Technology has always impacted how we see the world and how we interact with one another but one aspect that has felt the most benefit is the sporting world. We can see how people interact with sport very differently from streaming sport on their phone, finding the best betting apps, keeping control of a fantasy side, and much more. However, how has technology affected people’s relationship with running as they try to better themselves to be the best they can be at running?
Running exercise in general
Exercise is a necessity in life and it is a way of keeping fit so that we can live a happy, healthy life with few complications. Humans have adapted to enjoy exercise and built it into a competitive way that is enjoyed by millions who watch athletes week in and week out.
Running is vital for keeping both our bodies and our minds fresh. Although at times it can be tough to get the motivation there are a lot of benefits to running and a lot of events out there to help people get excited about running. With regular events such as park runs and events taking place around the world for competitions of 10kms, half marathons, marathons, and ultra-marathons human interest in running has never been higher.
People then replicate that exercise by doing it themselves on a smaller scale but still with the competitive edge to make themselves the best that they can be. However, in recent years more and more technology has been released to help regular athletes feel like they are able to compete at a much higher level.
With running, people are able to do more with running now than they could 30 years ago.
People have taken to the technological advancement incredibly so. This has ranged from improvement in footwear to tracking of your exercise.
If you look at footwear improvement you will see a shift into lighter more ergonomically productive shoes where athletes are barely feeling the weight of the trainer as they run on a varied amount of tracks. Trainers now give an advantage to how they run with specialized technology that gives them what they need in terms of running.
There are different trainers for road running, trail running, and what type of arch your foot is. None of this mattered as much in the past.
In terms of tracking runs, many people would run until they were tired or just for a certain amount of time! Now people are able to use their mobile phones or specific watches made by the likes of Garmin, Fitbit, Apple, SOLAR, and many more companies to help with their running stats. Stats such as distance, time, effort, heart rate, oxygen levels, and much more depend on what product you have.
These can all be linked to social media with apps such as Strava, Run Keeper, and Map my Run dominating with runners who want to gain achievements, and local hero status and see what runs they have previously done to better their time on that route.
As well as tracking runs, there are also runners who like to listen to music when they run so what did the market do? Adapt their headphones for runners. As a runner, you can specifically buy headphones that are tested on people who run so they do not cause discomfort nor are they affected by sweat when they are in. For certain runners, who do not like things in their ears there are bone conduction headphones which means they can also hear things around them such as other runners or traffic.
The impact of Apple on running and exercise
Apple has had a major influence on technological advancement with how we interact with technology and running especially since the release of the Apple Watch in 2015. With the Apple Watch able to track all your activity, it was Apple able to attract more people to another product through brand loyalty.
This new activity watch was able to do brand deals with companies like Nike, which further reinforced the watch and all its capabilities. This trusted brand name was key for more people to buy the Apple watch as the activity watch industry was booming in the mid-2010s.
Currently, Apple is on their series 7 watch and people are still wanting a slice of the action from Apple. With the design sleek and an important part of the selling point for Apple, the iOs system has won plaudits with users and designers alike.
Since branching out with the Apple Watch, the company has branched out into a subscription service called Fitness Plus. Apple Fitness Plus is a subscription-based workout service that offers a huge choice of exercise classes to try at home, including high-intensity interval training (HIIT), indoor cycling, treadmill running, yoga, strength, and pilates. With treadmill running it means there is less of an online lottery and a more specific way of tracking and planning your exercise routines.
Will it stop?
As we know technology will only keep on getting better and improving. These will be the same for runners who are looking for the next piece of technology to help with their running ability. From shoes to socks to watches to vests, there will always be the next must-have tech product for a runner to have.
It is stated that tracking technology could become like a second skin. An associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Northeastern, Canek Fuentes-Hernandez, has been developing a new way of tracking activity as he believes trackable technology is clumpy and uncomfortable.
Fuentes- Hernandez states, “Materials like the one that we developed could potentially lead to sensors that could just be attached to the skin, and the wearer of these sensors wouldn’t even notice their presence, because they just behave like the skin”
So rather than your Apple Watch, it looks like you could get Apple Skin! Let’s just hope that does not cause too much confusion for all the runners out there.