Runners live longer, so they say, and a new iPhone app proves it through the theory of special relativity. Just in time for marathon season!
As your velocity increases, time as you experience it slows down relative to something moving slower than you. A passenger on a spaceship traveling near the speed of light would appear to have aged less than his friends when he returned to Earth, for instance. Similarly, a fast runner appears to gain time compared to a slow runner.
The first ever full-length robot marathon is being run right now in Japan. And one of the bots is live-streaming its point-of-view video so we humans can see what it's like to run around and around for 26 miles, without leaving our comfortable chairs.
Marathoners may sometimes seem like robots, with their single-minded focus and obsessive dedication to finishing their goal. Now some actual robots in Japan are gearing up for a marathon of their own.
The research firm Vstone is putting together the world’s first robot marathon, involving 422 laps around a 100-meter track. Imagine this little robo-scurry on a 42-kilometer scale.
All the latest footwear engineering in your running sneakers might not mean a thing when it comes to preventing injuries. The latest barefoot running study in the journal Nature deployed 3-D infrared tracking to gauge the difference in foot strike between shod and shoeless runners, Scientific American reports. Here's a modern-day meme summation of the findings: "Shoes? You're doing it wrong."
Not sure what to get your favorite Saudi prince or former FEMA chief for their next birthday? Well, look no further than an affordable genetic test for their prize horse. According to a new paper in the Public Library of Science (PLoS), scientists have identified the gene that allows faster running in horses, along with the different alleles that specialize the horse at short, medium, or long distance racing.
Human running speeds top out near 28 mph, if the record-breaking feats of Jamaican speed demon Usain Bolt prove anything. But scientists say that the biological limits of human running could theoretically reach 35 or even 40 mph -- assuming that human muscle fibers could contract faster and allow people to pick up their pace.
Attention cyborg wonks and lazy people: Japanese scientists at Tsukuba University have created a motorized knee that you can attach to your leg to increase your muscle power and running speed. The 11-pound kit's weight is shared by an exoskeleton-like attachment for your leg and a power source that's carried in a small backpack. But here's the best part: the device is not designed with any kind of rehabilitation or handicap-assisting function in mind; it's simply to make it easier for regular folks to run faster!
In 2008, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) banned double amputee Oscar Pistorius from racing in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Later that same year, the ban was reversed. The back and forth centered on Pistorius' specially designed, spring-loaded, prosthetic legs. The IAAF argued that artificial legs designed especially for running gave Pistorius an unfair advantage against runners whose flesh-and-blood limbs didn't benefit from advanced engineering and space-age materials.
While an MIT study last year eventually led to the overturn of the original IAAF decision, no one had done a systematic study of amputee racers in general. Now, the MIT researchers that investigated Pistorius have released the results of a wider trial, and it turns out that specially designed prostheses don't actually help sprinters.
The first time I read that running can turn your toenails black or even make them fall off, I knew I'd found the limit to my dedication to the sport. I'll run through achey joints, sore muscles and most blisters, but toenails are sacrosanct, a permanent part of my body. Fortunately, mine have survived my handful of marathons entirely intact and properly colored.
Some, however, are being preempting the problem.
In an earlier column, I suggested that shoe reviews are often not worth much, since everyone is so different. Well, that's exactly the logic behind the Somnio shoe I'm about to give a positive review. Somnio is the brainchild of Sean Sullivan, a long-time gear designer who created a shoe with modular parts, so you (or rather, the trained guy at the shoe store) can dial in just the right arch support and cushioning for your stride.