Heartbit T-shirt, £pledge now on Kickstarter (shown in main image)
As runners, we know that on-the-move heart rate monitors can provide variable results. Well, this new wearable monitor has been in development for four years and uses a heart fitness monitor which clips into a smart T-shirt with sensors. These measure a runner’s heart using ECG technology, to give unrivalled heart performance readings and post-workout assessments.
Heartbit’s smart performance activewear accurately monitors the heart’s stress levels delivering in-app advanced insights and assessments into heart function.
Most existing activity trackers only record users’ pulse rate whereas Heartbit uses real-time heart monitoring through a wearable electrocardiogram (ECG) device. By measuring electrical signals produced by your heart each time it beats, an ECG can detect signs of arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, and other potential anomalies.
Of course, such technology will warn you first-hand if you have any hidden problems, but more significantly for runners looking for that edge, the data (10,000 data points per second) will help you fine-tune your training. over the long-term, building an ECG profile to help you optimise your approach to exercise.
George Kozmann Jr., CEO of Heartbit, says: “The road to fitness is different for everyone: it can depend on their unique physiology, preferences and the conditions in which they’re exercising. We wanted to tap into a growing enthusiasm for running by empowering people to achieve their fitness goals while protecting their most important organ.”
Unwrapped bars, £22 for six
Picture your kit for a long adventure or ultra and imagine the stack of gels, bars and snacks that will be consumed en route. How much of that is packed in wrappers that will be thrown away once consumed? Multiply that number by the number of other runners doing similar that day and you get the idea of how much waste can be produced by even a small event.
Lucy Stanfield-Jenner had just these thoughts: “I was frustrated by the amount of packaging involved in traditional energy and snack bars and seeing increasing amounts of litter around on the hills,” she says. But, given her background in circular economy innovation, and some nifty thinking, she realised there was a better way to make a truly sustainable product, which grew to become Unwrapped Bars.
“The premise was wanting to create an energy bar that uses reusable wrapping, which I don’t think has been done before. Customers buy a box of bars that includes a pre-stamped envelope, they send the empty wraps back to us to refill and send back out again.” By reusing the packaging, the pitfalls of poor recycling practices are avoided, as well as the years it takes for wrappers to biodegrade.
“The wrappers used are made from organic cotton and beeswax, making them washable and naturally antibacterial and waterproof,” Lucy tells us. The design went through a rigorous testing procedure, or as she puts it “running around the hills of Scotland for hours in the pouring rain”, but safe to say they stood up to the challenges well. “The wrapping does have a shelf-life,” Lucy admits. “But this is up to five years and still saves tons of waste over its life when someone chooses them over traditional packaging.”
The bars themselves are gluten free, using oats as their base (only fitting, being based in Scotland). Dried fruit and nuts provide protein and carbs which make for a wholefood source of energy. And fear not, a nut-free option is also in the works at Unwrapped Bars HQ, we’re reliably informed!
Dynafit Ultra 50 GTX, £145
Designed as a ‘winterised’ shoe for mountain trail running, the specialist Pomoca sole uses natural caoutchouc rubber for grip and features an S-shaped ‘gliding path’ design that guides the foot from heel strike to toe-off, steering the rolling motion of the foot to minimise energy loss. The Gore Invisible Fit technology bonds the waterproof/breathable membrane directly into the shoe, giving the feel of a non-Gore shoe with no pressure points and a true fit. A high-rebound cushioning EVA midsole minimises impact on muscles and joints. The higher-volume fit anticipates the foot swelling over longer distances, but precision is maintained through the heel pre-loader anchoring the foot, and there’s a reinforced toe cap to protect the toes. An ‘invisible lacing’ fabric layer keeps laces stowed securely, and stops dirt and debris from getting in. Drop is 8mm, and both men’s and women’s versions are available.
Saxx Fish Are Fly Quest Brief, £25
Saxx underwear calls itself the saviour of men’s tackle, ensuring chafe-free support for tens of thousands of grateful chaps, thanks to its patented Ballpark Pouch technology. And now Saxx has also teamed up with some seriously creative individuals for its Artists Series. In the current range there are prints from Brett Stenson, a designer and artist living in Portland, Oregon, whose work is inspired directly by the natural world. These styles are produced in collaboration with Plastic Bank, an organisation which works with coastal communities to incentivise recycling, stopping ocean plastic while improving the lives of those who collect it. For every Blue Trash Crab or Fish Are Fly design sold, you’ll be helping to stop 50 plastic bottles from entering the ocean. Another reason to feel good about your undies.
Vala Energy Gels, £2.49
We’re huge fans of natural foods here at Trail Running but recognise that sometimes you need a boost – so what a great combination: a gel that provides energy using natural foods. Combining super foods (which taste amazing) like maple syrup, date paste, lemon and lime juice, this easy to carry gel provides everything you need when it comes to instant power! The taste is Canadian maple syrup and date paste. And rather than including an overwhelming and artificial citrus hit, the team has added a squeeze of pure lemon and lime juice to give a subtle citrus aftertaste.
Asics women’s range, £various
Asics has launched its new women’s Nagare collection, designed (so the firm says) for movement that flows. The new collection is comfortable and supportive so women can focus on the uplifting feeling that running brings. The Nagare collection has been developed with female-specific technologies that supports the unique way women move. Each shoe in the collection, for instance, has been designed with features for extra comfort and taking into account the female running style. The apparel in the range includes performance running tops, tights, a jacket and a bra with technology to effectively support women when they move. The lightweight and high-tech fabrics across the new range support the body and promote smooth and flowing movements. Ergonomic materials and small feminine details help bring the look and feel of the collection together.
Brooks Run Visible Collection, £various
The Run Visible Collection is made with innovative retroreflective material in critical motion zones, specifically designed to keep you seen. The range uses high-contrast, high-visibility colours like nightlife yellow, one of the easiest colours to see in low-light conditions, to ensure you’re recognised as a runner, faster. The material reflects the light from a car’s headlights directly back towards the driver. Each piece in the Run Visible collection returns a minimum amount of light equivalent to a group of 300 candles burning together. The result? You have the freedom to run after the sun sets – or way before it rises. The range uses and 3M Scotchlite as well as Carbon Black Stretch retro reflectivity in critical motion zones. Plus, the Run Visible Fall 2021 collection is made of more recycled polyester than before, contributing to Brooks’ goal of using 100% recycled polyester in footwear and new apparel materials by 2023.
Love Hemp CBD Liquid Oral Oil Drop, £14.99
This is endorsed by British world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who says “the ability of CBD to improve people’s everyday lives is undeniable”. CBD comes in many forms, including an oil, spray, edibles or body salves. A great option for morning and evening consumption is the CBD Liquid Oral Oil Drops which come in a choice of four flavours – Natural, Valencia Orange, Wild Cherry and Peppermint. If you prefer to take your CBD as and when you need it, there’s also an Oil Atomiser Spray. And if you are new to CBD, start by taking 10mg twice per day. Choose a mild strength to start with and slowly build up to a daily intake of 70mg, in line with FSA guidelines. The calming and anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD, are best felt after a consistent time period – take it daily and allow up to three weeks to feel the best results.