Monthly Archives: September 2013

Microsoft announces Xbox One fitness app

The Xbox Fitness app will be available for all users signing up for Xbox Live Gold Membership

Microsoft has announced Xbox Fitness, a fitness app for the Xbox One that will use the console’s Kinect functionality to monitor the player’s progress.

According to Xbox Wire, the app, which will be included with Xbox Live Gold Membership, is a selection of interactive fitness videos from fitness brands Beachboy’s P90X and INSANITY. The videos also star some of the brands’ more well-known trainers such as Jillian Michaels, Tracy Anderson and Tony Horton.

Xbox Fitness will work much the same way as many of the other fitness games released on this generation of consoles, with players using Kinect to interact with the game to copy the activities of the trainers in the videos.

Kinect will also monitor the player’s heart rate and the engagement of their muscle groups in order to gauge their performance. Given the improved latency of the Xbox One Kinect module, as well as its improved monitoring of the player’s engagement, its possible Xbox Fitness may not be as infuriating as some of the fitness games on the current gen.

Xbox Fitness will be available for free to all Xbox One owners who purchase an Xbox Live Gold Membership and the app will be available until December 2014.

[Via T3.com]

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Strava Run will be first fitness app to utilise iPhone 5S’ M7 motion coprocessor

Strava Run is available to download for iPhone 5S users now

We’ve previously written about how Apple’s new iPhone 5S, with a new and powerful M7 coprocessor, will change the way that fitness apps are designed and operate, focusing particularly on the Nike + Move app featured in the device’s reveal.

But now we’ve had news of the first app that will be released that properly utilises this functionality, courtesy of Strava.

The app, unsurprisingly entitled Strava Run,  is similar to many other fitness running apps, as it allows you to track your distance, speed and numerous other variables of your run. What makes it unique for now, however, is the fact that it pulls data from the M7 in addition to GPS.

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Upcoming review – Adidas Boost

So you may have noticed that the site has been a bit quiet recently – and for a good reason…

After all the longing and hoping, we’ve been sent a pair of Adidas Boost, the first shoes to make it onto the Lust List, to review.

First impressions are excellent – the shoes are light as a feather and very stylish. When on, they are very comfortable to walk and run in, and having given them an initial run out in a 10 mile road and 5 mile mixed terrain run, we have to say that we are super impressed.

We’ll be working on finalising the review this weekend and next week, hopefully culminating in a successful race review, as Mike will be wearing them for the Royal Parks Half Marathon on October 6th!

So stay tuned for more on these beauties…

Full review of the Adidas Boost will be coming soon...

Full review of the Adidas Boost will be coming soon…

Newest update to MY ASICS brings personalised training plans to your phone

The new version of MY ASICS allows much more targeted goal setting for your workouts

Asics has announced that version 2.0 of its MY ASICS app is now available to download.

Supplementing the shoe manufacturer’s online web service, the app lets you sign up for and manage your training plan entirely from your phone. Whether you’re aiming for a full marathon, 10k, or just a gradual improvement in fitness, Asics’ promise isn’t just a personalised training plan; it’s that the app can find the optimal length and distance for your workouts based on your current ability, constantly tweaking parameters to find the best fit.

“This whole quantified self-movement only tells you where you are, not where you’re going,” says Asics project lead Alex Mrvaljevich. Unlike its best known competitors, starting a new plan in My Asics begins with you filling in your best race time and target.

It then comes back with an optimised personal training program (never more than four runs a week) along with your forecasted speed at the end of the training.

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New Garmin Forerunner 620 and 220 watches bring a splash of colour to your run

Available now in colour, the Garmin Forerunner watches should bring an extra dimension to your run

With all the noise around recent smartwatch releases from Samsung, Sony and Qualcomm, its easy to forget that many runners have been running with these devices for several years. GPS-enabled watches that track your distance, pace, and heartbeat, are a crucial part of many runner’s equipment, and the market may have just seen a new stand-out offering in the form of two new releases from Garmin.

The Forerunner 620 and Forerunner 220 watches  pack 1-inch colour display screens, along with an accelerometer to track motion, GPS and Bluetooth 4.0 low energy support for smartphone syncing, and alerts for when you start to slack, giving you more in-depth training information than ever before.

The new 620 tracks running cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time – and when paired up with a heart rate monitor, it’ll serve up an estimated VO2 max and recovery time readout on its colour gauge ring. The 620 also links nicely with Garmin’s HRM-Run recovery advisor, providing info on your running form and calculating your recovery time between workouts.

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New device helps weekend runners avoid injury

Members of a research team led by athletic performance professor Hsiang Tzyy-yuang, centre, hold running shoes fitted with an injury-prevention device at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei. (Photo: CNA)

A team of sports researchers from National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) have developed a brand new device designed to help infrequent joggers avoid injuries by detecting and transmitting signs of fatigue from the body to mobile communication devices.

The university team, led by Department of Athletic Performance professor Hsiang Tzyy-yuang found that the physical activity level of low-impact running can be estimated from the acceleration of the wrists, while the acceleration of ankles can be used to gauge the physical activity level of high-impact running.

The fatigue produced by excessive exercise causes the runner’s posture to change, which is the main cause of sports injuries, he said.

Hsiang said the device combines the use of an accelerometer and a gyroscope with Bluetooth technology. The accelerometer is used to determine the impact of body movements and changes in speed, whereas the gyroscope is used to determine the types of movements made by the user by detecting the speed of foot rotation.

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New research shows flat soles ‘better’ for children than cushioned trainers

The most natural way for children to run?

There has been much written recently concerning the debate over how much cushioning is good for your running shoes, with both sides putting up good points. But one facet on the debate which has gone ignored is the effect of both types of footwear on developing feet, and which kind are better for growing children.

This has now changed with new research from Dr Mick Wilkinson, of Northumbria University, who is advising parents to advise to kit out their kids in in old-fashioned plimsolls, rather than highly-cushioned state-of-the art running shoes.

His research says that the flat soles encourage runners to land gently on the middle of the foot, rather than landing heavily down on the heel, cutting the risk of injury and even helping you run faster.

Many parents, though, under pressure from their children, end up buying expensive trendy trainers, which Dr Wilkinson thinks may end up doing lasting damage, as once children become accustomed to running in trainers using their cushioned heels they find it difficult to learn to run more naturally.

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Mo Farah and Nike working together to design personalised shoes

Could personalised shoes bring Mo Farah marathon glory soon?

Following his runner-up performance at the weekend’s Great North Run and ahead of a crack at next April’s London Marathon, Nike is giving a team of top designers the task of delivering Mo Farah with the company’s best ever running shoe.

During a pre-world championships training stint in St. Moritz, Switzerland, a group of Nike employees watched Farah train as part of what Farah’s coach, Alberto Salazar, called, “the information-gathering stage.”

“This is a million-dollar project, once the expenses of travel, testing, research and design are accounted for”, said Farah’s coach, adding that there were close to 25 people at the first meeting about the shoe that both he and Farah attended.

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Get ready for a new generation of apps: Nike+ Move to be first motion app for iPhone 5S

Apple showed off the new incarnation of the Nike+ Move app at its launch event last night (image courtesy of Pocket-Lint.com)

Following Apple’s reveal of its new smartphones and operating system last night, it seems that companies have already been hard at work ensuring their apps conform.

The companies new phones will include an M7 processor, capable of enabling the handset to gather data from its accelerometer, gyroscope and compass, meaning that work is taken off the main A7 processor in order to manage power more efficiently.

This means that developers will have the ability to tap into the M7’s functionality, thanks to a set of CoreMotion APIs.

Apple says the new developer tools will lead to, “better fitness and activity apps that go well beyond what other mobile devices offer”. The M7 processor measures user motion data, even while the device is asleep, and saves battery life for pedometer or other fitness apps that use the accelerometer throughout the day.

Accompanying the M7 processor and its new set of APIs on stage at the Apple event to illustrate these capabilities was the reveal of the Nike+ Move app. Nike and Apple say it will be available on the App Store in the near future, offering a FuelBand-like experience right from the phone.

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Lactate “tattoo” will help measure the intensity of your training

The tattoo technology both looks good and helps you train

Forget what your parents told you – tattoos can be not just cool, but useful in helping you measure your work-outs, according to new research from the University of California.

Temporary tattoos created by the University’s San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering act as a bio-sensor that sticks to your skin – with their purpose being to measure the levels of lactate in your sweat.

Lactate is a by-product of physical activity and an indicator of your exercise intensity — a.k.a. how hard you’re working. When you exercise at a low or moderate level, your body is able to clear/eliminate all the lactate that is formed and you can continue indefinitely. But when you exercise at sufficiently high intensities and the amount of lactate produced exceeds what the body can clear, it accumulates and leads to fatigue.

A popular training pace is termed the ‘lactate threshold,’ which equates to the pace/running speed that can be maintained without accumulating excessive lactate. As a general rule, your lactate threshold is the pace you can sustain for about an hour. For many, that’s somewhere between your 10K and 10 mile race pace.

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