- Injuries still often occur during running, partly because it is not yet possible to analyse your movements
- Performances are recorded and registered using these sensors
An RRD employee had a laptop with them on their bike to wirelessly receive the data and send it to the researchers at the finish. Van Hijum’s movements told them that he started struggling after 35 kilometres. “The last five kilometres were indeed very tough”, the politician confessed afterwards. He was feeling a lot better though, only fifteen minutes after he finished: “I didn’t go too fast straight off the bat, fortunately, so I wasn’t too exhausted. A lesson I learned in Rotterdam.”
The sensor project is a collaboration between the companies Xsens, Demcon and Trimm. Jasper Reenalda, from Roessingh Research and Development, explains the purpose of the research: “We hope to learn more about how someone’s running posture during a marathon with this sensor technology, especially when that running posture deteriorates under the influence of fatigue and pain. That is the moment that injuries start occurring. We want to prevent that moment, through training, for example.
For whom is this technology intended? Reenalda: “We are focusing on the amateur athlete, initially. But top athletes will also benefit from this technique, of course. And we think that we can ultimately also use this knowledge for the recovery of rehabilitation patients. It is very important to gain insight into what someone can take if they have to learn to walk again after a brain haemorrhage, for example, and where someone is taxing his or her body incorrectly.”
The research should lead to a consumer version in a few years. Athletes will then be able to analyse their movements on their smartphone and adjust them if necessary. They will get fewer injuries that way. Van Hijum is satisfied with the result. He will meet with the researchers again next week to discuss his performance. He ran a personal record despite carrying 200 grams of sensors. “I was around four minutes faster than last time. Not bad!” He might run some time again, but he does not know yet if that will be in Enschede and with sensors.