Jog on – it’s National Running Day today. Ever since it began in 2009, the first Wednesday in June has been the day for runners to come together and share their passion for this unbeatable aerobic activity.
Runners have got a great choice of wearables and apps to help them track their activity, stay motivated and achieve their goals. Here are a few of our favourites.
Garmin Forerunner 15 Running Watch
The Garmin Forerunner 15 makes a great running and training partner. Its built-in GPS gives you all the key facts of your run like distance, pace and calories burned, and you can also add extra sensors including a heart-rate monitor.
During your run you’ll get an automatic beep for every mile you complete. And you’ll be able to accurately track your pace with the help of the Garmin Forerunner 15’s Virtual Pacer technology. This allows you to compare your current running pace to your target, so you’ll always know whether you’re up to speed.
The Garmin Connect smartphone app lets you sync and review all your data, and also includes a social area, where you share your run details with friends, join challenges and earn virtual badges to help you go that extra mile.
The Garmin Forerunner 15 Running Watch is available from Currys.
We recommended Shine as one of our top 5 fitness wearables at the start of the year, and we’re still big fans of this little device.
Shine is a metal disc that you can choose to wear anywhere on your body, using the sports band or clasp that come with it. Its design is wonderfully minimalist, with nothing more than a ring of LED lights around the edge showing you how close you are to completing your goals
Shine accurately tracks all your running activities, and you can review everything on the handy Shine app. This lets you look at your daily milestones and compare your achievements with previous weeks. And don’t worry about battery life – Shine uses a standard cell watch battery that last about 4 months before you need to think about changing it.
Misfit Shine is available from Carphone Warehouse.
Sony Smartwatch 3
The Sony Smartwatch 3 is a great Android Wear device for runners. Just like the Garmin watch above, it’s got GPS built-in, so you can hit the road and accurately track your run without going to the trouble of lugging your phone around with you.
It’s also got 4GB of built-in memory - more than enough to listen to a few of your favourite running tunes on Bluetooth headphones as you pound the pavement or running track.
You can pair up the Sony Smartwatch 3 with a wide range of fitness and running apps, so let’s take a look at some of the best below…
The Sony Smartwatch 3 is available from Carphone Warehouse.
iFit Outside is the first Android Wear fitness app to support standalone GPS tracking and even tracks your distance when there’s no signal. And it’s got live tracking, so you can view real-time stats as you're running. All you need to do is select the metrics that you want to view during your run.
iFit Outside automatically tracks your run and saves all your stats to the iFit platform, so once you’ve completed your run you can review all your important stats (such as speed, distance, heart rate, and elevation) across various runs and measure your progress.
Android (Free) / iOS (Free)
Runkeeper is one of the most popular running apps around and it’s easy to see why. It uses your phone’s GPS to accurately track all the usual running stats such as distance and calories burned, but it’s the extra features that make it really stand out...
Runkeeper lets you follow the most popular running routes in your area, take and tag pictures on the go, and get coached with its ready-made training plans – including a full marathon if you really fancy testing yourself.
Android (Free) / iOS (Free)
This great running app accurately tracks your pace, distance travelled and time taken, and gives you audio feedback as you run your route.
It also comes with a lot of options to help ‘gamify’ your run, so you can challenge your friends to beat your time or distance if you’re feeling confident enough.
And if you ever find yourself flagging slightly mid-run, never fear – you can choose to play your favourite ‘Power Song’ to give you an instant lift. We’ve tested this feature carefully and can confirm that Bill Conti’s 'Gonna Fly Now' gives us a noticeable boost, especially when running up stairs.
Will you be celebrating National Running Day with the help of some mobile tech? When you’re back from your run, feel free to share your thoughts below.