Category Archives: Uncategorized

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!

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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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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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 Azom.com, 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 Azom.com]

We’re off on holiday…

TechRunner is off on holiday! We’re jetting off to Europe for a week, and will hopefully return fresher and recharged to keep on running – stay tuned for more when we come back!

TR team

New Brooks survey reveals waaaaay more about our running and personal habits than we ever thought possible…

Running = the solution to all your relationship problems?

We’ve always heard that the mark of a good runner is the ability to carry on a conversation whilst running. And it seems that those that can do just that have rather a lot to talk about…

A new survey from Brooks Running Company has found that guys enjoy chatting on the run more than their female counterparts. More than three-quarters (76 per cent) of men surveyed passed the time by discussing their team’s latest performance (sports, 51 per cent) or their cool new gadgets (34 per cent).

Ladies, on the other hand, choose to use their running time as therapy – and are most likely to talk about relationships (47 per cent), both the good and the bad. Surprisingly, all runners ranked their happenings in the bedroom as their least favourite running topic.

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We’re back!

Apologies for the absence, readers – TR has been on holiday for the past two weeks, and apparently the uploading rules we set up in order to ensure content was published during that time didn’t work!

Rest assured normal service will resume soon – so stay tuned…

Around the web: the weekend’s recommended reading

With the snow continuing to fall this week, TR has needed some serious motivation to get out and brave the freezing conditions. Luckily, we’ve had the following to spur us on…

Why Everyone Is Running a Half Marathon These Days – US magazine the Washingtonian investigates the motivations behind entering “the Usain Bolt of races”, particularly amongst women, as a recent report released by Running USA found that since 2000, the number of half-marathon finishers has increased by a whopping 284 per cent, making it the most popular race distance in the country. Last year saw a record 1.85 million finishers—60 percent of whom were female. (The Washingtonian)

Elle Magazine teams up with Nike to offer new 10k race series – Named “We Own The Night”, the first race will take place in London’s Victoria Park on Saturday 18th May, and promises a route filled with light, sound and the unexpected for a running experience like no other. The magazine is also offering weekly training sessions for new runners beginning next week. (Elle UK)

Barefoot running shoes review – The Guardian running blog runs its careful eye over the top barefoot running shoes available on the market right now, including The Adidas Motion, New Balance Minimus, and the old favourite, the Vibrams Five Fingers. Invaluable advice for anyone looking to make the first step into this field. (Guardian)

Here come the girls – Adidas launches new “My Girls” Initiative

Adidas has this week unveiled a new cross category brand direction, which aims to celebrate the bonds between women and how they help to encourage each other.

Looking to boost the worldwide love of sport following a sensational 2012, the new campaign, entitled “all in for #mygirls”,  uses social media to offer a platform for like-minded females all around the world to connect to each other to share their love of sport and motivate one other to achieve their goals.

The site itself resembles a Storify or Pinterest-esque layout, with new kit, inspirational videos and stories submitted by writers or bloggers. Top of the list at the moment are features on Brazilian divers, the Jordanian National Boxing Team, and Nigerian footballers, all of which are worth a look. You can sign up to receive regular updates and offer directly from the webpage.

An “all in for #mygirls” television commercial is set to air in Russia, Korea and China with TBWA, as well as a digital magazine on www.adidas.com/mygirls, with additional social media power on Twitter and Instagram.

Here’s the video – let us know what you think!

Source: The Drum

Qualcomm launches Wireless Walking Challenge with American Heart Association

Qualcomm has announced that its Qualcomm Life division is kicking off a Wireless Walking Challenge in collaboration with the American Heart Association (AHA) at Mobile World Congress 2013 this week in Barcelona.

Qualcomm Life and the American Heart Association are working together to launch the Wireless Walking Challenge to encourage people to increase their physical activity in order to ultimately improve their heart health and attendees of Mobile World Congress have the first opportunity to compete in this global challenge.

To participate, attendees can download their choice of an mHealth app, including MapMyFitness, Noom or RunKeeper, or leverage a pre-owned activity monitoring device, including Body Media, or Fitbit, to track their steps throughout the conference. The mHealth apps and devices are connected to the Wireless Walking Challenge app via the 2net Connect APIs so participants’ steps are automatically updated and reflected in the app leaderboard.

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