Category Archives: Kit

Nike launches second generation FuelBand SE

As reported earlier in the month, Nike has today unwrapped the new version of its FuelBand activity tracker, the FuelBand SE , at an event in New York.

Nike revealed the new edition of the FuelBand in New York today (image via CBS Interactive)

Described by Nike as “the smart, simple, and fun way to get more active”, the new device addresses criticism that its earlier device failed to recognise that some activities use more energy than others.

In a start-studded unveil featuring Olympic gymnast Shaw Johnson, US track and field athlete Ashton Eaton and New York Giants football player Victor Cruz, the FuelBand was given a thorough run-down by Nike representatives as well as members of the press, who took part in an interactive challenge onstage. This was to demonstrate how the upgraded device regulates the energy expended on different kinds of activity, from running to rowing to boxing.

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Aldi launches range of running gear – including trainers for just £14.99

Next time you’re hunting for some cheap German chocolates or slightly suspicious-looking meat, you might be able to pick up some new running kit as well.

The new range will encompass most kit basics

Budget supermarket Aldi has announced that they will stock a new limited edition range of running kit. The new collection goes on sale from today and will include men’s and women’s trainers for just £14.99, a snip of the price of the latest models from other major sports brands.

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Nike discusses switch in development focus towards onshore outsourcers

We’ve reported several times now how Nike is increasingly developing and announcing new technological breakthroughs and products, including fitness apps, wearable technology, and innovative new kit.

The company’s speedy growth had led it to consult offshore outsources for help, like many other major companies. But, as an interview with ComputerWorld reveals, that caused more problems than anticipated.

Nike’s future development is still in full swing

The major issue was that the app developers they’d consulted didn’t really understand the products that Nike was trying to produce.

The idea of wearable technology, having your active life recorded in one place, apparently didn’t make sense to the people doing the work, according to Christopher Davis, engineering director at Nike+ Running, as the developers, “didn’t fit into the Nike culture.”

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Race Report: Royal Parks Half Marathon, 6th October 2013

We ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon last Sunday – and it was such a beautiful race! Here’s our verdict in full…

ROUTE: Taking in three of London’s most iconic royal parks (Hyde Park, Green Park and St. James’ Park) as well as passing by Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament before a quick trip alongside the Embankment, this is one of the most visually stunning races in England. The chance to run along the aforementioned roads, alongside Whitehall and through Admiralty Arch down onto the Mall before passing right by Buckingham Palace is pretty spectacular, and can normally only be partially achieved in the London Marathon.

The route takes in many of London’s most famous sites

But it’s the parks themselves that are the real winner here. Taking place just as the seasons are changing, and just early enough in the morning that it’s not too busy, the race gives you the opportunity to experience Hyde Park in particular at its finest. And when the weather is as good as it was last Sunday, there’s nowhere more appealing in London (except maybe Hampstead Heath) to run.

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FuelBand 2.0 on the way? Nike schedules event for October 15th

The first-generation of the FuelBand was a big hit, so we’re keen to see what the next version of the technology has in store…

Nike has sent out invitations to a NikeFuel Forum event happening on October 15th in New York that it promises will be a “discussion of the future of the digital world experience and physical activity”.

Although light on specific details, the major buzz around the internets would suggest that Nike will be unveiling, amongst other things, a new version of its FuelBand wearable technology, probably to link into its ever expanding Nike + range. The original FuelBand was released in January of this year, and has only received one purely cosmetic update since then, with several different colours now available, so it’s ripe for a refresh.

Current rumours suggest that a next-generation Nike+ FuelBand will sport some seriously cool technology inside, including a heart rate/pulse monitor, faster data display, Bluetooth 4.0 for improved battery life and syncing, and more robust Nike+ API for developers to tap into your tracking data. Specifically for the heart rate monitor, users will be required to pinch the FuelBand on the monitor area for your pulse to be taken.

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Fitbit’s new fitness and sleep tracking band will let you always be in control of the Force

The Fitbit Force offers a variety of improvements over its predecessor, the Flex

Tracking tech manufacturer Fitbit has delighted all Star Wars/fitness nerds by revealing it will soon be launching the Force, it the form of its new fitness band of the same name.

The new device will be positioned above the company’s current fitness band, the Flex, boasting several new features that were omitted from the Flex, but are present in Fitbit’s popular One tracker clip.

One such feature is an altimeter that calculates your current altitude and the number of steps you have climbed over a 24-hour period. It’ll use this information to give you more detailed statistics on your fitness regime through the addition of a “Floors” statistic that tells you how many flights of stairs you’ve traversed each day.

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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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Baffled by unnecessary jargon? RunningShoes.com launches online guide to help…

Don’t be like this guy – let RunningShoes.com’s jargon glossary ease the confusion

When picking a new pair of running shoes, comfort is no doubt key. However, so much goes into making a shoe feel like it’s a physical part of the runner who wears it. A plethora of elements and technologies work together to deliver a supreme ride, which in turn fuels a runner’s passion for the sport.

With this in mind, U.S.-based outlet RunningShoes.com has developed an all-inclusive glossary of key running shoe terms and technologies to help customers better understand this important foundation.

The glossary’s aim is to clarify and define terminology not part of the everyday vernacular. The list includes terms ranging from basic shoe parts to proprietary materials. Not sure what a medial posting is or which runner it is optimal for? There is an entry to take away the guesswork. Curious how Brooks’ DNA technology differs from Mizuno’s Wave Plate? The glossary spells it out for you.

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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 Indorow.com 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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