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Achieving success through precision: Smartracks Diagnostics Day

Top-level performance in sport would hardly be possible without the precise measurement and analysis of performance parameters. With SmarTracks Diagnostics, athletes and coaches have an innovative software at their disposal, which, in combination with Polytan SMART timing gates, enables comprehensive performance diagnostics. Together with its partner Humotion, Polytan offers a SmarTracks Diagnostics Day for athletics clubs, conducted at the club’s own SMART facility. On this training day, our experts show coaches, athletes and other interested participants how to use the system.


Over 30 Polytan SMART magnets have been installed at the Tooting Becs Athletics Track. Thanks to the 22 timing gates in the running circuit and sprinting track, the facility offers optimal conditions for the precise digital measurement of the athletes’ performances. On a recent Diagnostics Day, participants were instructed in how to use the software and sensors.

The Smartracks Diagnostics Day in Tooting Bec was met with great approval from the participating athletes. A general introduction to the Polytan SMART system was followed by a presentation of the various applications and functions, evaluation options and results reports. The magnets installed in the ground form “timing gates”. A Polytan SMART sensor or, alternatively, a personal smartphone with an accompanying app are used to detect when an athlete runs through the gates. Next, participants took to the track, where they could test the system for themselves and discuss their results with our experts.

At the end of the Diagnostic Day, our instructors answered any outstanding questions from the participants, to make sure that they have understood the full potential of the system and will be able to make the most of it in the future. The participants in Tooting Bec seemed impressed by the new system and its performance.

The SmarTracks Diagnostics Day is a unique opportunity for athletes to learn how to effortlessly integrate performance optimisation into their everyday training.

Polytan SMART and the SmarTracks Diagnostics software are even used by top-level athletes! Case in point, Team GB’s middle-distance runner Katie Snowden, one of the most promising athletes of her generation, regularly trains at the new facility in Tooting Bec.

Smartracks Diagnostics Day, Achieving success through precision: Smartracks Diagnostics Day

ON TOP talked to Katie Snowden about her previous successes, her rigorous training and her goals for the coming years.

ON TOP: Congratulations on becoming the British 1500-metre champion in 2023. How does it feel?

Katie Snowden: Thank you, it feels amazing. Especially because these British championships were a test run for the World Championships in Hungary. That’s why almost all the top British runners were there, so a really tough competition, including Laura Muir (Olympic silver medal winner, currently ranked third in the world).

Laura tends to overtake 600 metres before the finish line and, for the first time in my career, I was able to keep up with her. Then I overtook her on the home straight. My time was 4:09.86. This is the first time that I have beaten Laura and, since she is one of the best, it’s a nice confidence boost for the World Championships in August.

ON TOP: How did you get into this sport?

Katie Snowden: As a child, I did well in school races. When I was 12, my PE teacher suggested joining the local club. So I joined the Herne Hill Harriers (of which I am still a member). It’s an amazing club, based in Tooting Bec. However, the club’s running track was in bad condition, so the club petitioned the city council to get it repaired. Now we have a Rekortan running track, which was installed by Polytan and is ideal for training on.

ON TOP: Are you a full-time athlete now?

Katie Snowden: Yes, since the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021, I have exclusively focused on running. Before Tokyo, I combined athletics with personal training and working in a café. Athletics is not very financially lucrative, so it was important to something else as well. But going from the track to my job in the café, after being on my feet all day long, wasn’t good for my recovery.

It’s been good for me to be able to concentrate fully on running. My times have improved, which is probably more due to the longer rest time than the more intense training. I am also doing more cross-training more, such as swimming and cycling, which promotes regeneration and reduces injuries.

ON TOP: You now train in the US as well?

Katie Snowden: Since I’ve been a full-time professional, I have joined Dark Sky Distance, a professional long-distance running team that is sponsored by Under Armour and is based in Flagstaff, Arizona. The team concentrates on competitions ranging from 1500 metres to marathons, and consists of runners from around the world. Flagstaff is located at an altitude of 2100 m, which is excellent for training. And I think training in a group is better for me than training on my own all the time. I travel there three times a year and spent five to six weeks at a time on the running track at Northern Arizona University. This is a great advantage when running is your full-time profession.

At the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Katie made the final for the 1500 metres. We wish her all the best for her upcoming competitions.

Smartracks Diagnostics Day, Achieving success through precision: Smartracks Diagnostics Day

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