ED­I­TOR’S LET­TER

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue -

RUN­NING IS ES­SEN­TIALLY A LOW-TECH SPORT,

and that’s key to its ap­peal – all you need is some ba­sic ap­parel and a de­cent pair of shoes and you’re good to go. But there’s no doubt tech­nol­ogy has made as­pects of run­ning bet­ter.

We’ve come a long way from the pre-gps-mon­i­tor days, when run­ners would have to es­ti­mate their dis­tance with a map and a piece of string, or drive the route af­ter­wards to record it on the mileome­ter. As we ex­plain in our Tech Spe­cial on page 57, to­day’s run­ning gad­gets can an­a­lyse your gait, es­ti­mate your VO2 max, mea­sure your blood haemoglobin and help you sleep and re­cover bet­ter. There are even socks that can mea­sure your foot strike pat­terns.

Of course, it’s true that it’s still the per­son who has to do the run­ning, and there is a risk that in be­com­ing ob­sessed with your ver­ti­cal os­cil­la­tion you can lose touch with the sim­ple joy of the ac­tiv­ity. But if you can find the bal­ance be­tween anal­y­sis and ful­fil­ment, there are per­for­mance ben­e­fits to be had in har­ness­ing the power of run­ning tech. I re­cently had the op­por­tu­nity to run in the shoe worn in the much-pub­li­cised at­tempt to break the two-hour mark in the marathon, the Nike Zoom Va­por­fly 4% (which we look at on page 68) and they re­ally do feel fast, with a springi­ness that en­cour­ages a quick, for­ward-lean­ing gait. Of course, I’m no Eliud Kip­choge, but whether elite or mor­tal, when it comes to run­ning eas­ier or bet­ter, ev­ery lit­tle helps.

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