A New Invention Makes Running Easier… Should We Care?

Exploring Intensity

A New Invention Makes Running Easier… Should We Care?

Would you like to have an exoskeleton? This is not a message from the future, but rather what is now being touted as an incredible device that can actually increase your running capabilities by 8%.

Is 8% good? Well, according to this article, the Vaporfly 4% by Nike supposedly increases running ability by, surprise, 4%. This new device doubles the Nike product, so we’d consider it a pretty significant upgrade.

(Photo courtesy of Rezvan Nasiri)

But what is it? Unfortunately, there is no video but here is how that same article describes it as “…a lightweight contraption involving a belt around the hips connected to metal straps butting against the thighs that are held in place by straps above the knees. The device also includes a metal loop arching out from a person’s back that acts as a spring, gathering and transferring energy from one hip to the other.”

What this does is allow the energy you expend while using your legs to be traded off better than how your body does it. One more time from the article:

Experts in biomechanics long have known that running can be a somewhat wasteful motion. We create energy when we coil our muscles and push off with one leg from the ground and dissipate some of it when our foot returns to the pavement and momentum slightly brakes.

So does this mean that everyone is going to be using this device by the end of next year? Well, this is going to be very helpful for people who need an extra boost and it will be interesting to see if something like this could artificially boost some world records… but as far as we’re concerned, we would prefer to get our exercise the old-fashioned way, or at least until we know we can afford it.

 And, as the article states, when they finally come up with a name.

-Shane M.