These days, everything and everyone is more connected than ever. Friends and family who live halfway across the planet can video chat in real time. We can track each other’s lives by the minute through social media. Automobiles can even pair with GPS satellites and the internet for software updates and optimization. Chew on this — there’s more computing power in your smartphone than NASA used to put a man on the moon. That’s wild.
Not surprisingly, this connected concept has trickled down to the running industry as well. We know more about running efficiency and performance than ever before, and hiring a run-specific coach is no longer a requirement to improve running form or create a sustainable, specialized training plan.
Enter Under Armour’s smart running shoes. These latest offerings won’t take you to space (yet!), but their smart connected features have the power to give you a complete overview of your runs, plus crucial data and analysis you can use to improve. If you’re currently only measuring your pace and distance, you’re missing half the picture.
Featured in several of their running shoes (I’m particularly fond of the the UA HOVR Infinite), UA’s integrated Record Sensor coupled with the MapMyRun app is the ultimate in connectivity. From optimizing your form to monitoring shoe life, here are five reasons you should run connected:
If you’re like the majority of people, too much screen time can add unnecessary stress to your life. Fortunately, running is a great way to escape and refresh both mentally and physically. With the connected UA HOVR shoes, you can track your run without carrying your phone or even pushing a “start” button. Lace ‘em up and head out the door — the shoe pod records your run and all your metrics, then automatically uploads the data once you’re in range of your phone. It’s that easy!
Remember, if you do decide to run with your phone, pair your shoes with the MapMyRun app and click “Start Workout.” This tracks your route with GPS and gives you additional insights like elevation gain and calories burned.
OPTIMIZE YOUR FORM WITH PERSONALIZED COACHING TIPS
No matter whether you’re a beginner or someone who has logged more miles than you can count, we can all improve our running form. Doing so is essentially capitalizing on free speed — small tweaks in a runner’s stride can improve efficiency (and therefore, pace) without any added endurance. After uploading data from the integrated Record Sensor, the Gait Coaching feature on MapMyRun analyzes your stride and provides measurable tips and guidance to improve your form. It even goes one step further by analyzing the entire run, showing where your form collapses (or is optimal) at different paces and durations and how to improve consistency.
For example, an instant post-run coach tip might include, “Your stride length was longer than the target range” and “On your next run, try relaxing your arms and pumping them a little faster, with a smaller swing. This can naturally help shorten your stride.” These tips become more detailed as your history of recorded runs grows.
TRACK EVERYTHING AT ONCE
For such a simple and intuitive system, UA HOVR running shoes and MapMyRun give you an impressive amount of data right at your fingertips. The high-fidelity sensor automatically records distance and pace without the need for GPS, and it also automatically creates 1-mile splits as your run progresses. Additionally, the sensor records your cadence (number of steps per minute), as well as your stride length (the distance between each right footstrike).
By closely monitoring metrics like cadence and stride length, you can optimize your form and therefore help prevent mechanical injuries. Optimal form is not only faster and more efficient, but it’s safer and can benefit longevity. The MapMyRun app includes a stride-length calculator, where you can see your projected target stride range (in inches) depending on your average pace (minutes/mile). Aiming to keep a high percentage of your strides within this suggested range helps with consistency and prevents issues like shin splints or runner’s knee.
MONITOR SHOE LIFE
As previously mentioned, running connected not only tracks your mileage and pace, but MapMyRun keeps tabs on the condition and mileage of your shoes, giving you alerts when it’s time for a new pair. Don’t worry about replacing or charging the Record Sensor battery — UA HOVR shoes are designed so the sensor outlasts the shoe itself.