Going the Distance: Technology for Today’s Athlete
Hills, hills and more hills but the view is amazing and does everyone here have a device tracking them? Stream of consciousness, yes, and my thoughts after participating in last weekend’s Coastal Trail Run along with 599 other runners.
Most of whom were connected to some sort of device to help track their progress or just to communicate with family and friends during their race. Whether it was an iPhone app that syncs a playlist and shows your progress, some kind of satellite tracking device like a Garmin watch or just the simple bib with the tracking device right in it – all runners were connected. As soon as I got on the shuttle bus that took us to the start line I saw several people snapping photos because not only are runners more connected now than ever before but they also share their experience on social media sites. You could say it’s a way to keep them honest and seek out encouragement as they continue to train for the next race.
High Tech Athletic Gear
The gear everyone was wearing was also laced with technology. Compression socks, Kinesio tape, every kind of contraption to hold water you can think of and running tights to stay warm. My Dad used to run and constantly tells me, “We didn’t have all that stuff you have now, I used to cut the feet out of your Mom’s pantyhose to stay warm.” Well Dad – we’ve got all that “stuff” now and so much more. For example, the Connected Athlete, which is a simple shoe insole one can use to track activity all day long. The Connected Athlete leverages the Cisco Intelligent Network and ACM Systems’ smart-insole wireless sensor technology, to help improve an athlete’s performance and reduce the chance of injury. So you don’t need a gadget strapped to you at all times, with this technology you can really get a sense of your activity throughout the day just by putting the insole in your shoe. The gear athletes wear to improve performance is constantly changing and improving. Just this week the Warriors announced the players will be wearing new compression style short-sleeved uniforms that will apparently allow for optimal performance.
Times Have Changed
Yes, times have changed, and the way technology is used to enhance an athlete’s performance will continue to evolve. But the end result stays the same- at least for me. Running helps clear the mind, it’s an excellent cardio workout, it helps lower blood pressure and at the same time I get to experience views like this and then turn around and share it with family and friends through a social networking site.