Date

3-2014

Degree Name

BA in Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies

Department

Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program

Advisor(s)

Jane Lehr, Michael Haungs

Abstract

Competitive and recreational runners struggle to maintain a target pace during workouts and currently have no easy-to-see visual feedback on their pace. Lack of real-time, easy-to-see pace feedback makes it difficult for athletes to maintain a target pace and thereby makes their workouts less effective. Some GPS watches provide pacing feedback, but they are impossible to read while running hard.

Pacing is a basic yet essential component of track and field, no matter what type of running event is taking place. During practice, certain paces are prescribed to evoke certain physiological responses from athletes. For example, a coach might ask an athlete to run a pace in practice in order to increase their lactic threshold or their VO2Max, both very important factors of performance. Despite technology being a large part of our culture and sport, track and field is lacking in technological advancements to improve performance and marketability of the sport.

Currently, an athlete can only check if they are on pace once a lap, using splits, but these handheld devices cannot show if an athlete is falling behind or getting ahead during the lap. The TrackPacer provides a continuous indicator of pace during the entirety of the lap. Essentially, it lets the runner know where to be every second, on every point of the track rather than once or twice a lap.

The TrackPacer LED light rope provides a visual indicator of the desired pace for athletes to maintain. There are no other visual non-worn pace indicators. Presently, athletes rely on watches or other worn devices to monitor their pace. The LED light strip indicator is better than existing methods because it eliminates monitoring a watch or worn device and permits even a sprinter to determine whether he is maintaining target pace.

The TrackPacer is superior to sports watches due to its convenient, easily viewed placement on the inner perimeter of a track.

Available for download on Saturday, March 21, 2020

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