Enschede Marathon uses data to make amateurs perform better

The Enschede Marathon is famous among runners. Participants from all over the world praise the atmosphere and course. The organisation invests in innovation to keep all the ‘fans’ informed about the event and throughout the year. Recreational runners can be coached online and receive customised training advice by sharing their data during training. This innovation makes the Enschede Marathon unique. The organisation wants to connect runners, sponsors, volunteers and other interested parties and keep them ‘warm’ for the marathon throughout the year.

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In short

  •    Saxion University of Applied Sciences and Little Rocket Data Agency are working together in Sportinnovator Centre Twente and creating a platform that uses data to help amateur marathon runners prepare for the Enschede Marathon.
  •  It will soon be possible to offer customised training schedules and advice by collecting and analysing data from amateur runners.

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Capacity, recovery and nutrition

Saxion University of Applied Sciences and Little Rocket from Enschede were called in to start this new project. Frits Oosterveld was a lecturer at Saxion and is now project manager of Sportinnovator Centre Twente. “How can we use technology to promote sport, exercise and health? That is, in short, what we work on”, he says. “We use Connect-U to connect questions from the business world in this area to students and lectorates, which is how this cooperation with Little Rocket came about.”


Nienke Bruggeman is the owner of Little Rocket. Her company focuses on creating value and impact through the intelligent use of data. “A lot of data is available, particularly for the highest level of sports. Top athletes are closely monitored in terms of capacity, recovery, nutrition, etc. We are investigating how we can obtain similar data from amateurs in an accessible, safe, and privacy-friendly manner. By combining and analysing this data, we can offer highly relevant advice for recreational sports. Many different runners participate in the marathon, from beginners to advanced runners, people who run half a marathon, you name it. If we can analyse all that data, we can eventually provide individual feedback on what runners can do to prevent injury and how they can improve", she explains. "We can suggest different types of training by using algorithms, but also help in rehabilitation."

Broad target group

Frits: “We can also gain better insight into how different forms of training, in addition to nutrition, stress and sleep, affect the athlete’s physical well-being. This project is valuable to society because it can translate data into practical applications for safer and healthier sport and exercise for a broad target group.”

The two say that the platform will not only be helpful for marathon runners. "Sports coaches, for example, can use it to better help the people they coach." The first two brainstorming sessions have already taken place. "We do not yet know whether this will be a digital platform or an app", says Nienke. "But we want to share our knowledge in any case and use insights obtained through artificial intelligence. So that amateurs can also have concrete results."

Date: 20 July 2022 |

Source of tekst: Little Rocket & Saxion |

Author: Maaike Thüss

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