Our favourite tech in sport: Apps.

Posted in sport on May 25, 2012

Technology and sport have long been intertwined, particularly for elite athletes looking to add that critical extra 1% to their performance. Ranging from a new swimsuit design that improved glide through the water or a lighter running shoe to knock 1/10’s of a second off personal bests. More recently there has been a move to use technology to help every type of sportsman or woman, whether you are just starting a new sport or would like to get the next level at an existing one.

Andy Murray (probably) Listening to himself..

With a huge array of sports and fitness apps, training aids and High tech equipment and sportswear now available, it can be quite hard to work out which ones work and which ones don’t. The upmysport team need all the help they can get to improve at sport so have quite a lot of experience with some good, bad and ugly sporting technology. Here’s a selection of the team’s favourite bits of tech that have helped them get better at sport:

Adidas Micoach: There are a multitude of similar apps for mapping exercise on your smartphone but we have found micoach to be the most intuitive and flexible offering. Adidas have worked really hard to produce an app that supports a number of fitness disciplines including running, cycling, and sports such as tennis and basketball. What really makes the app work for us is the ability to create custom schedules based on your current weight/height etc., enter you aims and objectives, as well as how long you have to achieve them. Due to Adidas’ pulling power you also get to be cajoled on by sports stars like Andy Murray and Jessica Ennis. Free on all platforms.

 NPT boom by Nike: We think music is an essential part of any workout. Nike’s boom app can make sure your music selection perfectly fits your activity. The app basically provides a soundtrack to your workout and reacts in real time to the intensity of your activity using GPS. So if you’re on a gentle jog, you’ll be listening to coldplay but if you’re off sprint cycling then you’re likely to be hearing plenty of trance!   Free on all platforms.

Lose it: Half of the challenge in getting fit is ensuring you have a good diet. This app helps to make sure this is exactly what you do. It will record what you’re eating (which can sometimes be a little laborious but it’s worth sticking with it) and suggest improvements, and allows you to track your progress, all of which sets this app apart from others. It is surprisingly fascinating to look at your intake of food, and you might be quite shocked by what you find out…we were! (who knew nuts had so many calories but contain ‘good fat’). £0.59 on iphone.

Ski Tracks: This one, as the title suggests, is one for all the skiers out there (we know it’s a slightly out of season suggestion, although Nicola is heading skiing this weekend…). Ski tracks is a great little app that measures your progress throughout your day and gives you data like average speed, metres climbed, and time on the lift. As with the ‘lose it’ app you will be surprised by what you find; often your own estimates will be nothing like what you’ve actually done. It can be a bit of a battery drain particularly when it’s very cold, so keep an eye on your power levels. 1.69 on Android and iPhone.

Our next instalment of ‘Our favourite tech in sport’ will feature training aids and we’ll be asking some of our coaches what has really worked for them, so stay tuned!