Get moving this Global Running Day
At a glance, the first Wednesday of June might not seem like much to be excited about – although the avid runners amongst you may well think otherwise, given today is Global Running Day!
Global Running Day started out as National Running Day in the United States back on Wednesday 3rd June 2009, the first Wednesday of the month. This celebration has continued every year since, with the event expanding internationally and being renamed to Global Running Day in 2016. Its aim is to encourage people of all ages and experience to give running a go, also serving to remind people of both the physical and mental health benefits that running can provide.
One of the obvious benefits of running is just how simple it is – all you need is yourself, some suitable clothing and a good route to be all set! That being said, there are endless options for ways you can step up your running should you want to. Whether it’s a flashy new fitness tracker, a perfect playlist or a game-changing new accessory, there’s something for everyone.
Running watches and fitness trackers
Aside from running shoes or a water bottle, fitness trackers or smartwatches are probably a modern runner’s best friend. Available in various shapes, sizes and prices, these devices are incredibly useful for keeping track of distance, time and a whole host of information about other stats.
The functionality and therefore cost of such devices can vary quite a bit – you might want something to track basic running stats, something a bit more in-depth, or maybe even a full blown smartwatch so you’ve got access to the key features of your smartphone, even if you’ve not brought it with you.
For dedicated running watches, the Garmin Forerunner series is very highly regarded. Retailing around £120, the Forerunner 45/45S is amongst the cheaper options in the series, but is no less suitably equipped. Linking with the Garmin Coach via the Garmin Connect app (on iOS and Android), you can use the device to work towards plans tailored to you. The device has various features that are great for running, including built-in GPS, a body battery energy monitor, and safety and tracking features, to name but a few. If you’re looking for a device to take your running to another level, this could be a brilliant option for you!
When it comes to budget fitness trackers, the Fitbit Inspire series is a safe bet. In addition to tracking activity (of which running is just one of many it can track), you can also get round the clock heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring and nutrition counting. With the accompanying Fitbit app (on iOS and Android), you can view all this information to better understand your health and how you can keep improving it. The latest model in the Inspire series, the Inspire 3, currently retails for around £85. However, you can also still get the more-than-capable Inspire 2 for around £45.
When it comes to running apps, Strava is one of the undisputed greats. Like many other apps, activity tracking is one of the main features of the app, although Strava sets itself apart by bringing in a strong social element. By connecting with friends on the app, you can share routes, compete for the greatest times, give each other encouragement and much more. The app is available on iOS and Android, and can also be synced up with devices from various manufacturers, meaning your activity is automatically saved in the app via your device.
If you’re just stepping into running, it may be difficult to know where to start when it comes to distance, time, etc. Couch to 5K is a very popular option for beginners, so the NHS Couch to 5K app could be a great option if you’re looking for a plan to follow. The app comes with an extensive programme that integrates various features to make your runs enjoyable and manageable, including instructions and motivations from a celebrity trainer of your choice to online communities so you can go through your running journey with fellow runners. The app is available on iOS and Android.
Wanting to make your run a bit more exciting? Zombies, Run! is a fun option to add a sense of adventure to your runs. The app comes full of audio stories and missions for you to complete on your runs, with the looming threat of zombie hordes encouraging you to pick up the pace. The more running you do, the more you progress through the story and your base builds up. Maybe not for everyone, but something a little different to your usual podcasts! You can get the app on iOS and Android.
Even if you take very little with you on a run, carrying anything can be a load of malarkey. Even if you’re lucky enough to have pockets, keeping things in them can be awkward – nobody enjoys the trade off of holding onto your phone for dear life or it constantly bumping into your thigh! There are countless options for phone holders should you need to take yours with you, which can help keep phones, keys and headphones secure while you run. Alternatively, you could look for a running belt that gives you greater capacity, perhaps for things like a water bottle or other nutrition during longer distance runs. You can typically get either option for around £10 or less!
If you’re still running with a pair of old trainers, it can’t hurt to make the step to running shoes – and socks, for that matter! A good rule of thumb for getting the right running shoes is to look for a pair that’s size is 1-1.5x larger than what you regularly wear. If you’re wanting an expert second opinion, you can go to a running shop for a gait analysis, where you can try various shoes while running on a treadmill to find a style that best suits you.
Keep connected while out and about
Whether it’s to keep the fast paced tunes streaming or to check a map when you stray a little too far from your usual route, it can’t hurt to have a good bit of data when taking your phone on a run – that’s where we can help!
At SMARTY, we’re all about less malarkey and keeping things simple. All our plans are one-month rolling plans, so you can change or cancel your plan whenever you want and don’t have to worry about annual price rises. Every plan comes with superfast 5G & 4G data, as well as unlimited calls & texts. You can even use up to 12GB of your data allowance when roaming in the EU at no extra cost!
Hopefully by now you’re raring to go – good luck and have fun!
- SMARTY Team
- June 7th, 2023