Technology evolving to help athletes

High school sports use advanced technology to help better their performance. Whether it’s how often you train, what you are eating, or even the technology you are using. High school students devote themselves to the sports that they love and fight for the goals that they wish to succeed. 

Some sports’ main goals are to drop down in time, mainly swimming and running. Scientists have been studying the way the equipment’s design can help you reach these goals, just by simply using this product. The top sports that use these technological equipment are runners and swimmers and usually only use them when it is an important race. 

For swimmers, they use these suits called fastskins, or tech suits. Fastskins have this very special design to them that helps you swim at your full potential. The prices range from anywhere between $100 to more than $500 and can only be worn at max 8 times according to US Masters Swimming.  3 main ideas go into creating a tech suit. One of the biggest advantages of these suits is compression. Tech suits tend to take about 15-30 minutes or longer to put on, give or take a little. The main reason for compression is that it is supposed to fit your body as tightly as possible, reducing the amount of drag in the water. Due to this element, your muscles get packed together in a way that helps blood flow through your body. With a good blood flow, it helps the swimmers release the lactic acid and metabolism waste from their body more quickly through their race. Another key component of a tech suit is the material that it is created out of. Tech suits are hydrodynamic, which means that they cannot absorb water when you are racing. This also reduces drag when you are competing and helps “glide” you through the water. The last major component of tech suits is actually a mental thing. Swimmers feel more confident in themselves when wearing a tech suit and that right there can make or break a race. 

Along with swimmers, runners can also use technology like a tech suit, except it’s a specific shoe. Nike’s VaporFly 4% has been gaining major popularity in the running business. Research has shown that these specific shoes can improve your running by 4%. Eliud Kipchoge broke a marathon world record in Berlin with the shoes’ help. The shoes are designed with carbon fiber plate and a very special ZoomX midsole foam. With these materials, it provides many benefits to the runner. One of the benefits is that it actually saves 4% of the runners energy which is easily imaginable, a benefit for a runner. It also helps improve runners’ ankle mechanics. Researchers believe that the carbon fiber plate stabilizes your ankles and helps reduce the rotation of the calf. The last benefit is that the midsole foam has an incredibly high resilience rate which means that it will go back to its original shape and returns about 80% of energy. 

So much time and research goes into these types of equipment and helps a number of athletes of all ages. Such a little piece of a sport could make a world of difference on an individual. 

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Ashlynn Barnard

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