This is the time of year when we look ahead to try to predict the future. What do we see happening in 2018 for runners? There aren’t many major discoveries or shifts looming on the horizon beyond improving and individualizing. The sub-two-hour marathon is the perfect proof of this: 2017 came close, and it’s likely we’ll see someone break that record in the next year or two — not by making sweeping changes, but with a few tiny tweaks.
INDIVIDUALIZED NUTRITION AND TRAINING WILL BE EVERYWHERE
No more “Paleo is right for everyone” talk. Ditto: “This is the interval that every single runner must do.” Nope, no more sweeping statements: 2018 is all about what’s right for you. Thanks to tons of wearable tech and apps like MyFitnessPal, it’s easier than ever to get coaching on everything from food to strength training to your running schedule. Not only can you hire a virtual coach, you can actually share real, solid data with him or her (or it, in the case of some of the apps out there), making access to a coach cheaper than ever before. For the average runner, that means you’ll have easy access to nutrition help and custom workouts designed for you as an individual with specific needs, goals and a lifestyle, not you as a ‘female runner between 30 and 45 years old.’
READ MORE > BOOST YOUR WORKOUT WITH THESE GEAR ESSENTIALS
INTEGRATED TECH WILL BE SMALLER AND MORE POWERFUL
Earlier in 2017, UA introduced the Gemini 2 Record-Equipped Shoe, which pairs to the UA app and logs things like your recovery (as measured by a jump test) but also serves as a data-collector during your runs. Wearable tech started with watches, but by the end of 2017, we were seeing hints of affordable garments that could track your poses during yoga flows and monitor things like heart and sweat rate — and those pieces are going to be even more finely-tuned and widely-available, while coming down in cost, in the coming season.
PERSONAL FLAIR IN ALL GEAR
From head to toe, there’s never been a better time to be a fashionista in the running world. No matter what your everyday style looks like, from mod to classic to punk, there’s a piece of running apparel for that. While a few years ago, you could get leggings in different colors, the styles were all similar — and the cool colors often came without the perks of ventilation, run-specific design or comfort while running. (Those annoying seams!) Now, you can find tights in rose gold that have mesh panels behind the knee, windbreakers in this season’s runway colors or, if you prefer a neutral palette, it’s simple to find black gear for every style of runner. Never has it been so easy to be stylish and functional at the same time.
MEDITATION GETS MOVING
With books like “Mindful Running” making everyone reconsider meditation as a stay-in-one-spot-and-chant task, it’s more likely we’ll see even more people switching to meditation practices. Meditation gardens and mazes are cropping up all over North America as well, making it easier than ever to do intervals, and then get zen as part of your cooldown. We like an efficient namaste!
RECOVERY IS KING
If 2017 was all about self-care and sleep, then 2018 is all about self-care in your sleep. We want to make our lives as easy as possible, and new tech is making that happen. Look at Under Armour’s Athletic Recovery Sleepwear, with sheets, pillowcases and pajamas made using special print technology that reflects Far Infrared, helping your body recover faster and promoting better sleep. We should still be hitting the foam roller, but it’s nice to know that more and more recovery options that don’t involve doing anything are becoming available.