replace the footpod standard.

All of that data ends up making these pretty charts seen below:

image

Now there is one more minor technical nuance that’s interesting here. See there are actually two new devices profiles: RD Profile and HR-RD Profile.  The RD profile is used for standalone products like Garmin’s RD Pod, or potentially something like Stryd’s newish running pod.  Whereas the HR-RD profile (Heart Rate-Running Dynamics) would be used for products like Garmin’s HRM-TRI/HRM-RUN heart rate straps that combines heart rate data with running dynamics data (and the same with Stryd’s Gen1 HR strap product).

So which devices support this today?  Well, that’s where it gets a wee bit tricky.  Right now it’s the Garmin Fenix 5, Garmin FR935, Garmin FR735XT, and Fenix Chronos for the vanilla RD Profile (which is what the Garmin RD pod uses).

However, the HR-RD profile is *exactly* the same as the existing/previous Garmin Running Dynamics spec.  That means that if Wahoo or whomever were to implement the HR-RD profile correctly in the TICKR for example, it should actually work with *any* existing Garmin Running Dynamics capable units.  That would be: Garmin Forerunner 620, FR630, Fenix 2, Fenix 3/3HR, FR920XT, FR735XT, FR935, Fenix5/5X/5S.

Pretty cool, huh?

What it means going forward:

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So this is where it gets interesting…and more importantly, relevant to most consumers.

Up until today if you wanted Running Dynamics (capitalized, since it was a Garmin proper thing) you needed a Garmin watch and a Garmin HRM-RUN or HRM-TRI or RD Pod accessory.  But now that’s no longer the case.  With running dynamics (lower case now, as it’s not proper in the ANT+ world), any company can make accessories that incorporate these metrics (in the table above) into their products.

For example, let’s look at some likely candidates:

Wahoo TICKR X: This has had running dynamics of some sort since the very beginning.  A long ass-time.  And it’s likely this very product that’s actually pushed things forward the most behind the scenes.  They could now add in ANT+ HR-RD device profile support, and that would mean that the FR935, FR735XT and Fenix5 would support it immediately.  The metrics here are a virtual perfect overlay to that of the Garmin metrics, so there’s little confusion to deal with.  Plus, all 6 users that actually view the current running efficiency stats in the Wahoo App via Bluetooth Smart can still keep doing so – that doesn’t change.

 

Stryd Footpod: This came out last summer and has not only running power in it, but also many of the same metrics as Garmin.  Stryd of course went further and made a Connect IQ app and data field that logs those metrics, making it easy for Garmin users (of any device) to capture that data.  But it also meant they couldn’t use the native fields and gauges on the watch for what is mostly the same exact data.  So this would be a big plus for their users on at least the native data types.  Things like running power would still remain separate unfortunately.  In their case, they’d use the straight RD device profile.

 

Stryd Chest Strap: This is almost the same as the footpod, except they’d use the HR-RD device profile, since that’s focused on the same data but in a heart rate strap variant.  That allows them to also send over the heart rate data as well as the running dynamics data.

So the above three are likely candidates for near immediate support.  One could also see someone like 4iiii baking in support to Viiiiva down the road.  Although they don’t do those metrics today, but they do tend to support ANT+ profiles/tech pretty well.  Similarly, I’d expect to see someone like North Pole Engineering support it within some of their products, so again, they tend to support most ANT+ ventures.

But who might we not see?  Well, that’s a bit more complex.  Let’s briefly cover some of them:

Polar anything: No. Simply no. They aren’t doing ANT+ and appear to have no plans to.

 

TomTom, Suunto and Apple: Same as Polar really.

 

RunScribe: Unfortunately their current hardware doesn’t have ANT+ capabilities. Ironically it’s RunScribe who was at the ANT+ Symposium trying to get a standard formalized at the same time as Garmin Running Dynamics came out.  While plenty of folks will point fingers in different directions here, at the end of the day RunScribe went to Bluetooth Smart because there was no standard for this data.

 

Run SHFT: This one is interesting.  They aren’t today, and may not have the right chipsets either.  But they do have their single-pod Kickstarter underway (only 7 days left, their existing dual-product pod is already shipping).  You may remember them in my round-up post.  I was impressed with the tech, but less impressed with having to take my phone with me.  I’d say they are one of the ones that could benefit the most from adopting portions of this, and then pumping the rest into Connect IQ data fields.

 

Kinematix Tune: They went out of business yesterday. :(

 

Milestone pod: They don’t have ANT+ capabilities on their current chipsets.  Though, I wouldn’t be surprised down the road to see them switch to the dual ANT+/BLE chipset (since the cost is negligible and the upside to market to Garmin users is huge).  It would make a ton of sense for them given the low price of the product ($22)  On the bright side, their BLE footpod is compatible for pace/cadence with the Fenix5/Forerunner 935.  Though unfortunately, there isn’t any comparable running dynamics standard for Bluetooth Smart – so Fenix5/Forerunner 935 users won’t see those metrics from it on their watches (but they can see it on Milestone’s app afterwards).

So it’s this last point that’s fairly important: There is no comparable variant of this standard on Bluetooth Smart.  Right now each of the companies noted throughout this post (Wahoo, Milestone, Run SHFT, RunScribe, and Stryd) all roll their own Bluetooth Smart data ‘standards’.  Everyone is different.  And thus there isn’t any interoperability between them.  It’s why even though the Garmin Fenix 5 and FR935 support the Bluetooth Smart running footpods and chest straps, they won’t support any of the extra running efficiency metric data that each of these products have.

Still, these sorts of standards are important to giving consumers choice, by driving competition.  For example, Wahoo Fitness has confirmed to me this morning that they’ll be adding the RD profile to their TICKR X and TICKR RUN heart rate straps in an upcoming firmware update (the normal TICKR doesn’t have an accelerometer).  They’re working to finalize an exact date for that, so hang tight!  I’ve also reached out to Stryd and will update accordingly.

I’d also like to see Garmin update the HRM-TRI/HRM-RUN straps via firmware update to support the new HR-RD profiles.  That would thus make it a more open street in the event other companies or apps wanted to support the standardized metrics.  And the same goes for Fenix 3/3HR support.

With that – thanks for reading!

(Note: Post updated to add in tidbit at end of section about much older Garmin units actually working with new HR-RD profile).

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138 Comments

  1. Sebala

    TICKR RUN has an accelerometer. It won’t be updated by Wahoo ?

  2. Nathan Budd

    This sounds interesting…

    It’s a shame that it won’t back port to other devices such as my trusty 910xt. I’ve only recently got into duathlons after cycling for quite a while.

    I’ve read that spm is key to decent running, so I’ve been on the lookout for a footpod to accompany my 910XT.

    I’d also like to give Zwift running a go in the gym, so ideally I’m after a dual band device. I think I’ll wait it out and see if the next gen Milestone Pod does indeed go down this route as mentioned above.

    Ray, in a previous article, you mentioned Wahoo could potentially update the firmware on their RPM device to add footpod functionality. Was this ever put to them?

    • Andrew Burke

      Right. I can’t fathom any technical reason to keep older hardware from supporting a new ANT+ standard. While you’re at it can’t my 920 please just support the Tempe properly? It can’t be that hard and if still using a 920 I’m not going to upgrade my hardware for such a small change in supported devices.

    • One technical reason: A specific unit might be out of firmware storage…

    • Tyler

      I used cadence (spm) on my 910, and even earlier Garmin watches, to change my running form and cadence, just with the standard Garmin footpod of old.
      No reason that you need the new running dynamics standard to do that.

      Best I can tell, there is still effectively zero guidance on how to use running dynamics metrics.

    • Tim Grose

      Is there really any compelling guidance on cadence either though? I looked at cadence of the top runners in a recent good standard XC race and literally anything from low 160s to over 200 and everything in between was seen. Sometimes you see 180 as “good” but why? Clearly people run fast doing 20 spm above and below the “magic” 180.

    • Geoffrey

      The guidance on 180 is based on world class runners, but I have asked coaches and have done lots of reading and the 180 thing is guidance and nothing more. Someone who is taller with longer legs will probably run less than that (meaning non-pros) and be as fast as someone who is shorter who may run at 200spm. Part of it is biomechanics and from what I have read…none of those runners naturally ran at 180 or great from the beginning. You can turn your legs over faster as you get in better shape and consistent, uninterrupted running for a years and years.

    • Tim Grose

      Seem to recall it was Daniels who observed no elite runners had cadences under 180 so think 180 came about as a minimum. Anyway try and run well under 5 min/mile pace with a cadence much under 180 – would be very difficult.

    • simon

      agree with Tim – somehow these numbers seemed to get set in stone. Same issue with fore/mid/rear foot strike.

      It’s not necessarily useful to look at the worlds fastest runners and assume that it scales to somebody doing a 4 hour marathon.

      Although more data is good (IMO) most of us have zero idea what to do with it

    • JTH

      I think these are one of the better articles out there:

      link to runnersconnect.net
      link to runnersconnect.net

      I think it should be a no brainer that someone who is starting out, trying to aim 180spm right away is not necessary. It’s only a lower limit for faster runners.

      Looking at age distribution graphs (garmin connect for example) after 4min/km starts a rapid drop of records regardless of age, so majority of people running in 5min/km range should do just fine with stride rate of at least 170spm.

    • Su-Chong Lim

      I fully agree. I’m hanging on to my trusty old 910XT — it gives me all the metrics I can actually use with feedback to change my form in a meaningful way. I attended a stride/form workshop in 2011 and came away with very useful insight about what I can do about running dynamics and efficiency by emphasizing faster smoother turnover, lighter foot contact and a slight forward lean. Over the next few years I increased my running cadence at a given pace and I think increased my race speed, or at least slowed my decline with age (I’m 69 now). Interesting to remember when I first was downloading cadence to Garmin Connect (as I remember they used to display in the same units as displayed on the 910XT and my prior FR60 – number of Right strikes per minute, not L and R per minute as now), the site would not accept values of 100 and above, which I would easily achieve when doing “Repetition” workouts as described in “Jack Daniels’ Running Formula”. It took some back and forth support communication before the site finally could display it!

      The feedback with heel/forefoot strike centring is interesting. The industry seems to have a metric for this that not everyone supports. But I notice when I’m running well and smoothly the maximum impact point moves forward from heel to mid-foot (subjective sensation). But I didn’t need a number to help me get there and to sense it. Likewise vertical oscillation metric is all the rage, but I can “sort of smoothe it out” by feel while running on my own without a sensor.

      It may sound like sour grapes, but I find the real-time and recorded cadence information which I already have fully adequate for helping me fine tune my form during training and keeping me in line during a race. I’ll keep an open mind on the newer metrics and what they can be proven to provide in the way of optimizing training. But basically I’m currently skeptical. Besides I’ll probably be too old wehn the results are finally out.

    • Su-Chong Lim

      I should clarify, what I’m talking about is the FR910XT plus a Garmin type ANT+ footpod. Another thought I had was that while running on a treadmill with a mirror in front of you at about 5-10 metre distance, the vertical oscillation is really obvious to see, and it is easy to notice the decrease in oscillation when you increase cadence (decrease stride length) without changing treadmill speed, and adjust your running form. With practice some of this habit sticks.

    • jkb

      Not just ‘guidance’.
      fellrnr has nice summary of science backing up ~180spm. He also points out some limitations of original research.

      And my anecdotal evidence – I haven’t made particular effort to reach 180+ spm and nor am I world class runner and still hang around that number at my easy/moderate efforts. I was starting somewhere in low 160’s. Of course it takes months to years for a runner to converge there.

    • Mr Nofish

      I love Fellrnr’s site, and if 180 works for you at easy paces, then more power to you. However see this as a starting point:

      link to runresearchjunkie.com

      While a higher cadence can be helpful to address overstriding, there’s more to discussion than simply aiming for a fixed target for everyone and every situation, cookie cutter approach.

  3. actually there was an update for my HRM tri four days ago. Any chance, it got already rolled out?

    And the most important question, is there any reaction from strava yet? #stravaoritdidnothappen
    Since I switched to the fenix, I tend to use a HRM strap and look more often into garmin connect …

  4. Martin

    What about the TICKR-RUN? Will this one also update its firmware to support the new standard or does Wahoo only restrict the update to their TICKR-X?

    • Martin

      Yeah! I saw right now you clarified the question a few comments ago saying that they stopped making the Run model. It’s a pity, it worked fantastically. Anyway, they could update it for compatibility with all users that have it. I have both the Run and the X, but only use the X when I don’t carry the phone with me while exercising.

    • Just to update this comment thread too: They confirmed the TICKR RUN will get the update. The exact quote being “Definitely”.

  5. Ivan

    Gerat news.

    Still, for triathletes – we still need garmin strap for whole picture. Any possibility to use tickr x for swimming (there is a memory) and synchronize later?

    • Technically Wahoo could implement that. That piece (downloading of stored HR data) is actually open ANT+ standard already.

    • Geoffrey

      DC…I think the Wahoo’s aren’t waterproofed though right? Unlike the Viiiiva? Also you said in your review that the Fenix 3 could get Wahoo’s HR-RD as long as it was implemented correctly but then later said Fenix 5 would be the first model to get it. Did I misinterpret your comments?

  6. THoams Wylie

    Any news on when/if they might be doing the same thing with running power? Are there extra technical/political issues involved in doing that?

    • There’s certainly discussions, but it’s basically going to take someone forcing the issue. i.e. a vendor. I’d personally like to see Stryd push forth a standard to ANT+.

    • Thomas Wylie

      Thanks Ray, I’m holding off buying a Stryd until I’ve read your review (as I do with basically any fitness tech stuff). Any kind of rough ETA on that? I imagine its still a little ways off considering how busy you have been lately.

    • Tim Grose

      Will be very interested to see what you make of the Stryd. If it was truly the “answer” would have thought you would have put it up your review to do list somewhat and IMHO no elite runner who anybody has ever heard of is using one. Been using it for several months now myself but remain somewhat unconvinced especially given its inability to detect wind or soft surfaces which is the one thing that would make it really useful to me. On the flat it is so correlated to pace that tells me nothing extra really. Uphill it is disproportionately high. Makes a great, if expensive, foot pod though for Zwift Running and the like! Anyway native support for power in running in Garmin devices is probably a function of Garmin having their own offering and no sign of one as yet.

    • simon

      we also need strava to pull their finger out and realize that you can’t combine running power and cycling power.

      they don’t differentiate – making the long term data analysis totally useless

  7. David E.

    So, just to be clear: metrics that nobody knows how to use are now available to everybody to use, right? Great, I guess. :)

    • Basically.

      Though, perhaps with it becoming more of a standard then data collection and comparison between different devices will become easier. Which in turn might make it more appealing for folks to study/etc with it.

    • When I run on the treadmill I end up with horrible knee pain. Running outdoors has none of that. I want to use the metrics to see if I’m running differently indoors vs out. I’m guessing no, but odd that I’m in the vast minority on my knee pain issue.

    • rickNP

      Chris,
      I too have occasional issues with treadmill versus road and definitely know that my running form is different between the two.

      It might not give 100% clarification, but one of the things I like about the Milestone Pod versus the HRM-RUN is that it measures footstrike positioning and leg swing, in addition to some of the other metrics similar to Running Dynamics (GCT, general Cadence, etc). So while they might not be perfect, you could probably observe differences between the metrics measured during a treadmill run versus an outdoor run and perhaps make adjustments accordingly. For approx $20US, it might be worth a try.

    • That looks extremely helpful, Rick. I will investigate the Milestone Pod! Thanks!

    • Joe E

      I would give Stryd a go when looking for differences on the treadmill. It also reports Leg Spring Stiffness, which gives you insight in to how much energy is being returned into your leg running, which in turn will show how close your running deck mimics outdoor running surfaces. On my treadmill I can adjust the deck and have adjusted the stiffness of the deck to match outdoor street running using a Stryd foot pod.

    • Mpulsiv

      I use Wahoo TICKR-X heart rate monitor with Wahoo RunFit app while running on the treadmill to analyze metrics on-the-fly. From my direct experience, running on treadmill is more efficient because you control the environment and can improve your metrics on-the-fly by constantly look at the racing dynamics screen in RunFit app.

    • I’ve given thought to the Stryd. It is an interesting product and I’ll be keeping a close eye on it/similar. On tech like that, I don’t have the budget to be an early adopter, especially with how Garmin seems to be phasing out updates to the Fenix3HR (which is to say I’m guessing I’d need a 5 & a Stryd to take full benefit). I think running power is intriguing but for me not worth the investment. I take your point though about how its metrics could be used to provide insight into the issue I’m having. Thanks for the advice!

    • Angus from Stryd

      Disclaimer: I am with Stryd

      Hi Chris,

      

I wanted to give some information on Stryd compatibility.

      The Fenix 3 HR and Fenix 5 both have full support for Stryd via Connect IQ. The new RD profile will help on the Fenix 5, but you will still be able to access all of this running dynamic data on the Fenix 3 HR (and the rest of the Connect IQ 1.3 watches).

    • Andrew Burke

      Andy Coggan is doing some stuff with it. If anyone hangs out in the WKO4 Power User Facebook he has a couple of charts posted using. So far everything useful that I’ve seen is using it with power to determine on what plane power is being exerted which is interesting and a bit useful. In isolation the metrics don’t mean much but using them in combination with other data points like power, speed, and elevation we’re starting to see some application.

  8. Aleksander H

    Is it just me or is the state of Bluetooth Smart standards for training data still a bit of a mess? I’m somewhat confused as to what the benefit of moving over to Bluetooth smart was for manufacturers of things like sports watches.

    • Nathan B

      iOS compatibility.

    • Core standards like HR transmission and speed/cadence and footpod standards work well. Limited, but well. Power continues to be a mess, with products constantly breaking each other.

      But as Nathan said – it all comes down to one thing: Devices want to have iOS compatibility. While major Android phones like those from Samsung have ANT+ support, the reality of the phone market for *this target demographic* is that 65% have iOS, and ‘only’ 35% have Android. Thus, iOS is king.

      Still, there’s no reason BT compatibility needs to be the mess that it is. Some of the companies are working more closely these days to try and minimize that…but stepping on toes continues to happen.

      (Those metrics are for DCR readers from mobile devices using Google Analytics. They stay surprisingly consistent, and are also consistent with what I hear from major device makers in the segment for their mobile platform apps).

    • Eli

      Garmin’s statistics on what platforms upload through garmin connect would be interesting to see. I hardly ever look at your site on my phone as a real browser is better

    • Mr Nofish

      the reality of the phone market for *this target demographic* is that 65% have iOS, and ‘only’ 35% have Android. Thus, iOS is king.

      (Those metrics are for DCR readers from mobile devices using Google Analytics. They stay surprisingly consistent, and are also consistent with what I hear from major device makers in the segment for their mobile platform apps).

      I wonder how that split would change if broken down by geographical areas. While I can certainly imagine a correlation between income brackets and interest in/ownership of certain gadgets, I would still expect there to be a significant difference between, say, kraut eaters (no disrespect meant), and Trumplanders (see above).

      Germany being supposedly one notable example of affluent country where nonetheless Apple isn’t/wasn’t as successful as elsewhere – I also wonder about the future; last year it was the first one when I personally noticed the general commentary seemingly shifting from “Apple = bestest best ever, full stop” to “it’s not the same anymore without Jobs..?”.

    • So global for the last 30 days is as of Apr 8th, 2017 is:

      64.87% iOS
      33.53% Android
      1.44% Windows/Phone
      Remainder: Everything else.

      Germany:
      73% iOS
      26% Android

      Australia:
      60% iOS
      39% Android

      (Note: Because I suck at doing complex Google Analytics reports, I do it in the least efficient manner and have to do per-country stats working backwards, which means that I didn’t bother to sift through all the non-iOS/Android ones. For Global stats, it’s trivial. It’s also probably trivial to do on a per-country basis, but as noted, I suck at Google Analytics.)

    • Mr Nofish

      Fascinating. Thanks for taking the time, I was more thinking aloud than actually expecting any type of detailed answer. So what’s your take on that data?

    • It’s hard to know why one country might differ so much to another, I’ve honestly not spent too much time thinking about it.

      I’d suspect exchange rates might play into it. For example, perhaps iPhones are comparatively far more expensive in Australia than in Germany.

    • Jonas Vesterlund

      One thing to note is that iOS users tend to surf more on the phone as this is their main or only surfing device. Android users tend to have a wider array of devices where a computer tend to be the main surfing device.

    • Definitely.

      Which reminds me – Ray, when this website will be fully responsive and mobile friendly?

    • Hmm, there is a mobile version. It may not be perfect, but is mobile.

      Are there specific things you’d like to see? Always looking to improve…

    • Well, not sure if there is one, but my poor Android phone and Chrome browser can’t find it see it. It’s exactly the same as desktop, which means I have to zoom in and out a lot plus the text is a bit on a small side of things.

      IMHO not mobile phone friendly. But maybe it’s just me…

    • Hmm, then it’s not triggering for some reason. At the very bottom center it’ll say ‘Mobile version’ – or some variant thereof.

      If that’s not there, what specific Android phone are you on?

    • OnePlus 3T, Android 7.1.1, Chrome 57.0.2987.132

      No, not triggering at all :-(
      Will try manual switching…

  9. The one thing most serious users have been waiting for is for power data fields to be included in RUN activites (same as power date fields for CYCLING activities) with as a consequence the option to have more than one power data fields per page (compare to STRYD power field for which you choose in Garmin Express what you want to show and that’s it, no way to have other datas). So as much as it is always good to see improvements like this… to see the update offers everything except a better use of running power which is by far the most useful running advanced data a runner can get is quite disappointing to say the least… well… maybe next time ;-)

    • Eli

      Wouldn’t it be useful to have power as part of this profile? Seems like there is a large amount of stuff in the Bicycle Power Device Profile that doesn’t apply to running.

  10. Luca

    It is always good to have products standardization but for sure I would have preferred something about power data.
    Actually the only utility I see in this is the possibility to use the Fenix 5 HR sensor and the Stryd pod to have all the metrics without the need of an HR strap or buying the new Garmin Pod….

  11. tfk

    All of it is very welcome.

    FYI: STRYD have a firmware update coming out this week. Might not be too naiive to assume it might support this.???

    But I think today’s KUDOS must go to David E (Above/below/whichever) “So, just to be clear: metrics that nobody knows how to use are now available to everybody to use, right? Great, I guess. :)”

  12. This…is… AWESOME! I’ve been wanting this for ages. Have a TICKR RUN but have never used it for anything other than heart rate because the app is so awful. Really left a bad taste in my mouth WRT Wahoo, which is not fair of course. Now I can keep the bad taste in my mouth but blame Garmin for not supporting the Fenix3HR any longer!

    • Thomas Wylie

      I think you’ll be able to get running dynamics from your TICKR with it because the fenix already supports the HR-RD format that it will use. You just won’t be able to use a dedicated running pod. Or were you just annoyed at the lack of support in general?

      I have the HRM Tri and I don’t find the running dynamics useful at all. When I get faster they improve, but I can’t improve them to get faster. So I may as well just monitor pace.

  13. Geoffrey

    Did I miss it or was there no update on if Fenix 3 would have the ability for this too?

  14. giorgitd

    On a related topic – if the F3, 920xt and 910xt do not get the update (assuming here), maybe the reason is to make every user of non-current devices equally unhappy. I know that that sounds funny, but what I really mean, from the Garmin POV – where do you draw the line for updating models no longer sold? If Garmin updates the F3, the 920XT owners will complain. If F3 and 920XT get updated, then the 910XT users are unhappy…and on it goes. So, maybe the reason that we have not seen what should be trivial updates for the 920xt and F3 (the new physiological characterizations that are supported by the F5 and other current models, for example) is that those updates are limited to currently available devices. That might be where Garmin is ‘drawing the line’ – currently available devices. If so, intentionally abandoning the owners of expensive devices, in some cases 12-18 months old (devices, not owners!), seems misguided in encouraging future purchases. And those buying the current devices…look to the 920xt and F3 owners to see where you are likely to be wrt updates in a year or so.

    • I think within 2 years of a product launch is a reasonable amount of time for sensor-type features. Meaning, in this case they want to sell new RD pods, so that’s an upside for them.

      It’s why I haven’t really called out the FR920XT for updates (since that’ll be 2.5yrs right now), whereas I’ve called out the Fenix 3HR a lot more, since that’s just over a year old.

      Which isn’t to say I expect companies to add lots of new features – such as porting over the new Firstbeat Training Load/Recovery pieces or what-not. But I think in cases like supporting standards and accessories that they want to make money on, it seems logical.

      Just my two cents…

    • Tim Grose

      As Ray alluded to already, I would have thought that many older devices can’t be updated due to lack of sufficient free resources. So while us consumers often think updating these things is “trivial” the reality is probably just the reverse.

    • Andree

      The f3hr and 735 had similar release times and the f3hr was the more expensive product, yet the 735 apparently has the internals to receive the update?

    • The F3HR was based on the F3. The F3 was announced in Jan 2015. The F3HR was announced in Jan 2016. The F735XT was announced in May 2016.

  15. I am pushing SHFT team to add Ant+ support to the new IQ – as you noted the price difference of those chips is marginal if any at this point of time. It seems like they have an excellent idea for the product and, as far as data collection for running is still a wild goose chase, might be a great tool for some.
    Honestly, I cannot get their reluctance to add Ant+ at all. Why? Even if they will not support it correctly from day one just swapping that chip and coding around it make so much sense to me… Maybe a nice question from All-Time-Famous DCRainMaker would make them reconsider again?

    Oh, well, we will see I guess…

    • I think it’s the most obvious thing in the world for SHFT. And quite honestly, I don’t see them succeeding without it. Which sounds dramatic, but the core difference between them and RunScribe is that RunScribe works w/o a cell phone. As does Stryd.

      And I think what Kinematix came up against is best illustrated in my little infographic I just spend 98 seconds creating. That and the fact that their data was just far too generic. Whereas SHFT’s data is actually legit interesting and well captured…but it needs to be on the same devices that runners are using.

    • Couldn’t agree more – without that crucial, phone-free use Shft IQ and that “coaching” app will be just a “toy” for a couple of times of usage. With Ant+, ConnectIQ and/or offline storage it might be a good companion tool.

      And, frankly speaking, you have to work a bit on your art skills – 95 seconds for that picture is about twice as much as it should take you :-P

    • Shft IQ was founded today: link to kickstarter.com

      And it seems like they do listen to customers:
      “Hi guys,
      We understand that this is important to you and I’m happy to inform you that our CTO, Stefan, is looking into it. Enjoy your weekend! :-)”
      “we are aware that Ant+ is important to you (as it is to us), but we need some things to fall into place before we can promise anything.”

      So *maybe* they will change the chip to support Ant+ as well. Who knows, time will tell :-)

  16. Troup Kirkus

    Ray, thanks for the breaking news, this is fantastic.
    Do you have any word from Garmin on whether this will be added to the 920xt in the near future?

  17. MattS

    The Kinematix Tune is taking me to a page that then pops up with a virus of some kind.

    You may want to check the link.

  18. Tien

    Ray, what’s the point of separate RD and HR-RD profiles? Can’t a Garmin HRM-Run connect to the Garmin watch via HR and RD profiles simultaneously?

    • Funny you ask, as the ANT+ team just sent me over a little nugget that explains why, which I’ve re-written for clarity:

      The HR-RD profile is the existing Running Dynamics profile…exactly. So that means that in theory if the TICKR-X/RUN were to implement the HR-RD profile, then the FR620/FR630/Fenix3/920XT/etc… could actually work with it. It as sorta the reasoning behind doing it that way.

      The other reason is as follows (exact quote was easier than re-transcribing it):

      “The HR-RD profile is different from RD in that it does not automatically transmit RD data – it requires the display with the HR-RD profile to request the transmission of data. For example, if a watch and heart rate monitor support the HR-RD profile and the user goes for a swim, when the watch is in swim mode it will not collect RD data – once the watch converts to run mode, it will start sending out the request for HR-RD data and automatically collect it.”

      Cool stuff.

    • Tim Grose

      Do you mean then that if the TICKR X (for instance) could compute the RD data it could transmit it to a watch and the watch could record it in the activity FIT file but the watch may not be able to show you the data as you run due to lack of suitable software on the watch – which may not be possible to add due to device limitations?

    • Correct. Or, if I understand what you’re asking correctly…which, may not be correct.

      I’m saying:

      The TICKR-X could/would use the HR-RD profile, which basically fakes a Garmin HRM-RUN strap. The watch wouldn’t know any better and just happily accept the data like any other HRM-RUN strap. All would be well, even on the FR620/Fenix3/920XT/etc… No firmware updates required on the watch, it’d work today.

    • Eli

      Doesn’t the HRM-RUN support updating the firmware over ant? Guess that bit of the profile isn’t public or the strap uses 3 ant profiles to connect to the watch

  19. Michael Coyne

    Woot! Hooray for standards, and about frickin’ time!

    Now if only we could start getting heart rate caching standards for swimming (on either ANT+ or BTLE) so that we can use more transmitters/straps for that… still irks me that the only options are the HRM Tri and Swim, neither of which are quite there as an “everything” strap in particular because neither are meant for strap switching and the HRM-Tri isn’t meant for pools b/c pool chemicals.

    • Good news: It actually already exists for swimming. :)

      The HRM-TRI/HRM-SWIM use standard ANT+ data offloading in the profiles, which any vendor can implement today. Regrettably, none have.

    • Which, to be honest, is another huge mystery for me – I just checked, it’s not that complex and would solve an arm long list of issues like lost transmission, etc.

  20. Rami

    Suunto support?

  21. gingerneil

    Such a shame about runscribe – but are you sure, 100%, that the hardware can’t do it!? Broadcasting cadence over ant+ was one of the original promised stretch goals. That’s not arrived, but I’d always assumed that was because they were focusing dev on other areas, and not because it wasn’t possible. Bit of a kick in the teeth for kickstarters of this is the case, and always has been….

  22. Phil S

    Ignore me if I have my tech understanding wrong.
    The Fenix 5 and 935 now supports Ant+ and BLE.
    Wahoo straps support Ant+ and BLE
    Running dynamics only work over Ant+.
    Will the Fenix 5 and 935 default to the Ant+ connection to pick up the Running Dynamics.

    • Fenix/935 probably would require a vendor-specific BT implementation for Wahoo. I asked them a while ago – they’re proud of their app. Sort of. I mean they were not interested in making ConnectIQ app. So now with HR-RD they can do it the right way now, without any special app, asking someone to implement their API (they told me that I could do it if I want to – sure, I can do that, but I have better things in my life plan…)

      BLE is great for many things, but it’s a mess in many areas…

    • When you pair a HR sensor, it first shows ANT+ options, and then shows BLE options. You could pair both if you wanted to.

      However, Running Dynamics will *only* happen via ANT+, and only if the strap supports the HR-RD standard. Or, if the pod supports the RD standard.

  23. I love this standardisation. As you had said at the symposium it’s good to give people a chance to change suppliers and if you trust someone you will stay with them anyway but if not, this will again make it easier to convert. Great news.

  24. Walter Cahall

    There’s another metrics device that you forgot to include – where in the spectrum does the Lumo Run fall into? I’m sure it’s squarely in the “who we might not see” category but would love to confirm that for the review!

  25. Steve

    Do you need a RD foot pod for each foot? Seems like the HR-RD was able to track both feet.

    • Tim Grose

      The Garmin RD pod is not a foot pod – you wear it in the middle of the back of your shorts. Similarly the sensor in the HRM-Run/Tri is also worn in the middle (of your chest of course). As such it thus seems for them to compute dual sided things like Ground Contact Time balance. That said I have experimented with wearing two Stryd (one on each foot) on same run but did not reveal any left-right differences.

  26. Joe E

    Just curious, who’s definition of Vertical Oscillation? Stryd and Garmin do not have the same definition for this metric.

    • In this case, it’s Garmin’s since they were the one who brought it to be formalized.

      Though, there’s actually precedent for metrics that don’t line up. For example, left/right power balance. The metric displayed by Quarq/Power2Max/PowerTap C1 is totally different than displayed by Garmin/PowerTap P1, ROTOR, etc…

      One is legit left/right balance, the other is actually just upstroke/downstroke assignment.

    • Joe E

      Ray, thanks. Same answer basically I got from Stryd. They said there is no formal definition of the metric and you can push their own Vo into the profile.

  27. Gabe

    Ray – Any word from Strava when and if they’ll start posting Running Dynamic data?

  28. Benshead

    I’m curious what this means for the VAHR. Will the watch be able to make use of running dynamics in any way? I’ve been impressed with the ability of 3rd party CIQ app-makers (Workout Builder, f’rinstance) to meet needs that Garmin doesn’t directly address, but it’s not clear to me whether this kind of data will be available to CIQ apps on the VAHR. Any idea?

    • A 3rd party CIQ app could actually now incorporate the standard manually (since I don’t think the device profile is offered yet in a native way), and then record the data. In theory…but the devil is in the details.

  29. Nate

    So close…but so far!? Can anyone explain a good reason why running power metrics shouldn’t be included in the new RD Ant+ profiles? It seems like many of the types of devices implementing the RD profile metrics in the future would also be positioned to do force/calculated power.

  30. Alberto

    So old Garmins support the most complex HR-RD standard and not the simplier RD standard?

    • Correct. Mostly because older Garmin’s won’t really know that it’s truly an HR-RD device. They’ll just assuming it’s a Garmin HR strap. Which is fine, doesn’t much matter to the end user.

  31. Alberto

    And, BLE is lacking behind

  32. Mr Nofish

    Does that mean Cycling Dynamics have a chance of becoming a shared standard as well? – or are the circumstances there different enough to maintain the private status?

    • Anything’s possible. Hard to say where things go next on that front. I had heard rumblings on the RD front back this fall, so I knew that there were at least discussions about it.

    • Mr Nofish

      I’m guessing the Vector is much more lucrative than the RD pods, and CD is also the selling point which is unique to it – whereas I’m wondering whether the running pod is more ‘catching up’ with what the running cool guys are doing.

      OTOH I’ve read that PowerTap is doing something with advanced metrics on the P1 but only on the Bluetooth side, though I’m doubtful that that could actually cost Garmin sales of head units..?

    • PT doesn’t make head units anymore, so in theory it would help to be on ANT+. Certainly they are doing some sorts of advanced metric stuff (as is ROTOR, Pioneer, Stages, Verve and probably some other I’m forgetting), all of which would likely prefer to pump it into Cycling Dynamics like stuff.

      The trick is getting the ANT+ Power Meter TWG to agree on something and move forward.

    • Mr Nofish

      The trick is getting the ANT+ Power Meter TWG to agree on something and move forward.

      You mean it’s not Garmin stalling things to maintain some sort of competitive edge that isn’t only based on pricing..? Or you do :)

    • Nah, it’s really up to the members (reps from Quarq, PowerTap, and all the companies noted above and many more). They can individually push forward whatever they want.

    • Mr Nofish

      PT doesn’t make head units anymore, so in theory it would help to be on ANT+.

      BTW, my thinking there was losing sales to Polar in case metrics were exposed to their bike computers (weren’t they providing advanced metrics already? maybe that was their own PM?)

      On second thought, though, I seem to recall that things, in that field, may possibly be even more complicated than ANT+ – I mean, with ANT+ the expectation is that basically every sensor works with every bike computer, whereas on BTLE this still isn’t the case..?

    • Eli

      There is “Subpage 0xFD – Advanced Capabilities” but its not defined so don’t think the head unit could do much with that data

  33. JTH

    So, let’s assume I upgrade to a FR935. I wear both my Tickr Run for HR and Stryd for pace. Let’s also assume both have been updated to support RD.

    Which one takes over? :)

  34. Ilya

    Would like to know your opinion. HRM-RUN/TRI/SWIM were present in late 2015. In what period (one year or two) we should expect the update of these products?

    • I do not believe they will do it anytime soon. I mean with the introduction of optical HR that new pod made hell lot of sense. Straps are good enough at this point and the only reason to update them – as I see it – would be to make them even smaller/thinner. Or to introduce a strap with power, but I doubt they will. I do not see Garmin in a need to update or to change any of those new, colored straps…

    • Agree with Uded – I wouldn’t expect anything anytime soon.

      About the only thing I could see them potentially do down the road is add BLE compatibility to it, but honestly, I just don’t expect that soon.

    • Well, BLE might be added, but I do not see any business for Garmin in doing so – those straps will not become any better, more useful or more popular overnight because of this. They are big on Ant+, those straps will work with any of their watches and I do not believe they would like to become a major manufacturer of common straps for any watch. Just saying…

  35. David

    Ray,
    I was just curious if you’ve ever seen the accelerometer “lock up” in an HRM-RUN strap. I did an interval session earlier in the week, and for 4 of the 5 intervals, none of the accelerometer data seemed to change during the interval. It was fine before I started them. It was fine in the recovery breaks. And it worked ok during one of the intervals.
    This was recorded with a F3 (non-HR), an HRM-RUN v3 (removable pod), I also had a foot-pod that it could have failed over to. But since the VO number also didn’t move, I’ll assume it was taking everything from the HRM-RUN.

    • David

      Trying again with a different image format.

    • That’s funky. Never seen that before (perhaps someone on the Garmin Forums has).

      I’d swap out the battery as a starting point, else give Garmin a ring. I suspect that’d just swap it out. Funny that your changes in pace trigger it to wake-up again.

    • Eli

      Did HR change? Seems like garmin units when the ant+ broadcast isn’t received just assume the last value received in the current value so could be a dropout problem

  36. Matthew

    Does Tickr provide RR info over ant yet?

  37. Scorp

    Thinking about buying a Wahoo Tickr X to replace my old HRM-Run for my FR620. When can we expect to see these standarts being opened up?

  38. Canard Noir

    Hi Ray,

    I own a Garmin Fenix 5X.

    I’d be interested in getting a TickrX strap (a sports store nearby has a sale on it), but it seems like my Fenix watch will only be able to receive and interpret basic HR data from it, is that right?

    I could buy that strap and for the more complex running dynamics use the TickrX app on Android (which is kinda bad, or so I’ve read), waiting for Garmin and Wahoo to finally come to full compatibility, and when this will happen, I don’t know.

    Or I could buy the boring (and inferior?) Garmin HRM-Run strap…

    Well I don’t know what to do, maybe you could influence me one way or the other :)

  39. bert van Mackelenbergh

    if i buy the Garmin Running Dynamics Pod, do I still need to wear a Garmin footpod, or does the Running Dynamics Pod takes over that function?
    Tx
    Bert

  40. Nathan K

    Any news on a Wahoo Firmware update? I have a Fenix 5 and a Wahoo Tickr X that would benefit from a Wahoo firmware upgrade to support this over ANT+

  41. Janyne Kizer

    Is there any news on when Training Peaks is expected to start pulling in the running dynamics info? I understand why they would not do that pre-standard but not that there is a standard, it seems that it should at least on their roadmap.

  42. Dave

    Interested in this as my older HRM-Run seems to have finally quit on me… like the TICK Run (vs. the new HRM-Run) but only if the run dynamics integrate with TP, my 920xt and Garmin Connect