‘CREATING MEMORIES’: WARTBURG RUNNERS UTILIZE WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY

MACKENZIE NUANEZ, TRUMPET SPORTS WRITER

“My favorite part about filming [with wearable technology] so much is creating new memories. One day I’m going to be old and not remember much of my past,” Alec Ille, second-year journalism and communication major, said. “By having these on film I will be able to look over them in the future with my family.”

Wearable technology has begun to increase in popularity with gadgets, including the Apple watch, Fitbit and Fossil accessories that have the ability to connect to a phone and social media. College students use technology almost consistently, while student athletes use technology even more to be competitive in athletics. The first digital watch was released in 1972 as Hamilton created the first all-electric digital watch according to wearable.com.

From 1982 to 1995, Seiko ruled the smartwatch industry with several different types of watches according to wearable. com. The first smartwatch that worked like a cell phone was released in 2012 by Sony released with the SmartWatch, according to wearable. com. Since then, companies have used similar ideas and created many more smartwatch options.

“Some of the features of a smartwatch that helps our runners is having the GPS,” Phil Spitzer, assistant cross country coach, said. “The watch can track how far the runner has run during the week. It will also calculate what the average pace the runners were running at. Another thing the watches tell them is how many calories they lost while training.”

There are a number of smartwatches on the market and five companies sell the top ten smartwatches. These include: Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, Fossil and Ticwatch according to techradar.com. With there being a wide variety of watches to choose from, it can become complicated to determine which one is best for each person.

“The watches keep time, track the distance their running and are able to tell what your heart rate is,” explained Spitzer. It is not just smartwatches that help athletes with training. Racing bibs have helped athletes over the years compete in races to compare personal running times.

Racing bibs were originally used for motor racing back in the late 1980s but became more popular when introduced for running events, for timing. Prior to the use of bibs, runners had to rely on a gun start. The method is not as accurate as using racing bibs and runners are able to start at any position.

For long distance runners, the chip records splits at various points on the course according to verywellfit.com. Athletes also use video to improve in certain areas.

“One of the biggest benefits I think when filming races and workouts is seeing how you run and what your form looks like,” Ille said. “This can help runners improve their form so that they are able to run faster for a longer period.”

Filming not only just helps athletes with training, it can be a way to gain experience and develop new skills for future job opportunities.

“I like filming because it is one of the things that help me get into the career that I want to pursue,” Ille said. “It also is a great way to meet and interact with new people and get tips on how to improve my skill set.”

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