The C25K movement — that is, the Couch to 5K movement — is quickly picking up steam as former couch potatoes get up, turn off the TV, and lace up their running shoes in a bid to increase their health and fitness levels. That’s an admirable goal, but it’s impossible to do it alone, especially if you’re not used to being active, exercising, or training as a runner. Although running is arguably one of the easiest exercises to take up, there are gadgets and equipment you need to get started, particularly if you want to stay safe and healthy.
A durable, flexible, breathable, and supportive pair of running shoes is unquestionably the most vital piece of equipment you need to begin your life as a runner. However, not even the best sneakers in the world will help you if you don’t have the proper form, if you lack consistency, or if your stress points are under too much stress.
Invest in a pair of insoles — but not just any insoles. Go for broke and find smart insoles that measure your consistency, judge your form, and pinpoint stresses. Most inserts with this type of technology connect to an app that allows you to keep up with your running health in real time.
Fitness trackers are the next big thing, but they are also helpful to anyone who exercises regularly. They’re beneficial to runners, as well, since so many of them specialize in tracking steps and strides. For the full effect, however, choose a more versatile gadget. In particular, pick out something that integrates with your mobile device or computer. It’s always easier to keep up with your progress, stats, and goals if you can easily access the information.
Bear in mind that there are several styles from which to choose, as well. Prefer something small and out of the way? Search for health trackers that clip onto your shoelaces or shirt. Fitness watches are the most popular style, but there are also brands that offer anklet-style pieces. In many cases, a smart watch can do double-duty as long as you download a tracking app.
Heart health is a critical concern for every C25Ker. Running is great for your heart, but you have to take it easy as you take your first laps. Keeping a close eye on your pulse rate isn’t mandatory, but it’s the wisest choice. Besides, there’s something thrilling about seeing your heart and lungs get stronger as your endurance increases.
Your phone in an essential gadget for any run because you can use it to cut down on several other gadgets. If you have a fully loaded, high-tech new phone like T-Mobile’s Galaxy S7 Edge, it can monitor your heart, judge your stride, and track your steps. Because it’s your personal GPS device, it tells you where you’re going, or you can download a variety of running apps that track your runs or suggest new routes. You can listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts, plus you have the means to call for help if you need it.
However, that only works if you’re on an equally strong network, such as T-Mobile. You need a phone that can always find a connection, whether it’s Wi-Fi or 4G LTE. Otherwise, you can’t access all those handy apps and features. You can run without them, but they make the journey better.
Bluetooth headphones are preferable during a run for a variety of reasons. In the first place, it helps to listen to something that captures your attention and helps you find a rhythm. In the second place, you don’t want to deal with a snarl of wires while you’re running. With a Bluetooth headset, you can leave one ear free, as well, which is vital for safety. Just make sure you choose a pair with a strong signal, so they won’t lose connection as you run.
Getting off the couch, out of the house, and out to the track is a commendable decision. It’s brave, bold, and hopeful. Take help anywhere you find it, including the gadgets that will get you ready for your first 5K.