Monthly Archives: August 2013

Let’s get flexible – new study analyses the (non) evolution of the human foot

The most natural way to run? Perhaps…

A new study has revealed that, despite many runners craving high-tech footwear than boosts our natural rhythm, the human foot has remained a resolutely low-tech organism through the millennia.

Research published this week by Robin Huw Crompton, a physical anthropologist at the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, has shown that human feet have evolved surprisingly little since over thousands of years and that we share striking similarities with our simian tree-dwelling cousins, who are known to have flexible, resilient feet – and who do not wear shoes at all.

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Hot5 fitness app looks to get you fit for just five minutes a day

The app offers you a choice of eight trainers to guide you through your workout

For many people, finding time to exercise these days is pretty tough, as work, social, and family demands all taking up a significant amount of our time – meaning that personal fitness often takes a back seat.

Enter a new fitness app that promises great results in return for just five minutes of your time, every day. It’s called Hot5, and it could be the answer to your prayers.

Following a growing recent trend, the app looks to move users toward high-intensity interval training – that is, rather than doing a bunch of slow exercises over a long period of time, condensing exercises into short bursts with little recovery time in-between.

In the case of Hot5, that means a daily regimen of five exercises, each lasting just a minute. These exercises are guided through a series of videos with real-life trainers showing users how to do them.

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Fitnotix Running App is with you every step of the way with GPS turn-by-turn directions

Fitnotix’s app allows turn-by-turn directions for your routes

Fitnotix has today announced the availability of its eponymous running app for iPhone users.

Now running apps are ten a penny, but Fitnotix stands out from the crowd by providing turn-by-turn directions through a user’s headphones, meaning (in theory) you should never get lost!

Asides from the usual functions that other running apps contain, such as tracking calories, the ability to share completed runs on social media and keep a running total of all stats, it also offers some neat other tricks.

Users can now plan their course using pinpoints, choose a starting point, and then choose every road or path they want to run on. They’ll also have the ability to get real time distance as they plan their course.

Fitnotix users can run a planned course, someone else’s planned course, or just start running. When running a planned course, users will receive GPS turn-by-turn directions.

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Nike celebrates 25th anniversary of “Just Do It” slogan with star-studded video

25 years young – and celebrating with some rather famous friends…

Nike is marking the 25th birthday of its iconic “Just Do It” campaign this week, and has released a sports celebrity-packed video advert to celebrate.

The company has called in sporting legends including NBA’s Most Vaulable Player LeBron James, world number one tennis player Serena Williams, Barcelona and Spain defender Gerard Pique, and boxing sensation Andre Ward.

The video is narrated by The Hangover’s Bradley Cooper, and also features a guest appearance by actor Chris Pine, recently seen playing Captain James T. Kirk in the recent Star Trek series of films.

The new video, directed by the acclaimed Nicolai Fuglsig (known for his Sony Bravia commercial featuring 250,000 bouncing balls let loose on the largest hill in San Francisco) hopes to inspire viewers to push their physical limits – by challenging the sporting world’s greatest athletes.

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Former Nike Fitness guru joins Apple – iWatch on the way?

Jay Blahnik is making the big move to Apple from Nike

Apple has hired fitness industry consultant Jay Blahnik, who previously worked with Nike in developing the FuelBand health monitor, and is expected to help create a similar product for Apple.

Sources claim that Blahnik began working with Apple earlier this month, amid speculation that the iPhone maker will soon announce a wrist-worn device dubbed iWatch to act as a fitness monitor and companion accessory to the iPhone.

Blahnik is recognised as one of the most successful fitness instructors in the industry, having taught classes in over 30 countries; he was chosen as one of the top five instructors in the world by Shape Magazine, and Men’s Health lists him as having one of top ten workouts of all time. His profile on says Blahnik has consulted with Nike, Apple, Starbucks, General Electric and other Fortune 500 companies.

Previous experience in combining fitness with technology includes being a Nike consultant for almost 20 years, during which time Blahnik worked closely on the launch of Nike+Running, which became the largest digital running community in the world.

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MapMyFitness adds integration for Nike FuelBand and Jawbone UP

The MapMyFitness app is available for both iOS and Android

Exercise tracking platform MapMyFitness will now support two popular wearable fitness bracelets: Nike’s FuelBand and Jawbone’s UP.

The new integration, announced Thursday, strengthens MapMyFitness’ already lengthy list of supported and compatible devices that can sync fitness data with the popular platform. MapMyFitness (free for iOS and Android)  is a platform supporting apps that utilize GPS technology, so you can map and share your workout routes. The flagship standalone apps are MapMyRun and MapMyRide, for running and cycling, respectively.

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Nike unveils 30th anniversary edition of Air Pegasus shoe

The Nike Air Pegasus+ 30 have been voted ‘Best Buy’ in the latest edition of Runners World

Nike is undoubtedly one of the heavyweights of the running world, with the company’s recent Free and Flyknit offerings becoming a big hit with customers.

The company has delivered a nod to its past this week, however, with the unveiling of a 30th anniversary edition of one of the moved loved running sneakers of all time, the Nike Air Pegasus+ 30, in a video featuring Britain’s greatest ever middle distance runner, Mo Farah.

While the style remains true to its original form, runners can enjoy modernised perks, such as Nike Zoom springy cushioning in the heel and no-sew overlays for a seamless interior which weighs just 306g.

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Taking a closer look at the technology behind Adidas’ Boost

BASF’s foam compounds are the driving force behind the Adidas Boost

It’s no secret that we at TechRunner are big fans of the Adidas Boost shoe– its revolutionary design and construction promises something truly unique that should benefit every kind of runner.

We’ve also previously covered how Adidas has partnered with tyre manufacturer Continental to provide the most responsive and springiest rubber for its shoes – now it’s time to take a look at BASF, the company behind the Boost’s exceptional foam system.

Named Infinergy, the foam consists of expanded thermoplastic polyurethane, or E-TPU.  In an interview with, Dr. Uwe Keppeler, material and process developer at BASF, explained how Infinergy is manufactured by foaming the starting material, TPU granules. “After pretreatment with pressure and heat, the individual granules measuring up to five millimetres each are blown up like popcorn”, explained Dr. Keppeler.

What happens next is the production of oval foam beads that have tiny gas bubbles inside. “These sealed air cells make the lightweight foam beads very elastic and provide the desired rebound effect. The individual beads can be imagined as being like tiny footballs: The more air they contain, the better they bounce and rebound back,” says BASF research scientist Dr. Frank Prissok.

Each Midsole contains approximately 2,500 of these foam beads, which are then converted by being treated with hot steam; this melts the outer-layer of the beads, which allows them to bond into a stable form.

What this means for the runner is that Infinergy midsoles essentially become energy stores for them; extreme compression combined with absorbing the shock impact of the foot combined with the lightning rebound elasticity enabling a large amount of energy to be returned to the runner.

“When the foot is pushed off the ground, the force expended is largely returned to the athlete. This results in completely new and improved running behaviour. Many runners have told us that the shoe feels like it is almost alive,” explains Gerd Manz, Senior Innovation Director Global Brands at Adidas.

This technology could also go into other types of industries. Infinergy could be used for producing unpuncturable tires or even types of flooring or running tracks. The possibilities of this technology could be endless with running shoes only scratching the surface.

[Additional information from]

Entries for 2014 Greater Manchester Marathon now open

Entries for the 2014 Greater Manchester Marathon are now open

Following last week’s launch event, registration for the 2014 Greater Manchester Marathon, which will take place on Sunday 6th April, is now open.

The race organisers of the Greater Manchester Marathon reintroduced the event in 2012 after a decade’s absence, and based on the continuous growth and popularity, this year’s race’s capacity is set at 10,000 places. Using the same flat route as in 2013, the start, finish and race village will be at Manchester United Football Club in Old Trafford.

The route has an elevation gain of around only 54 m, meaning that it can boast the flattest, fastest marathon route in the UK, attracting runners of all levels after having established itself as a unique race not to miss in the running calendar.

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Adidas announces partnership with first ever Moscow Marathon

The route of the first-ever Moscow Marathon will take in many of the city’s famous sights

Adidas has announced a partnership with the first-ever Moscow marathon, due to be run around the city on September 14th.

The city has had a half-marathon before, but this is the first time that a full marathon will be run on the streets of the city.

The marathon route will follow the city’s quays, main streets, including the Sadovoe and Bulvarnoe Rings. The race will start from the “Luzhniki” sports complex built for the 1980 Olympic Games. The final meters will be at the Olympic Stadium, the “Luzhniki” Grand Sports Arena.

This latter part of the route will be unique for the 2013 race, as after the event, the Olympic Stadium will be rebuilt, meaning the Moscow Marathon will be the last major sporting event to take place on its site.

For full details, visit the official site here.