From the 80 million European runners, more than 37 million have suffered a running injury during sport practice in the last year. The Institute of Biomechanics of Valencia (IBV) is working on the design of a new running shoe that integrates a measuring device that will provide training control and prevent injuries during running.
The device will consist of a microelectronic measurement system, capable of gathering and transmitting the athlete’s main biomechanical parameters. The information will be wirelessly transmitted to the runner’s mobile phone, where an application will inform him or her in real time about the planned activity and the performance achieved until that moment.
The mobile phone application can also integrate additional worthy information provided by other commercial devices currently used by runners such as heart rate monitors or GPS positioning provided by smartphones.
The runner will be able to download all the generated running information on a web portal that will include a management application. This web portal will generate personalized training plans based on the previous analysis of the runner’s biomechanics, and also allow a follow up of training improvements and give the user recommendations in order to prevent injuries. Moreover, this web will include web 2.0. functionalities, allowing the user to be in contact with other runners worldwide and build and share running routes, footwear information, etc.
The main novelty of this new system compared to current running measuring systems for training is that it will be the first device on the market able to characterize the running technique from biomechanical variables and give real-time recommendations to prevent injuries and improve performance.
RUNSAFER Project is a European initiative funded by the Research for SMEs Call of the VII Framework Programme of the European Commission.
The Institute of Biomechanics has recently hosted the kick-off meeting of this project, which also counts with the participation of other research and technological centres such as IPMS-Fraunhofer (GE) and EII (EST), as well as SMEs like KELME (SP), BKOOL (SP), DUKOSI (UK) and NUROMEDIA (GE).
80 million runners in Europe
The current total of European runners exceeds 80 million; approximately 36% of 15 to 65 year-old European population.
Running has become one of the most popular sports in the past years. However, the practice of this sport produces injuries that force the runner to temporarily stop and lose physical fitness or even in some cases to give up running all together.
Incidence of running injuries is high, since 38% of European runners suffer or have suffered a running injury and between 37 and 56% of runners suffer an injury at least once a year.