Five runners, one goal: To start in top form at the half marathon at the RheinEnergie Marathon in Cologne on October 13, 2019 and finish with a new best time. Silvia Wehrmann, Agathe Poralla, Moritz Rodert, Wilfried Dethlefs and Marcel Grabow trained intensively for three months. Two motion analyses using state-of-the-art sensor technology paved the way for the improvements in performance.
Together with the portal laufen.de, we prepared five runners for the half marathon on October 13, 2019 in Cologne as part of our #RunPerfect project. “Almost 200 runners applied, which was a great success,” says Prof. Dr. Kai Oberländer, one of Motesque’s founders and CEO. “It was really great to see how the five runners developed over the past few months. And their times at the half marathon in Cologne speak for themselves. Four out of five participants set new best times over the 21.1 kilometres. Marcel even improved his best time by almost five minutes from 1:39:36 hours to 1:34:21. The others improved by between two and four minutes—a great result after such a short time. “Targeted training works when you know where the potential for improvement lies,” says Prof. Dr. Kai Oberländer.
Motesque successfully completes #RunPerfect project at the Cologne Half Marathon
“The preparation was truly professional,” says Silvia Wehrmann, who started running a good three years ago. She crossed the finish line of the half marathon in Cologne in 1:47:10. Another new best time. “I can hardly believe it! During the run I had some issues with my time keeping and first thought at the finish that my time was 1:50. The project was really great and gave me new impulses.”
Marcel Grabow has been running for many years. “You stagnate at some point in training, but now I have new input. Of course, I didn’t expect to make such a leap in performance with the project. It feels great to undercut my old best time, which I set in 2014, by five minutes,” said the runner from Bonn.
The fastest one of the quintet was Moritz Rodert from Cologne, who also had never specifically prepared for a competition. With a time of 1:32:34, he improved his time by about two minutes. “It went great, even if I may have started out a bit too fast. Now I know how I can further improve. That was really fun.”
Agathe Poralla from Düsseldorf adhered very consistently to the training guidelines. “Previously, I didn’t attach so much importance to it, but now I know how important it is not only to run, but also to work on strength, coordination and mobility.” Agathe ran a great race and was even able to improve her speed a bit during the last kilometres. She finished in 1:45:02 hours.
Wilfried Dethleffs can also be proud. At the age of 62, he took up the challenge presented by #RunPerfect. With a time of 1:45:26, he reached a great 15th place finish for his age group—even if he narrowly missed his personal best time, he had a great result.
A team of biomechanics and training experts used sensors developed by Motesque to comprehensively analyse the running styles of the participants in the Motesque Biomechanical Lab (MLab) in Cologne. Essential components of the MLab are a state-of-the-art treadmill with integrated force sensors, several high-tech camera systems and the unique sensor technology.
Unlike most treadmill analyses, we carried out pre- and post-tests. In the pre-test, we measured and observed the running style of the runner in a rested state. Afterwards, in a step test, we intentionally pushed the runners to their performance limit for a short period of time, as most deficits can only be recognised when a runner is muscularly tired. Thus, we can simulate the running style during a longer exertion, such as a half marathon, and recognize possible problem complexes.
After evaluating the data, the participants each received an individual training plan with targeted exercises to compensate for any deficits or deviations from the standard running style. “Such recommendations are only possible when the measured parameters can be properly interpreted. With the help of our database, we match the data with that of about 40,000 data sets of runners,” explains Kai Oberländer. Motesque has one of the largest data sets of motion analyses of runners worldwide. “This is the way we can individually assess which parts of the entire motion sequence conceal potential for improvement—that is motion analysis at its highest level.
The laboratory results were discussed with experts from the German Sports University in Cologne under the direction of Dr. Steffen Willwacher from the Institute of Biomechanics and Orthopaedics. The participants were then given special exercises (in the form of training videos) and training plans for their individual preparation. “For runners, the individual deficits lie in varying degrees in the respective areas of strength, flexibility and coordination,” says Kai Oberländer.
The entire analysis procedure was repeated after six weeks. “After only six weeks, we were able to measure some significant improvements,” says Kai Oberländer. The training plans were adapted after the second motion analysis, and the participants were given new recommendations for further improvements.
“It is great to finally experience our MLab in action. The project is as exciting for us as it is for the participants. We will use the results to further improve our test set-up,” says Kai Oberländer.
Many more hobby runners will soon be able to enjoy Motesque’s unique sensor-controlled analysis. The MLab will soon be open to all interested runners, triathletes and other athletes who want to develop themselves further.
You can learn more about our project here: