Runners are data-driven athletes: there is no doubt about it. Seemingly, the more metrics they can analyse, the happier they are. Gone are the days when you just went out for a run without wearing at least one running wearable! If you're one of these runners, you'll be happy to learn about the newest running tracker available on the market, the Alistair Brownlee-backed Incus Nova Run tracker, which does things a little bit differently than others.
I was one of the lucky few who were able to run-test the Incus Nova Run last year when it was just a prototype. The data gathered from the Incus Nova Run was enticing, certainly interesting enough for me to look forward to wanting to run with it even more once Incus further refined the software.
What makes the Incus Nova different from the best running watches and even the best triathlon watches (more on this in a bit) is the positioning of the tracker: it's not worn on the wrist; instead, you wear it at the base of the neck, at the back, which allows the tacker to gather more precise data about both the left and the right side of the runner.
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Incus Nova Run tracker: price and availability
The Incus Nova Run tracker is available to buy from Thursday, 29 July 2021 at Incus (opens in new tab), with prices from £199.99.
The Core Run Bundle (opens in new tab) costs £199.99 and includes the Nova tracker, access to the Incus Nova App (run analytics) and a Core Run T-Strap.
The Swim Run Bundle (opens in new tab) costs £299.99 and includes the Nova tracker, access to the Incus Nova App (run and swim analytics), the Core Run T-Strap and the unisex FIIN vest (for swimming).
The Trisport Bundle (opens in new tab) costs £499.99 and includes the Nova tracker, access to the Incus Nova App (run and swim analytics), the Core Run T-Strap and the unisex FIIN vest (for swimming) and the Premium Elite LD Trisuit. This bundle will also grant access to the cycling analytics in the Incus Nova App when it'll become available.
Incus Nova Run tracker: how does it work and what metrics does it track?
The Incus Nova is a small wearable device, worn in compatible apparel at the top of the spine, that measures "every movement that the body makes", as Incus likes to say. These data points collected can help improve performance and avoid injury during endurance sports training and racing. This is not dissimilar to how other fitness wearables work.
Not all these metrics are unique to the Incus Nova Run, but how it measures and tracks them is. As mentioned above, the Nova sits at the top of your back, not on the wrist. Running watches often extrapolate data based on how one side of the body behaves; the Nova 'sees' both sides of the body equally as well.
Thanks to this, the data is more accurate, or at least it's said to be more accurate. The involvement of double Olympic gold medal-winning triathlete Alistair Brownlee as an investor and strategic advisor suggests there are more to this claim than just words: "I believe the feedback that the INCUS | NOVA gives will be a game-changer for those seeking to train and race at their best; with unrivalled insights and data at their fingertips, enabling them to get the very most out of every training session."
What data does the Nova Tracker collect? The Nova tracker, which started as a swim tracker back in the day, now tracks a variety of running metrics, including running power (the Polar Vantage V2 and the Coros Pace 2 also measure this), take off acceleration, landing deceleration, elevation profile, flight time, ground contact time, Run/Walk/Rest breakdown and so on thanks to its recent 'run update'.
Finally, some tech details about the Incus Nova: it has a 'high performance' 10-axis MARG motion sensor, an IP68 water rating, two months of memory, Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity and up to 30 hours of battery life. There is no GPS chip on board, but it has a connected GPS feature compatible with smartphones and certain Garmin watches. The Incus Nova tracker weighs 30 grams.