This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

June 7, 2017

Nike's 21st Century Running Track

It should come as no surprise that the athletic shoe manufacturer Nike has created a breakthrough running track that blurs the lines between fitness and entertainment.

A reputation for huge marketing campaigns and high-profile experiments
Last month on the Formula 1 track in Monza, Italy, Nike launched Breaking2, its attempt to help record-setting marathon runners break the two-hour marathon barrier, complete with laser show. Engaging three of the fastest runners on the planet, Eliud Kipchoge missed the mark by a mere 25 seconds. These, three best marathoners chased neon green "pace lines".

Nike's latest combines fun and fitness
Located in Manila, Philippines, Nike has created the "world's first LED running track". It makes running feel more like dancing through a nightclub. Nike's stadium takes up an entire city block. From the air, you can see the track is shaped like the bottom of Nike's popular, most innovative Lunar Epic Flyknit shoe. The track covers 200 meters, half the distance of a standard metric oval. Up to 30 people can run on the track at a time.

Here's how it works
You run one lap to log an initial lap time, then they attach a sensor to your shoe. Thereafter, your avatar shows up on the wall next to you in LED lights to help you improve your pace. The technology lets you race against yourself. The faster you run, the larger your avatar gets. With lap-by-lap feedback, you can learn to run at a proper pace for yourself. Nike's technology definitely makes exercising more fun than simply running on a regular track. What an experience!

Only the beginning
Years ago, with the advent of the video game Dance, Dance, Revolution, we forecasted that there would be more games to blend fitness with fun. Nike's LED running track is another example of this blending, but it will not be the last. Perhaps before long, we may see a network of these running venues to encourage runners to get their exercise, while challenging themselves to continue to improve.

Special thanks to Team WR at Women's Running for bringing this development to our attention.

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