NURVV Run global ambassador Dame Kelly Holmes, first started running in the 1980s. And it’s fair to say she’s seen a few changes in running technology since then.
A former Olympic, Commonwealth and European champion, who still holds the British 800m and 1,000m records, Dame Kelly remembers her first coach timing her pulse with his fingers and a hand-held stopwatch.
She reveals how today’s tech could have preempted some of the injuries that plagued her career, and how she’s using NURVV to improve her running fitness after an operation on her Achilles tendon.
Running tech in the ‘80s and ‘90s
‘I can officially say I have been running for 40 years! Over those years there have been significant developments in sports science, data analysis, wearables and technology generally.
‘As an international athlete for 12 years, I started off with just my coach putting his fingers into my neck to take my pulse while holding a handheld stopwatch.
‘When I got my first wrist stopwatch with heart rate, it was a revelation. I realised that my easy run pace was too quick and therefore, I was not recovering effectively.’
Tech could have preempted my injuries
‘It’s been well documented that I had a whole heap of injuries during my running career.
‘If all the technology that is available now was there when I was running, it would have been even more evident that there were biomechanical imbalances.
‘Since retiring from world class athletics, I’ve used running as a way to maintain fitness and challenge myself.
‘During 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, I started a community called Military in Motion. I upped my running significantly taking live, virtual, running training sessions. However, an ongoing problem with my heel bone and Achilles tendon led to an operation in July 2020.
‘This inevitably set me back. But I then discovered NURVV!’
Running with NURVV Run
‘I thought NURVV might be heavy, but the insoles are ultra-slim and super-soft and the trackers are lightweight. The insoles fit perfectly under my trainer insoles – in any trainers I’ve been wearing.’
Using NURVV to come back from injury
‘When I was able to start walking and then gradually build up my running, I started wearing NURVV on my treadmill, where I could slowly build up my running on a flat surface and in a controlled environment. It was extremely useful for my recovery because I got all the feedback I wanted at the time – Footstrike, Pronation and Balance scores.
‘I must admit though, I have really enjoyed wearing NURVV while running outdoors, too. I like the Cadence and Step Length feedback because I can see improvements, which show I am getting fitter. I still always look at the Balance and Footstrike data to show my left foot is getting stronger, too. I need to work on my right now!
‘I get so much great information and useful feedback from NURVV, it gives me an all-in-one experience. As well as connecting to my watch, the audio is useful, especially if I’m on a longer run as it tells me my Pace, Distance and Time.
‘Wearing NURVV has helped me get back to running while monitoring my improvements. It shows that I am getting stronger all the time, but also if my foot is getting tired or I am compensating, I can get that reading too!’