Category Archives: Running

New study demonstrates the most popular run routes in world’s major cities

Ever been out for a run and thought that it seems busier than usual? Everyone has their own favourite routes, especially in cities, where getting to experience wider open spaces or even just some greenery or water!

Some fantastic new images from the folks over at Flowing Data have compiled data from RunKeeper users to plot the most popular routes for a range of cities – and the results make for interesting viewing.

Starting with our home town, we can see that the favourite routes around London all focus on the river Thames. There is a major surge of activity around the Embankment and Westminster areas as runner look to take in the sights and the river all at once. Elsewhere, the city’s major parks are also popular, with Hyde Park, Regents’ Park and St. James’ Park all featuring highly. The huge surge of activity around the centre of the city is due to the popularity of lunchtime runs, as time-poor employees look to get some exercise into their lunch breaks.

New York is next, with the seafront areas around Manhattan proving very popular with runners. Central Park is unsurprisingly popular as well, with many runners continuing up towards Harlem and the Bronx. Southwards of the city, Brooklyn Heights and Sunset Park prove major attractions as runners flock to the Hudson River’s edge.

Now for Paris, which sees a very even spread throughout the city. Runners here apparently like to take a major loop to the Bois de Boulogne in the West and the Bois des Vincennes in the East.

Lastly, Sydney – where the runners tend not to stray outside the city, but instead look towards the seafront to make up their routes.

The maps were built by Dr. Nathan Yau. “There are many exercise apps that allow you to keep track of your running, riding, and other activities,” he said.

Yau decided that the information was too personal, and wanted to join the individual tracks together.

‘If there’s one quick (and expected) takeaway, it’s that people like to run by the water and in parks, probably to get away from cars and the scenery.

‘In the smaller inland cities, there seem to be a few high-traffic roads with less running elsewhere.’

Flowing Data has a wide range of other cities, mainly in the US but also in Europe – check it out!

Atlas, the ‘Ultimate Fitness Tracker’, is primed for release

Smartwatches have becoming increasingly popular in the last few months, as many companies, both large and small, set out to catch a piece of the wearable technology sector.

One of the latest is from Atlas Wearables, whose eponymous device has just passed its Indiegogo target of $125,000 and will be shipping to customers soon.

Atlas is able to detect a wide variety of exercises to track your activity

Labelled ‘the ultimate fitness tracker’ by the company, Atlas looks to go beyond simply measuring your steps to measuring your success. Atlas logs your workout with almost zero user action, with the device tracking and identifying different activities, evaluates your form, counts your reps, calculates the calories you burned, and keeps track of your heart rate so you can see how each movement affects your body.

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Nike launches second generation FlyKnit Shoe – the Lunar2

Nike’s Flyknit technology was a stunning advancement for the company – a real sign that it was stepping up its activity in the running shoe space, but also a sign of great innovation. Following the release of the Flyknit Lunar+1 shoe in March 2013, the company has now unveiled the second generation of its footwear – the Lunar2.

Weighing in at just 7 ounces, the shoe is described by Nike as ‘the formula for the perfect run’. The Lunar2 combines an ultralight yet supportive and stretchier Flyknit upper combined with soft, responsive Lunarlon cushioning. The shoes also feature an attached tongue that stays in place and an outsole pattern that more closely matches how the foot naturally moves through a stride.

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Nabu SmartBand covers all the bases

Razer is a company you might associate first and foremost with audio or gaming peripherals, but this year’s CES contained a lot of companies entering the wearable technology space for the first time.

So meet the Nabu, not the Star Wars planet, but Razer’s take on wearable tech. Part smartwatch and part fitness band (like the Jawbone Up), the Nabu provides the best of both worlds.

The Razer Nabu allows your to take calls on the go

There’s the public side on the outside of the band that shows basic notifications like incoming calls. Then, for a little more privacy from prying eyes, there’s a private screen that’s located on the inside of the wrist, which will show information such as emails, messages and the biometric data that the Nabu is constantly collecting.

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Race Yourself AR app brings the next generation of tech into your workout

Augmented Reality is undoubtedly one of the next big trends to hit technology, with developers coming up with ever more interesting ways to use it. We’ve previously covered how gamification of your run or workout can help spur you on, even if it involved a little fear – but now a new app is really taking it to the next level…

Race Yourself is an app for Google Glass which, using augmented reality, gives you an avatar to compete against in the real world. This avatar can then be put into more than 30 different game modes, from simply racing against yourself to being chased by a giant Indiana Jones-style boulder and even hordes of zombies, similar to Zombies, Run, one of our favourite fitness apps of last year.

You can test yourself against past performances to boost your workout

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Looking for some new years inspiration? Look no further than the Jantastic running challenge

Getting yourself motivated for winter runs is never easy, especially if you’re taking it up for a new year’s fitness regime. However, this might all be about to change, thanks to the Jantastic running challenge.

The Jantastic running challenge is looking to inspire all runners

Created by the organisers of running podcast Marathon Talk and backed by English Athletics and Adidas, Jantastic is a free running challenge which looks to inspire all ages and abilities to start or continue running in 2014. Registration is now open, and over 5,000 people have already signed up. In 2013, the challenge saw more than 125,000 runs and 600,000 miles logged, with a bigger total targeted for 2014.

Launching with a new website www.jantastic.me, the challenge will see the creation of an online running community which organisers hope will help get people started and running more and faster through the difficult winter months between January and March.

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Magellan Echo smartwatch goes on sale

With the smartwatch market becoming ever more crowded, manufacturers are looking to introduce new and innovative features in order to tempt consumers. A new smartwatch released this week by Santa Clara-based firm Magellen, the Echo, promises to solve one of the biggest problem users encounter when running with a smartphone – viewing and controlling fitness apps while the phone is tucked away.

Echo streams data and controls from your smartphone to your wrist, allowing users to see their distance, pace, and heart rate from fitness apps in realtime.

The Echo is available in a variety of colours, and can also serve as an everyday watch

The device connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth Smart and allows users to control fitness applications through four customizable buttons on its side. However, the obvious downside of this is that, you need to have your phone on you while running to get the most out of the device, unlike standalone fitness watches such as the Adidas miCoach.

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London-based designer shows off ‘running shoes of the future’

The running shoe market has changed so much in the last decade that it would properly be mind-blowing for runners from twenty or thirty years ago to see how far it have developed. But how will shoes evolve and change in the future?

At this week’s Wearable Futures conference, London designer and researcher Shamees Aden demonstrated a concept shoe which shows how he sees the future developing. The shoes, which Aden is developing with University of Southern Denmark professor Martin Hanczyc, are 3D printed from protocells, a synthetic biological material that can repair itself overnight.

Coming to your feet in the near future?

The shoes’ unique construction allows them to be 3D printed to the exact size of the user’s foot, so they would fit like a second skin. While running, the shoes would react to pressure and movement, providing extra cushioning when needed. Continue reading

New Nike smartwatch landing early 2014?

Today’s second piece of Nike news concerns wearable technology – as following the release of the Nike+Sportwatch and Fuelband SE smartwatch in 2013, it seems that the company is gearing up to launch an entirely new smartwatch early next year to compete with Adidas’ MiCoach device.

Occasionally-reliable electronics news site DigiTimes, citing sources along the supply chains in Taiwan, is reporting that early production runs on the wearable computing solution are already taking place at assembly plants run by EMS firm Flextronics International.

Nike’s recent FuelBand SE was well-received – could we be seeing the next generation soon?

This could mean that a Nike smartwatch could be set to go on to be released in the first half of 2014, with early prototypes possibly making an appearance at CES in January or even Mobile World Congress in February in Barcelona.

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Nike introduces LunarElite Sky Hi wedge shoe

Nike has been building up its Lunar shoe range recently following the release of the FlyKnit Lunar +1 shoes back in March, and has this week announced a new model, the  LunarElite Sky Hi.

The LunarElite Sky Hi mixes old and new styles in an innovative wedge shape

Drawing from Nike’s deep heritage in running, the LunarElite Sky Hi mixes Lunarlon cushioning technology with the classic Nike Elite running shoe model from 1976, creating the lightest wedged Nike shoe to date.

This is also the first Nike sneaker with an external wedge, with large perforations and a ventilated neoprene cover providing breathable, sock-less comfort.

Wedge shoes are making a comeback, and Nike is leading the way

The LunarElite Sky Hi will be available exclusively at Net-A-Porter  from this Friday, December 13th.

[Via Nike]