for those who love the outdoors

5 June, 2024


Why Global Running Day is important: Tips for Making the Most of Positive Movement

Global Running Day is a call to millions of runners around the world, no matter how far or fast you go. Celebrated on the first Wednesday of June, this event isn’t just for athletes; it’s for everyone seeking to embrace a healthier lifestyle through running.

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Sometimes running is about more than just... running. Which is why in this article, you’ll discover how to make the most of this day, find events near you, or set a personal running milestone. I'll also look into the mental aspects of running how it has helped me in my own life. Get ready to join a global running community in a day dedicated to the benefits and enjoyment of running.

What is Global Running Day all about?

Global Running Day takes place on first Wednesday of June, aiming to promote the joys of running and a healthier lifestyle for all ages and fitness levels. With an emphasis on runnings benefits to both physical and mental health.

Global Running Day might signfy different things for different people. For example, it might be the start of a Couch to 5km journey for a brand new runner. But for a more experienced runner it might be a day to run with someone new, run a PB for distance or time, or to really celebrate all the reasons they run!

The Origins and Significance of Global Running Day

Originally known as National Running Day in the United States, it was first recognisedin 2009. Since then, it has been a globally adopted phenomenon - becoming Global Running Day - that extends beyond mere participation; it is a call to embrace a healthier lifestyle. Celebration of this day signifies:

  • The value of running in our lives and its unifying power, transcending backgrounds or fitness levels
  • A day to reflect on the positive impact running has on our physical and mental well-being
  • To inspire others to take up this fulfilling activity

I am particularly passionate about the third bullet point above. Running changed from being a chore to a passion about 3 years ago, around about the time I started working on the National Running Show. Since that day, I have been trying my best to spread the 'net' of the running community and encourage people to be more active in any way they can. No matter how far or fast they go.

The Importance of Running in Today's World

With its simplicity and minimal equipment needs, running continues to be a popular physical activity in today’s world. I think it is fairly well researched, documented and adopted in society that exercise, particularly running, improves cardiovascular health, effective weight management, and numerous mental health benefits, such as reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

People talk about the feeling of a 'runner's high' and trust me, it's real. I have never regretted a run, no matter how difficult it was or cold/dark it is outside. That feeling of accomplishment is addictive.

It is an accessible exercise that encourages people and transcends barriers, making it an important aspect of promoting physical fitness and overall well-being in our society.

It is worth noting that even though I have reffered to running as accessible above, it is still a privilege that we should note. Not everyone has the ability, resources or even safety that allows them to get up and go for a run.

Flora Beverely, a running influencer, makes a great point about running privilege in this episode of the Outside & Active Podcast.

I'm sold! How do I Participate in Global Running Day?

Runners at a local running event

Your participation in the Global Running Day celebration can range from simple to elaborate, depending on your ability and constraints. From seeking out local events, to joining virtual races, to joining your local running club.

One of my favourite parts about running is the community I have found myslef in. It is genuinely one of the most supportive, educational and friendly communities. Running massively boomed following the COVID-19 lockdown, with running clubs popping up all over the place. There are so many inclusive places to start running, here are my 3 favourite tips:

  1. Parkrun- is a global charity that organises free, weekly, 5k and 2k community events in parks and outdoor spaces. They are dotted all over the country and there is no cut off time so you can wonder round the course at a pace you feel comfortable.
  2. Running clubs - like parkrun, are all over the country and cater for all abilities of runners. This is a great way to meet like-minded people but to also test yourself and your potential ability. If you think it is tough to go on your own then take a family member, collegue, or friend! England Athletics have a handy search function where you can find your local running clubs. Whether you prefer the camaraderie of a group run or the solitude of a personal challenge, there’s something for every person.
  3. Social media - I know what you might be thinking, social media can sometimes be a place of misinformation, comparison, and stress. But trust me when I say there is a world of relateable and inclusive inflencers and brands that can support you on your journey. It wouldn't be fair to single out any but a good piece of advice would be to start with the National Running Show Instagram and keep an eye on some of their speakers and brands.

Solo Runs and Personal Challenges on Global Running Day

For those who prefer running alone, setting personal sustainable and realistic challenges can be a fulfilling way to celebrate Global Running Day.

These challenges might include running a specific distance, improving your pace, or exploring new routes. Completing these personal goals and celebrating your achievements through solo runs can be deeply rewarding.

It’s a personal way to embrace the spirit of the day and push your boundaries. Don't forget, you are capable of way more than you actually think you are.

So whilst I am all for setting sustainable objectives and staying within your ability level. Every once in a while it is important to push boundaries as you will break through glass ceilings.

Gear Up for Success: Choosing the Right Running Shoes to celebrate Global Running Day

Choosing the right running shoes for physical fitness

Selecting appropriate running shoes is an important element to boost performance and avoid common injuries. The right shoes can make a significant difference in your running experience, providing the necessary support and comfort to keep you going strong.

I know that they are an investment, but a decent pair can last you around 400-500 miles and potentially save you injuries.

If you want to level-up your running then there are some fantastic articles on the best shoes, available here.

The Role of Shoes in Running Performance

The right running shoes enhance biomechanics, stability, and energy transfer while moving, consequently improving running economy and mitigating muscle fatigue. Different shoe designs cater to various gaits and running styles, such as motion control shoes for overpronators and lightweight trainers for neutral gaits.

If all of the above sounds a bit like jibberish, then I would highly recommend heading into your local running shop (a quick google can help you find this). More often than not they will have a running machine which will let staff know how you run, so they can recommend the best shoes to fit your style.

In my experience staff at these shops have been fantastic and will recommend shoes that suit you, rather than shoes that are more expensive.

Health and Fitness: The Benefits of Regular Running

Runners enjoying the mental and physical benefits of running

Being a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, regular running presents a multitude of health benefits. From improving cardiovascular health to boosting mental well-being, the advantages of running are extensive.

'Regular' can mean different things to different people and may change over the course of your running journey. I would recommend not diving in the deep end striaght away and running too much too quickly. You will more than likely get injured and stop before you've even properly started.

Finding time to run can often be a stopping point. It's not easy, but fitting running around the kids, family and work is defintiely possible if you're clever. Getting family involved, active commuting, or early morning wake-ups are some simple ways of achieving this.

Boosting Physical Health

Running 30 minutes a week can have the following benefits (

  • Improved cardio fitness
  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Improve mood
  • Improve heart function, circulation, and blood pressure, contributing to better cardiovascular health
  • Experience a longer lifespan
  • Better quality sleep

Enhancing Mental Well-being

Running isn’t just good for the body; it’s also a powerful tool for supporting your mental wellbeing. The ‘runner’s high’ we spoke about earlier provides a euphoric state post-exercise, shown through feelings of calm and reduced anxiety due to increased endocannabinoids in the bloodstream. Regular running has substantial benefits for mental health, including:

  • Reducing stress
  • Promoting cognitive health
  • Stimulating neurogenesis
  • Improving brain performance

I have absolutely found this in my personal life. I use running when I have had a tough day, week or even meeting! If I know I have a big day ahead and need to clear my head and feel positive, then I will often wake up early and go for a run. It starts my day off in a positive way.

A real top tip!

It is so easy to get sucked into times and distances by tracking apps. Whilst I am a big believer in, and user of, these apps they can cause undue stress for beginner runners. Your running journey is YOUR running journey.

Comparison is the thief of joy so try your best to focus on feeling rather than metrics.

It is also worth noting that not every run is going to be an improvement on the last. Running improvement is not always linear so don't be afraid if the run you had this week felt harder than when you ran the same distance two weeks ago.

My personal journey

Global Running Day is taking me back to when I first started running around three years ago. I couldn't go to the gym or play sport during lockdown so I decided to run.

It was painful, I couldn't go further than 3 minutes without having to stop and stretch my back. It was incredibly frustrating.

Fast forward a year and a half into my journey and I find myself on the start line for an ultra marathon. 57 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh, the toughest challenge I have ever undertaken. You can follow along my first ultra marathon through the vlog I put together here.

Fast forward another year and a half to present day, and I am totally in love with running. I love the fact that it keeps me fit and can be used to quell the natural stresses and anxieties that can arise in life.

Im starting to see my friends take running up which is amazing to see!

Training Techniques and Tips for Runners on Global Running Day

Runners training and learning techniques

Starting Out on Global Running Day: Tips for Beginners

New runners should start with slow jogs, taking breaks as needed, and running two to three times a week to build stamina gradually. Using apps like Couch to 5K can help beginners progress from short intervals to longer distances. Maintaining good posture, landing softly, and avoiding overstriding are crucial for preventing injuries.

If you are returning from injury or have had previous injuries then it might be worth starting on a treadmill as they are more forgiving than the road.

Advancing Your Running: For Intermediate and Advanced Runners

Intermediate and advanced runners can enhance their performance by incorporating interval and sprint training into their regimen.

Consistent running schedules and advanced beginner programs can further improve speed and endurance. Maintaining a regular training routine is essential for achieving long-term performance improvements and reducing injury risks.

Inclusive Running: Celebrating Runners of All Abilities

I cannot stress the following point hard enough. Running is for all, no matter how far or fast, no matter what country creed or race, no matter what size or shape, no matterwhat sex or gender.

Being active is encouraged for all and no one should be made to feel 'smaller' than anyone else.

In conclusion

Global Running Day is a powerful reminder of the joy and unity that running brings to people worldwide.

By understanding its origins, embracing the health benefits, participating in local and virtual events, and fostering inclusive practices, we can all contribute to a vibrant running community.

Whether you’re a beginner lacing up your running shoes for the first time or an experienced marathoner, the spirit of Global Running Day encourages us to celebrate our achievements and continue the journey year-round. Let’s keep the momentum going, set new goals, and inspire others to join us on this fulfilling path.

So, however you celebrate Global Running Day celebrate and feel the sense of the amazing community and get Outside & Active!

Dominic Brown

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Hi! I'm Dom and I am the Digital Communications Manager at Outside & Active. I manage the content and marketing for this site and sometimes document my experiences and thoughts. I absolutely love to be outside and active in any way possible.

I have been playing all varieties of sports since the age of 5 but in the past few years I have somehow become a 'runner'. This has opened my eyes to a whole new world of adventure, I still love playing team sports and heading to the gym - but managing this website has helped me explore different ways to enjoy the outdoors.

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