US 3789402 A
A completely self-contained portable signal device and method including individually programmable timer circuitry which, for example, (a) signals a proper striding sequence by combining a selected lap rate and a selected stride length and electronically reduces the combined information to an audible sound pattern representing a precise stride rate selected for the individual; (b) signals proper spacing over a track by electronically dividing the track distance into a predetermined plurality of segments, combining the track distance with a selected time period and developing an audible sound at spaced time intervals representing each segment of the track distance; and/or (c) signals time increments at any regular interval to define the limits of running and rest periods. The method includes programming the signal device for the specific needs and requirements of use as to striding, spacing or timing or any combination of those functions.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Heywood et al.
 3,789,402 [451 Jan. 29, 1974 1 ELECTRONIC SIGNAL DEVICE AND METHOD  Inventors: Richard D. Heywood, 1512 E.
Dolphin, Mesa, Ariz. 85204;
Charles E. Seagle, 4686 Sycamore Dr., Salt Lake City, Utah 841 17  Filed: Apr. 1, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 130,284
 US. Cl. 340/384 E, 58/130 E, 331/1 1 1, 340/328, 340/331, 340/309.4  Int. Cl. G08b 3/00  Field of Search 325/66, 64, 118; 340/323, 332, 340/384 E, 331; 331/1 1 1; 58/130 E; 84/484;
OTHER PUBLICATIONS Stella, Pocetable Metronome, Popular Electronics,
July 1964, p. 44 Lemen, Build A Stopclock, Popular Electronics, Dec. 1967, PP. 45-48 Primary Examiner-Thomas B. Habecker Attorney, Agent, or Firm-H. Ross Workman  ABSTRACT A completely self-contained portable signal device and method including individually programmable timer circuitry which, for example, (a) signals a proper striding sequence by combining a selected lap rate and a selected stride length and electronically reduces the combined information to an audible sound pattern representing a precise stride rate selected for the individual; (b) signals proper spacing over a track by electronically dividing the track distance into a predetermined plurality of segments, combining the track distance with a selected time period and developing an audible sound at spaced time intervals representing each segment of the track distance; and/or (c) signals time increments at any regular interval to define the limits of running and rest periods. The method includes programming the signal device for the specific needs and requirements of use as to striding, spacing or timing or any combination of those functions.
10 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENIEU 3.789.402
sum 1 or 2 AUDIO MODULE TIMER MODULE SPACER MODULE Fl G. 3
F I G l STRIDER MODULE INVENTORS.
RICHARD D. HEYWOOD CHARLES E. SEAGLE BY )fnlhum ATTORNEY BACKGROUND l. Field of the Invention The invention relates to programmable electronic signal apparatus and method and more particularly to improved apparatus and method for training persons for athletic activity.
2. The Prior Art Of the problems faced by every athlete, development of timing and consistency are among the most critical. For example, in track events much effort is expended to develop a consistent stride. It is known that stride can be developed by practicing running a measured distance or lap in a predetermined number of steps. However, it is almost impossible for a runner to know whether his stride is uniform or not. It has been found that when a runner tires, he unconsciously shortens his stride which ultimately adversely affects his rhythm and speed.
In considering ways in which to improve striding, it is recognized as a possibility that a running track be marked at specific intervals indicating a preferred stride length. However, this alternative would be manifestly impractical because each runner has a particular stride length which may be unique to himself at which he is a most efficient runner. Because no way has been yet developed to precisely determine how many steps are required over a lap until the lap is completed, there has been no way except trial and error for a runner to determine whether his stride length is too long or too short or inconsistent in length. Moreovoer, it is frequently desirable to develop striding at locations other than a marked running track.
Accordingly, the present invention provides a way of electronically programming an individual runners stride length with the rate at which he intends to traverse a known distance. The programmed electronic device then communicates an audible signal to the runner for each stride or for every other stride at precisely the moment he should take the step so that the runner can develop consistency in stride length at any time and at any location in which he uses the signal device.
Spacing is also critically important to runners. For example, maximum speed and efficiency of a runner can be determined by the coordination ofpace over the entire distance of the track.
Recognizing the problem, U.S. Pat. No. 2,457,968 discloses a multiplicity of signaling devices arranged in spaced relation adjacent the track upon which a runner practices. The mentioned prior art patent focuses primarily on indicating to the runner the position of the track where he should be at a given time.
This method was improved upon by the invention in U.S. Pat. No. 3,492,582 by Richard Heywood. The mentioned Heywood patent uniquely provided a radio receiver carried by the runner which was activated by the coach or some other party assisting the runner in his workout. Signals from the receiver were audibly carried to the runner to help develop proper pace and rhythm at the direction of the person operating the sending console. However, disadvantageously, the Heywood system required the runner to work in coordination with his coach or another person in order to properly develop rhythm and pacing. It is much preferred that runners have opportunity to perfect pacing and rhythm at any desired time whether in the presence of the coach or not and whether at a regular running track or at any desire running location remote from the regular track.
It is also frequently desirable for a runner to engage in physical exercise for a known time period and, thereafter, to rest for a specific known time period. For this reason, it is desirable to have a self-contained timing device which specifically signals the runner or other athlete at preselected time increments. The runner then can make his running and rest times consistent and precise.
BRIEF SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprises novel apparatus and method for signaling a runner or other athlete when to stride, and when his spacing and rhythm are accurate and, when desired, precise time increments for running and resting. Furthermore, the present development is completely self-contained so that the runner or other athlete can program the apparatus for his own individual needs and capabilities and the device will operate to signal proper striding, spacing and/or timing regardless of where the athlete chooses to practice or work out. The present invention also includes an improved method of training and coordinating an athlete so that he can develop his own timing and consistency in his activity.
It is, therefore, a primary object of the present invention to provide an individually programmable signal apparatus for developing timing and consistency for any one of a variety of activities.
It is another primary object of the present invention to provide a novel method for signaling information to an athlete or other person, the information being preprogrammed for specific needs and desires.
One still further object of the present invention is to provide improved apparatus and method for developing consistent stride in a runner.
It is another valuable object of the present invention to provide method and apparatus for developing optimum spacing of a runner over a predetermined distance.
Another, and no less important, object of the present invention includes method and apparatus for signaling work out and rest periods of predetermined time increments for athletes.
Another valuable object of the present invention is the provision of a unitary electronic construction used for developing athletic skill and consistency at any location in which the activity can be performed.
It is another highly significant object of the present invention to provide apparatus which is easily programmable to the needs or desires of any person regardless of size and stamina.
These and other objects and features of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an enlarged perspective illustration of the presently preferred apparatus embodiment of the invention specifically illustrating the control dials, circuitry housing and ear phone;
presently preferred circuit for use with the apparatus of FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The Apparatus of FIGS. 1-3
Although the illustrated embodiment of the invention may be used for any one ofa wide variety of athletic activities and also for any one of a wide variety of nonathletic activites where a signal generated in a predetermined time pattern is useful, the present invention will be described, for simplicity, in connection with speed and distance runners.
Generally speaking, for a runner to have maximum effectiveness, he must be able to maintain a consistent running pace over the entire length of the running course. Moreover, the runner must have maximum consistency in his stride. It has been found that where a runner maintains a consistent stride and runs at a uniform pace, he tends to tire less quickly and is able to achieve maximum distance in a minimum time.
In practice, however, as a runner becomes fatigued, there is a tendency to modify his pace or stride length. For example, the fatigued runner tends to maintain a consistent stride length but take fewer steps. Alternatively, a runner may take the same number of steps over the running course but shorten the stride length. Until this present invention, it was difficult if not impossible, for a fatigued runner to determine for himself whether or not he was adjusting his pace or stride.
According to the present invention, a self-contained signal system generally designated is provided. The signal system is maintained within a housing 22 which is preferably oval in configuration and formed of lightweight plastic. Preferably, the housing 22 is sufficiently sized so that it can be easily carried in a sweatband on the head, upon the runners clothing near his waist or some other convenient location. One suitable housing 22 had dimensions of about 3 inches X 1 /2 inches X /2 inches. The housing 22 is provided with a couplingjack 24 into which a male plug 26 is selectively connected. An elongated conductor 28 connects the coupling 26 to an ear phone or ear plug 30, ear plug 30 providing audible sound communication to the runner as will be subsequently more fully described. As shown in FIG. 2, the interior of the housing 22 is hollow to accommodate the power source and electronics (not shown). Preferably, an elastomeric cushion 60 formed of synthetic rubber or the like may be used to make wearing the device 20 on the body more comfortable. It is also possible to eliminate the ear phone 30 and substitute sound developing structure such as a speaker (not hown) to be located in the housing 22 so that the housing 22 may be placed immediately over the ear or, when the housing is located elsewhere sound may be audibly radiated from the speaker.
In the illustrated embodiment of the invention, the strider module. spacer module, timer module and audio module are all combined in a single unit (see FIG. 3). However, it should be appreciated that the audio module can be combined with any combination of the other modules to form a signal system which is more specific to desired needs.
As shown in FIG. 1, the apparatus 20 is provided with manually controllable dials 34, 36, 38, 40 and 42. Dials 34 and 36 are used to determine the signal representations of the runners stride. For example, the dial 34 is rotatable to any selected one of a plurality of stride lengths, the dial being provided with indicia 44 representative of stride length calibrated in inches. The dial 36 can be rotated to any one of a plurality of positions to correspond to a particular rate at which a running course or lap is to be traversed. Dial 36 has associated therewith a plurality of indicia 46 representative of lap rate calibrated in seconds.
In order for a runner to correctly gauge his stride, it is only necessary for him to adjust dials 34 and 36 so that dial 34 corresponds to his measured preferred stride length and dial 36 corresponds to the length of time in which he intends to complete the running course or a lap of the running course. An electronic signal developed in the strider module 50 (see FIG. 3) is then converted by the audio module 52 into a short pulse of sound precisely at each moment when the runner should terminate one stride and commence another. In some instances, where the lap rate is comparatively fast or where the stride length is comparatively short, it may be desirable to develop a sound pulse for alternating strides in order to avoid sound pulses which are so close together as to become annoying.
On a running course or track which is marked, it is frequently advantageous to periodically signal a runner so that he becomes aware of whether he is ahead or behind his predetermined running speed. For example, if the runner intends to traverse a 440 yard lap, the lap may be divided into any predetermined number of segments. In the illustrated embodiment, the lap is to be divided into eight segments; however, any suitable number of segments could be used. Where eight segments are used on a 440 yard track, markers may be spaced over the running track 55yards apart. The runner may then set dial 38 to any one ofa variety of time periods represented by indicia 48. For example, if the dial 38 is set at seconds, eight electronic pulses are spaced 7.5 second apart. The pulses are developed in the spacer circuitry 54 (see FIG. 3) and are communicated to the audio module 52. Thus, the runner can correspond each sound pulse with his position relative to the markers on the track to determine his actual speed as compared to his predicted speed.
If desired, the runner may adjust dial 38 to correspond to a 48-second lap. Then, the pulse spacing developed by the spacer module 54 would be 6 seconds apart and the runner should cross each marker when he hears the sound pulse each 6 seconds. If he is behind the marker, he may increase his stride length or pace to correct. If his position is ahead of the marker he may decrease his stride length or pace accordingly.
The use of the spacer module 54 also has effective application for those who run high and low hurdles. For example, the spacer module 54 can be adjusted to divide the hurdle track into the number of segments corresponding to the number of hurdles. The runner can then select the speed at which he intends to complete the course by setting dial 38. An audible signal will then be communicated to the runner at the precise moment he should reach each hurdle.
It is recognized that runners traversing a course that is not marked, such as in a cross-country run, are most effective when running and rest periods are specifically known. For this reason, an independent timing module 56 (FIG. 3) was included in the apparatus 20. The timing module is controlled by dial 40 (FIG. 1) which is provided with spaced indicia 49 representing time in minutes. Typically, the time range accommodated by dial 40 is 30 seconds to 6 minutes. If a runner wants to run for five minutes, he can set the dial 40 on the 5- minute mark and after the lapse of 5 minutes, a pulse will be generated by the timer module 56 and communicated to the audio module 52 to develop a distinct sound pulse signaling the runner that the 5-minute period is completed. If the runner desires a -minute run, he can allow three 5-minute sound pulses to sound before stopping to rest. Clearly, if desired, the timing range accommodated by dial 40 may be expanded to include any desired time period.
With continued reference to FIG. 1, dial 42 is connected directly to the audio module 52 (FIG. 3) and is provided with indicia 51 which represent units of volume for the audio module. Thus, dial 42 determines the volume of sound received by the runner so that the runner may control the volume to his particular needs. As will be appreciated from subsequent description, each of the modules 50, 54 and 56 may be separately incorporated into the apparatus with the audio module 52 or, as described, all three may be incorporated together.
The power source for the apparatus 20 is preferably a 7-volt dry cell battery, although any suitable power source could be used. Additionally, as shown in FIG. 1, a switch 58 is provided to function as an on-off" switch to preserve the power supply. Another switch 66 is provided to function as a reset for the modules 50, 54 and 56. When switch 66 is actuated, each of the modules 50, 54 and 56 immediately restarts its timing cycle. This is particularly advantageous, for example, when a runner commences his run and wishes to begin the timing sequence at a particular point, such as the starting line. Clearly, if desired, a separate reset switch may be provided for each of the modules 50, 54 and 56 (FIG. 3). Where separate reset switches are provided, actuating any one or more of the switches disables the corresponding module so that any combination of modules is usable exclusive of the others.
The Circuit of FIG. 4
One presently preferred circuit embodiment accommodating the above-described advantageous results is illustrated in FIG. 4 and will now be described. The basic circuit used in each of the modules 50, 54, 56 and 52 is a relaxation oscillator using a programmable unijunction transistor (PUT). The timing is linearized by charging a timing capacitor with a constant current source. It is recognized that digital timing circuitry could also be used, but for simplicity the circuitry of FIG. 4 will be described.
Referring more specifically to FIG. 4, a dry cell battery 70 is connected directly to the strider module 50 to provide power to the system. Switch 58 (shown also in FIG. 1) may be selectively opened to deprive the strider module 50 of power. The strider module includes timing resistors P1, P2, P3, P4, P5 and R3. The timing resistors determine the rate at which the timing capacitor C1 will charge. P1 and P2 are the main timing potentiometers each having a typical value of 100K and are controlled by dials 34 and 36, shown in FIG. 1. Capacitor C1 has a typical value of IO microfarads (ufd).
Timing resistors P3, P4 and P5 are trim potentiometers (trim pots) used to calibrate the timing circuit so that it will track linearly over the calibrated dials 34 and 36 (see FIG. 1). Typically, each of the timing resistors P3, P4 and P5 has a value of 500K. Timing resistor R3 is a current limiting resistance so that in the event P1, P2 and P3 are set at minimum resistance, transistor Q1 will not be damaged by a current surge which may occur when switch 58 is first closed.
Transistor Q1 forms a constant current charging source for timing capacitor C1. Thus, the charge on capacitor C1 will be a linear ramp charge instead of an exponential current waveform which would be developed if capacitor C1 were connected directly into the power source 70. In order to insure the linearity of the charging current from transistor Q1, resistors R1 and R2 are connected into the transistor base to establish bias on transistor Q1. Resistors R1 and R2 also, to some extent, affect the circuit timing range in concert with timing resistors P1 and P2. Typically, resistors RI and R2 have values of 10K and 22K, respectively.
A programmable unijunction transistor (PUT) O2 is connected at its anode to the power source through transistor Q1. A positive bias voltage at the gate 72 of Q2 is developed through the voltage divider formed by resistors R5 and R6 so that current is normally not conducted from the anode through the cathode to ground. Typically, resistors R5 and R6 have a value of 82K. The cathode of transistor Q2 is connected to the common (negative or ground) bus 74 of the circuit 50. Diodes DI and D2 are isolation diodes used to isolate transistor Q2 anode 76 from the gate 72.
Transistor O3 is the timing circuit output transistor. Transistor O3 is normally biased ON by resistor R7, resistor R7 typically having a value of 22K. Resistor R8 limits the current flow through transistor Q3. Since transistor Q3 is normally biased ON, the negative lead of capacitor C1 is connected to ground through the Q3 base-to-emitter junction.
Having described the circuit components, the operation of the circuit 50 will now be described. When switch 58 is closed, power from the source 70 causes the capacitor C1 to charge linearly through transistors Q1 and Q3. When the voltage on capacitor C1 exceeds the gate bias voltage on PUT Q2, PUT Q2 fires, connecting its anode to ground through the cathode,thus allowing capacitor C1 to discharge rapidly. This rapid discharge current turns transistor Q3 OFF and allows the collector of transistor Q3 to rise from approximately 0 to about the voltage of the power supply 70. The collector of transistor Q3 remains high until capacitor Cl has discharged completely through resistor R7. The high voltage at the collector of transistor Q3 forms a signal pulse, the width of which is determined by the duration of the high voltage at the collector of transistor Q3. Thus, the width of the signal pulse developed at transistor O3 is determined by the value of the C1-R7 time constant.
The signal pulse output from transistor O3 is coupled through diode D3 and is used to gate (modulate) the audio oscillator in the audio module 52, hereinafter more fully described.
Switch 66 in the strider module 50 is used as a reset switch. When switch 66 is closed, the gate voltage at PUT Q2 rises to the voltage of the power source 70 and PUT O2 is inhibited from firing until switch 66 is opened again. At the same time, capacitor C1 is charged rapidly through diode D1 and resistor R4 so that the reset action requires only momentary closing and opening of switch 66.
The audio module generally designated 52 is also a fixed-time PUT relaxation oscillator operating at an audible frequency of approximately 800 Hz. The timing circuit is formed by a series connection of resistor R10 and capacitor C2, each having typical values of 8200 ohms and 0.1 ufd, respectively. Resistors R11 and R12 form the gate bias divider for PUT Q5. Resistor R9 connects the base of transistor O4 to ground bus 74. Resistors R11, R12 and R9 have typical values of 10K, 68K and 100K, respectively. Transistor Q4 functions as the oscillator gate as will now be more fully described.
When the positive signal pulse from transistor O3 in the strider module 50 appears at diode D3, transistor 04 is turned ON and capacitor C2 charges and discharges through transistor Q4. It can therefore be appreciated that PUT Q5 will oscillate at an audio rate as long as the collector at transistor 03 in the strider module 50 develops a high voltage.
The audio signal generated at PUT O5 is taken from coupling jack 24 through the conductor 28 to the ear phone 30 (see FIG. 1). Preferably, potentiometers P6 is connected between the cathode of PUT 5 and ground bus 74 to control the volume available at jack 24. P- tentiometer P6 having a typical value of 500 ohms is preferably controlled by dial 42, shown in FIG. 1.
The spacer module 54 and the timer module 56 are. in most respects, substantially identical to the strider module above described. Both circuits comprise a relaxation oscillator using a programmable unijunction transistor, the timing of which is linearized by charging a timing capacitor with a constant current source. Therefore, only the differences in the spacer module 54 and the timer module 56 will be described.
The spacer module 54 is provided with timer resistor P7 and P8 which are substituted for timing resistors P1, P2, P4 and P of the strider module 50. Timing resistor P8 is a trim pot having a typical value of l Megohm (Meg) and timing resistor P7 is a main timing potentiometer having a typical value of 500K. Timing resistor P7 is preferably adjusted by dial 38, shown in FIG. 1.
Capacitor C3 in the spacer module 54 has been substituted for capacitor C1, capacitor C3 having a typical value of IO ufd. Resistor R13 has been substituted for resistor R7 in order to change the bias on transistor Q3, resistor R13 having a typical value of 39K. Substitution of resistor R13 for resistor R7 changes the time constant over the C1-R7 time constant in the strider module 50, the C3-R13 time constant being selected to determine the duration of the signal tone developed by audio module 52. Trim pots P3 and P8 can be adjusted to divide the running course into a variety of numbers of segments. In the illustrated embodiment, the time period determined by P7 will be divided into eight equal segments.
sistors P10 and P11 are typically 5 Meg and 1 Meg trim pots, respectively. Timing resistor P9 is typically a 5 Meg main potentiometer which is controlled by dial 40, shown in FIG. 1. The bias on transistor O3 is determined by resistor R15 which typically has a value of 56K. Also, the capacitor C4 has been substituted for capacitor C1, capacitor C4 having a typical value of 22 [.Lfd. The signal pulse developed at diode D5 is communicated directly to the base of transistor Q4 in the audio module 54. The C4-R15 time constant is selected to give the desired range of time signals.
It can well be appreciated from the foregoing that any desired combination of the modules 50, 52, 54 and 56 may be coupled together to provide the advantageous results made possible by this invention.
The Method Summarizing the method of the invention set forth in the foregoing description, a runner may use the signal apparatus 20 to determine his striding, spacing and running and rest timing. It is unnecessary for the runner to make detailed calculations or to have an assistant help him to determine his timing. All that is necessary for the runner to program his stride is for the runner to know his preferred stride length and to select a reasonable time in which to complete a running course. The runner can then easily program his stride by setting dials 34 and 36 to represent his preferred stride length and the desired time for completing th running course.
When the runner actuates the switch 58, the automatic timing will begin. Preferably, at the commencement of the run or at some preselected intermediate point, the runner will actuate the reset switch 66 so as to start the timing cycle at the precise moment he commences his run or passes a marker or the like. The runner will hear a distinct signal tone at the precise moment he should commence each stride or. alternatively. every other stride. The repetition rate of the signal tone will be determined by the time period represented by dial 36. By using this technique, a runner may practice developing a consistent stride even though he is completely by himself over any course and at any desired time.
A runner may also use the spacer module in concert with or independent from the strider module above mentioned. The spacer module is particularly advantageous when the running course is provided with spaced markers at regular intervals. By properly setting dial 38 to represent the desired completion time for a lap or, if desired, for the entire running course, a signal tone will be developed representing a predetermined fraction of the lap time period. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, the spacer module divides the lap time into eight equal segments and regardless of the spacer time setting of dial 38, eight equally spaced signal tones will be heard. 3
Where the strider and spacer modules are used together, it may be desirable to develop signal tones for each which are distinct one from the other. For example, the strider module may develop a series of high tones indicating each step the runner should take and at spaced intervals throughout the series of signal tones from the strider, a signal tone in the lower audible frequency range can be developed by the spacer module. This allows the runner to distinguish between the two signals because of the tone of the signal. In the illustrated embodiment, duration of the audio tone distinguishes the particular signaling module.
Similarly, dial 40 may be adjusted to determine the signal pulse generated by the timer module. At whatever time increment dial 40 is set by the runner, a signal tone will be developed repeatedly at that time incremeans responsive to each of the signal pulses to develop an audible sound representative of the fraction of the time increment.
4. A method of developing consistent stride with an ment. Thus, a runner can know the precise duration of electronic striding device, the steps of:
time of his rest and running periods by keeping track of the sound tones developed by the timer module. In the event the timer module is used with either the spacer module or the strider module or both, it may be desirable to have the signal tone developed by the timer module differ from the signal tones developed by the spacer and/or strider module to assist the runner in distinguishing between the signals.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive and the scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by United States Letters Patent is:
1. Apparatus for signaling a predetermined stride sequence to a runner comprising:
a power source;
means energized by the power source to develop a pulse train;
first means controlling the development of the pulse train to correspond to any one of a plurality of stride lengths;
second means controlling the development of the pulse train to correspond to any selected one of a plurality of lap time rates;
means processing the output of the first and second controlling means to develop an integrated result representing a mathematical combination of stride length and time rate; and
means responsive to the output of the processing means to generate a signal to the runner, the signal representing the stride sequence.
2. Apparatus for signaling a predetermined stride sequence to a runner as defined in claim 2 further comprising:
means for indicating to a runner invervals corresponding to running and rest periods comprising: other means for generating an electronic pulse; means for programming the other pulse generating means to develop a signal over a time range which corresponds to predetermined running and rest periods; and means responsive to both the pulse train as defined in claim 2 and the other pulses to develop an audible sound. 3. Apparatus for signaling a predetermined spacing of a runner over a known distance comprising:
a power source; means for developing an electronic pulse train having uniformly spaced signal pulses;
means for expanding or contracting the spaces in the pulse train so that a single predetermined number of electronic pulses appear in any one of a plurality of time increments to divide the time increment into a predetermined fraction;
means for selecting any one of the plurality of time increments; and
measuring the preferred stride length of a runner and selecting the rate at which a running course is intended to the traversed;
programming the electronic striding device and electronically processing the stride length and course rate parameters to a pulse train representing a striding sequence;
developing a detectable signal with each pulse; and
communicating the striding sequence to the runner,
5. A method as defined in claim 4 further comprising attaching the striding device to the person of the runner.
6. A method as defined in claim 4 wherein said communicating step comprises placing an ear phone on the ear of a runner and delivering audible signals through the ear phone representative of the striding sequence.
7. A method of spacing a runner along a track marked with uniformly spaced markers, the steps of:
providing an electronic spacing device carried by the runner;
programming the spacing device by electronically inputting into the device parameters representing a number of markers and time so as to divide any one of a plurality of time increments into a uniform number of fractions corresponding to the number of markers;
selecting a preferred time increment for traversing the track; and
signaling the runner at each precise moment he should reach a predetermined position relative to the markers.
8. A method of precisely timing the activity of a runner so that the runner can precisely determine running and rest periods, the steps of:
determining any one of a plurality of time increments corresponding to a running or rest period; providing an electronic timing device;
programming the timing device to develop a periodic signal corresponding to the determined increment which represents predetermined running or rest periods; and
communicating an audible sound to the runner at the conclusion of each lapse of the time increment.
9. A method of signaling a predetermined spacing to a runner over a known distance comprising:
developing an electronic pulse train having uniformly spaced signal pulses;
expanding or contracting the spaces in the pulse train so that a single predetermined number of electronic pulses appear in any one of a plurality of time increments to divide the time increment into a predetermined fraction;
selecting any one of the plurality of time increments;
developing an audible sound responsive to each of the signal pulses representative of the fraction of the time increment.
10. The method of signaling a predetermined spacing to a runner over a known distance comprising:
developing an electronic pulse train having uniformly spaced signal pulses;
1 l 1 2 expanding or contracting the spaces in the pulse train and so h a Smgle Preqetermmed number developing a humanly perceptible signal responsive tromc pulses appear in any one of a plurality of to each of the signal pulses representative of the time increments to divide the time increment into I a predetermined f i 5 fraction of the time increment.
selecting any one of the plurality of time increments;
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 ,789, +02 Dated January 29, 197 1 Inventor(s) Richard D. Heywood It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 3 line 46 "inches should be --inch-- Column 3, line 59, "hown" should be --shown-- Column '4, line 9-5, second should be --seconds-- Column 9, line I "claim 2" should be --claim 1-- Column 9, line 59, "claim 2 should be --claim l--.
Signed and sealed this 7th day of May 1972;.
EDWARD I'LFETCHEILJR. C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents FORM P (0459) uscoMM-oc 6OS76-P69 ".5. GOVERNM ENT PRINTING OFFICE i IQQ 0-355-334,
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 ,789, LD2 Dated January 29, 197% Inventor(s) Richard D. Heywood It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 3, line H6, *inches" should be --inch-- Column 3, line 59, *hown should be --shown-- Column L, line 45, "second" should be --seco'nds-- Column 9, line N, "claim 2" should be --claim 1-- Column 9, line 54, "claim 2" should be --claim l--.
Signed and sealed this. 7th day of May lQ'Zh,
EDWARD I-TJ LETCEIEILJR. C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents FORM F' uscoMM-oc 80376-P69 U-S- GOVERNHEKT PRINTING OFFICE 1 l9, 0-366-33,