Category Archives: Walking

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!

Skechers reveal glow-in-the-dark ‘Nite Owl’ running shoes

In probably the least tech-y story this website will ever publish, U.S. footwear manufacturer Skechers  has announced the launch of its much-anticipated glow in the dark Skechers Nite Owl shoes. Available in a limited and exclusive release for both men and women, the Nite Owls luminescent style will provide runners and walkers with the ideal footwear for those dark winter evening (or morning) runs.

The shoes to be seen in this winter?

Charged with exposure to any natural or artificial light source, the shoe will produce an intense glow that can last for several hours, depending on the power and duration of light charge.

The pigments used in Nite Owls’ advanced glow technology are incorporated directly into the raw materials used to produce the footwear, so the photoluminescence won’t peel, fade or rub off with use. It is physically bonded into the product using materials that are designed to endure what dedicated runners will do to them—lasting as long as the shoes themselves.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Mountain Hardwear launches Way2Cool running apparel line

The Way2Cool range was tested in the baking heat of the Grand Canyon

Californian sportswear company Mountain Hardwear has launched a range of running specific tops featuring fabric technology that uses the wearers’ sweat to activate in-built cooling agents.

Tested with elite athletes in the searing 40 degree heat of the Grand Canyon in the Rim2Rim2Rim challenge, the ‘Way2Cool’ range is made of the world’s first fabric technology that uses wearers’ sweat to activate in-built cooling agents.

The fabric, called ‘Cool.Q.Zero’ works due to hundreds of tiny rings embedded in the fabric, using materials from industrial water filtration processes, to ensure excess moisture is ‘sucked’ away from the body.

The rings, which contain a cooling agent, react to sweat and moisture causing them to suck and swell to create an instant and prolonged cooling effect on the skin.

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