How New Tech Can Help Improve Your Running Performance
As any runner knows, practice and preparation is the key to making the most of any marathon you run. You’ve got to hit the track, treadmill, or road and get the hours in, monitor your food intake to ensure that you’re getting all the right nutrition into your body before the big event, and ensure you’re in the right frame of mind before you run. But what if I told you there were ways to make prepping your mind and body for such a grueling experience just a little bit easier? Well, there are!
As tech has improved, our lives have become easier in many ways. Groceries can be ordered and delivered to our doors, sometimes by drones. We can monitor our own health more closely with the new must-have apps, do our jobs remotely and keep ourselves fit and healthy, all with the help of new and exciting tech.
Runners’ lives are becoming easier and simpler by the day with GPS tech, heart rate monitors, and clothing that can minimize friction to give you those extra few seconds you look for over the long haul. Let’s check out how technology is helping runners prepare for races and run them better.
Clothing and Shoes
While most people wouldn’t think of clothing and shoes as technological items, the ideas and technology used to create them are at the cutting edge of the fitness industry. A runner’s shoes and clothing are their most basic tools, and races aren’t won without carefully considering which options best suit each runner. While skin-tight clothing has been a runner’s best friend for many decades (minimal drag and friction), new tech has helped develop the best possible versions and added compression to the mix. Compression technology in tights helps support muscles and joints and makes recovery after training a far simpler process. A sun protection factor is also included in many new garments to protect runners’ skin from harmful rays when outdoors.
Shoes are where the pedal hits the metal for runners. New technology has created shoes that not only support all foot and leg joints with what is essentially a shock absorber for human legs, but some super high-tech footwear now includes sensors that track and store data about runners’ distance and speed. The runner syncs their shoes to the matching app (the app is a must have to make the most of the shoes and understand your metrics well enough to improve on them) and can even get on-the-road coaching if they put in headphones while they run.
Personal, wearable tech is an excellent way for runners to use newly developed apps to track their own metrics and for medical professionals, coaches, and sponsors to judge for a split second whether one runner made a better time than another.
In training, using watches and other monitors to monitor your metrics helps you see where you can do better and shave a few seconds off your time. Watches and Garmin trackers/ heart monitors can ensure a runner is never left stranded in some unknown location if they are hurt while out training and that they have all the data they need to pass on to medical professionals should the need arise.
Simulations and Equipment
If you’re a runner who lives in an area where running outside all year is not possible due to harsh weather, then treadmills and simulations will make your life a whole lot easier. Run in your home and adjust the treadmill’s incline to suit the incline of the race you’re training for. Simulations can provide a feeling of being outside and maybe even offer views of the course you’ll be running when you compete in the marathon for extra familiarity and no surprises. Nothing matches running outdoors, but you have to be prepared for the eventuality that this won’t always be a viable option.
Technology is not a replacement for talent, practice, and perseverance, but it can be a helping hand if you know how to use it properly. It can support your mind and body while you train and help you understand your abilities better than ever before.