This year’s newest running gadgets.

Ben Pickel wears a Nike + Sportband that records speed, distance, time and calories burned. (Photo by Mark Copier/The Grand Rapids Press)

So, what’s the latest and greatest in fitness/athletic gadgets/technology?  Listed below are a few techno products stores are currently selling.  Going for a run is no longer about a simple pair of sneaks in twenty ten!

Nike+iPod Sport Kit ($30): It’s a two-piece unit — one part is a chip the size of a dinner mint that acts as an accelerometer, which runners slip into their shoe. The other part is a receiver that fits into an iPod Nano and stores information beamed from the athlete’s foot. After workouts, high-tech runners can upload the data and use a Nike software program to track their distance, speed and calories burned.

Garmin GPS-enabled watch ($199 and up): A personal training device with GPS that measures speed, distance, pace and calories burned, and runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. You can go online to store and analyze your workout. It’s essentially a virtual trainer with workout-enhancing features such as alarms that sound when you reach a certain distance or time or when you exceed a certain pace.

FitBit ($100): A motion sensor that clips to a pocket or bra strap that contains an accelerometer. This instrument tallies how much it’s jostled during the day. Press the button to find out how many steps you’ve taken, how many miles, how many calories burned and how active you’ve been.

DirectLife ($80): Another motion sensor but not as cool-looking. No numeric displays, but good for those with a goal of losing weight or getting in shape. You get 12 months of personal coaching with purchase.

Timex Personal Trainer heart rate monitor T5G971 ($60): tracks heart rate and calories burned. A heart rate monitor prevents overtraining or undertraining.

Oakley sunglasses with MP3 capabilities or Bluetooth technology ($199 and beyond): Adds entertainment to the workout.

Bodybugg ($199): A calorie management system that uses sensors to monitor calories burned and says it does it with 90 percent accuracy. It tracks steps with a built-in pedometer. Its Web-based program is free for six months.

“Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen,” by Christopher McDougall: It’s an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? From Harvard’s high-tech science labs to Mexico’s Copper Canyons, McDougall pushes the limits.

Vibram Five Finger shoes: Claims to keep the human foot — with 26 bones, 33 joints, 20 muscles, and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments —  healthy through stimulation and exercise.

Runners Jessie Scott (left) and Jason Robillard wear Vibram Five Fingers barefoot running footwear. (Photo by Mark Copier/The Grand Rapids Press)

(as taken from

I don’t know about you, but after researching this topic I expected to find developments on a robot that runs for you! 😉


One response to “This year’s newest running gadgets.

  1. Amy,

    I use an old style Gamin 205 GPS unit. I don’t think they make it anymore. It was about $150 bucks and I got it when we were in grad school. It had software and you could up load your workout. Right now only the watch works and the battery life is going. I have to recharge it more frequently.

    I like it because i don’t have to guess how far I’ve run and like getting splits on my run.

    I hate having to wait for it to synch up when I want to run and it will occasionally give me a week GPS signal message and then it has no idea where you are and there goes your feedback. A pain in the butt sometimes.

    I love the tech stuff but it can be a pain in the butt. I’m considering switching to the Nike ipod + but I don’t always run with music so that might be a problem.

    Great blog! Keep on posting!


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