Keen to take up running? Here are our top five picks to get you started…
Running is one of the oldest and most instinctive forms of exercise around. It’s simple, just put one foot in front of the other and repeat in quick succession. However, new research reveals there has been a running boom since the Covid pandemic.
Among the many health benefits of running, is the chance to experience the “runner’s high”. “It begins with this peace of mind and then a greater ease of movement, a sense of power and confidence, optimism and hope, and you will often hear runners describe feeling connected to everyone and everything,” explained Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist, educator and author of The Joy of Movement.
The research reflects that three-quarters of all runners agree that “running is good for my mind as well as my body”. Furthermore, according to data from the endurance sports networks such as Strava, there has been an increase in the number of new runners over the past year. A general change in the way we think and live has driven a move towards an increase in exercising outdoors. Whether it’s road or trail running, jogging or sprinting, 2022 is the year to lace up those shoes and get out there. Here are our five top running picks.
Whether you’re looking to get in shape or just want an upgrade, choose a running watch that will look and feel great on your wrist, while providing accurate tracking of how far you’ve gone and how fast you’re going. Ensure it is easy to read and navigate at a glance while you’re moving.
These days GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring are standard on nearly all running watches, and most of them also support other sports such as cycling and hiking, as well as being water resistant.
The Garmin Fenix 7 is a running watch packed with advanced training tools to help you optimise your weekly training and perfect your strategy for race days. It keeps all the best features of the Fenix 6, but adds some excellent new tools such as a real-time stamina meter which shows how your energy level is decreasing over the course of a run so you can tailor your effort accordingly. There’s also a new graph to show how your training efforts are affecting your predicted race times.
This is the first Fenix watch with a touchscreen. The GPS accuracy is exceptional and Garmin has made a whole set of map packs available to download through the new Map Manager. From R13 499, Cape Union Mart and Takealot.
An all-in-one neutral running shoe for any distance, the Velocity NITRO 2 is a lightweight and sleek update to the Run PUMA roster. Featuring NITRO foam for exceptional responsiveness and ultimate cushioning, this upgrade to the original is a well-fitting and durable shoe for a smooth ride. Built for comfort at whatever speed, this running shoe also provides enhanced visibility through reflective accents, so you can hit your stride on your time.
NITRO is infused with nitrogen gas through an innovative new process that makes it possible to combine three key benefits to the runner – responsiveness, cushioning and a lightweight shoe. R2 799, www.puma.com.
Husband and wife team, Billy and Tracy Harker, are the founders of the Durban-based Funky Pants. The Funky Pants are ridiculously comfy and seriously funky, with a wide selection of brightly coloured and wonderfully patterned fabric choices. The range includes classic shorts, three-quarter length leggings, full leggings, sports bras, cycling shorts and more. High waist Funky Pants, R490, www.funkypants.co.za. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
4. Deep Tissue Massage Gun
Recovery following a run is as important as the run itself. There are many recovery suggestions after a run – healthy eating, hydration, ice baths and a deep tissue massage. Thanks to technology, you can now enjoy the benefits of a deep tissue massage in the comfort of your home. Train harder, recover faster and maximise your performance.
Massage guns help to relax and recover your muscle soft tissue. A massage head penetrates into the objective part of the muscle, decomposing the lactic acid that was generated during sport, work and general life. This relieves muscle soreness and stiffness.
Tested and trusted by international pro athletes, the Botthms Massage Guns are our pick to ensure relief, recovery and relaxation through innovative, user friendly, massage technology.
From R2 399, www. botthms.co.za.
As the days get shorter and darker, look no further than the Lumeo Pro headlamp to provide you with perfect night vision. It is the first of its kind, being the world’s widest LED headlamp offering you 230° of bright continuous illumination with unrivalled light coverage. The wide viewing angle illuminates more than what your eyes can see and has zero blind spots. It also delivers effective light coverage up to 100m. It comes with an adjustable light brightness, a flashlight function, and a comfortable, adjustable headband to fit all head sizes. The sleek design is low profile and lightweight. R499, lumeo.co.za.