Check the calendar. If it’s not yet June, then you haven’t missed National Running Day. Now that you’ve started to get into running, you’d like to partake in this event, but you’re not sure how. What should you do on National Running Day?
Here’s how you can celebrate National Running Day this year and every year:
- Go for an impromptu run
- Buy some new running shoes or gear
- Sign yourself up for a race
- Shop for running-appropriate snacks
- Download a running app
- Plan a running route
- Find a running buddy
- Volunteer for a running event in your neighborhood
- Donate to a running organization
Do you still have more questions about National Running Day and what you can do? Then keep reading. Ahead, we’ll talk about the history of this holiday, when it is, and why running is a great idea no matter the time of year.
Let’s get started!
What Is National Running Day?
A newer holiday coined in 2009, National Running Day is a day in which people across the United States discover or rediscover the joys of running. Running organizations all over the country might host events around National Running Day to try to get more people into running. You can pledge online that you’ll run on National Running Day and invite your friends and family to do the same.
The event has grown over the years to become a worldwide affair, so National Running Day is more commonly known as Global Running Day. Now people outside of the US can celebrate as well. The first Global Running Day event in 2016 attracted 2.5 million people who altogether ran over 9.2 million miles. These runners were from all over the world, representing 177 different countries.
When can you celebrate? National Running Day is always the first week of June, just when the weather is getting warm enough that you want to be outside more often anyway. In 2021, National Running Day is June 2nd. Here’s when National Running Day will be over the next eight years:
- In 2022: June 1st
- In 2023: June 7th
- In 2024: June 5th
- In 2025: June 4th
- In 2026: June 3rd
- In 2027: June 2nd
- In 2028: June 7th
- In 2029: June 6th
You don’t have to be an avid runner to do something running-related on the day, nor do you even have to be particularly skilled at running. The point of National Running Day is to make running accessible to anyone and everyone who wants to join in. Thus, if you’ve thought about running before but you’re not sure if you can do it, you should definitely check out National Running Day this year!
What Do People Do on National Running Day? 9 Fun, Healthful Ways to Celebrate
This is the year you want to get in on the fun that is National Running Day. How can you do that? You have plenty of ways to participate, and no, they don’t all involve running. Per the list in the intro, here are 9 ways to make the most of National Running Day.
Go for an Impromptu Run
Let’s start with the obvious one, as the whole point of National Running Day is to run. Lace up your athletic sneakers, put on your smartwatch, stretch your limbs, and go, go, go! How far you run is up to you, and don’t feel inclined to push yourself if you’re a running newbie. Even if all you run today is a quarter-mile, that’s okay. It’s still a start!
When you’re done running, ask yourself some questions. Did you have fun? Was it difficult? Would you like to do it again?
Running won’t be easy as a complete beginner. You need to build up your stamina and endurance, and that can only happen with further training and yes, more running. If you do decide to dedicate yourself to running, be that most days of the week or just a couple, you’ll notice more and more that each time you run, you can go further without getting winded or having a painful stitch in your side.
That’s the beauty of running. As you do it more often, you reap bigger rewards. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to participate in a 5K, later a 10K, then a half-marathon, and then even a full marathon. You might not win your first few races, but the more you commit yourself to running, the better your performance can become. Then at that point you may have a few silver and gold medals on your mantle!
All this progress is set in motion the first time you decide to run and stick with it. Every runner fondly remembers their ineptitude when they first began. It’s nice to reminisce and think back on how far they’ve come. Someday, you can do the same. Remembering your progress will undoubtedly put a smile on your face.
Buy Some New Running Shoes or Gear
If you try to run in your tried and true pair of athletic sneakers, you’re going to notice some unfortunate side effects. Your feet might slide and squish as you sweat in your shoes. You feel like your performance is being encumbered by the shoes. Oh, and then there are the blisters and pain, which have sidelined you one too many times.
Running shoes and athletic shoes are not the same. Everything about a running shoe’s design–from the sole to the height of the heel drop to the cushioning–is designed to augment your run. Athletic shoes are intended for all nature of physical activity and training, but not running specifically.
If you don’t already have a pair of running shoes, perhaps National Running Day is when you vow to change that. We have a great guide on buying running shoes that you should definitely check out as a beginner. Our best tip? Shop for shoes later in the day when your feet are swollen from walking. Your feet will swell up when you run, so trying on shoes at this time will prevent fit issues.
Don’t forget your running socks too! Yes, that’s right, you need running socks. If you switch from athletic shoes to running shoes but you still wear cotton socks, your pain and discomfort won’t end. Your socks will bunch and move, they’ll get full of sweat, and you’ll have blisters.
Running socks compress for better circulation. They’re made of moisture-wicking materials (which cotton is definitely not) with ventilation, cushioning, and seamless toes that prevent bunching.
If you already have the right footwear, then maybe you shop for some running gear on National Running Day. From hats to shirts, shorts, sports bras, leggings, or pants, we recommend that all your running gear meet some basic criteria. It should offer UPF protection so you don’t burn your skin through your clothes. Compression gear will keep your blood flowing. You also want seamless clothes whenever you can get ‘em.
Your running gear should have openings or mesh panels for breathability, reflective features so you’re visible in darker conditions, and moisture-wicking fabric so your gear doesn’t stick to you when you start to sweat.
Sign Yourself up for a Race
National Running Day is the perfect day to commit to longer-term running. If you used to run regularly and stopped because life got in the way, why not schedule a race in the next month or two? That should give you more than enough time to train and ease your way back into running in time for the race.
If you’re especially green at running, then join a race that’s later in the year or even early next year. You’ll then have five or six months to prepare yourself, which should be plenty if you begin running regularly.
Having a race on your calendar will keep you motivated to run even on those days when you might not really be feeling up to it. You want to be in the best shape to win, so you’ll drag yourself out of bed, put on your running shoes, and get to it.
Shop for Running-Appropriate Snacks
When you become a runner, you’ll care more than ever before about how you fuel your body. Your shopping cart might look a little different than it usually does as you stock up on running food staples like eggs, potatoes, chicken, peanut butter, yogurt, granola, bananas, and oatmeal.
You could get into energy food too, from energy chews to gels and bars. You can buy energy bars with more carbs if that’s what your diet needs as well as bars with fewer carbs or more protein so your body is efficiently ready for your run.
You’ll also probably sample dried fruits, especially dried plums and apricots. Dried plums or prunes have plenty of potassium, fiber, and carbs. The potassium in prunes can control your blood pressure. Dried apricots are similarly low-fat but high in carbs while lending you potassium and vitamin A.
Download a Running App
Now that you’re committing to running more often, it seems like a good time to download a running app or several. Whether you use the app on your smart running watch or your phone, a good running app can come in handy in so many ways.
You can map your current route, discover new routes near you, and track a variety of metrics. These include your distance run, your average speed and top speed, your heart rate, and the number of calories burned. Some running apps have a built-in GPS so you can ping others and let them know where you are.
You can also upload your running stats, sharing them to social media and elsewhere online. You and your friends can be locked in a never-ending battle of who’s the best runner among you. This will push you to run further and harder. So too will games like Zombies, Run! that immerse you in the world of VR so even your normal run around the neighborhood feels completely different.
Here is our list of the best running apps. Do make sure you check it out and download a few of those great apps!
Plan a Running Route
What if pours on National Running Day? Well, that won’t stop all runners, but it’s okay if you’d rather stay safe and dry today. In the meantime, you can plan where you’d like to run on the next sunny, dry day. Using one of our recommended running apps will make it easy to schedule where you’ll run on your phone without having to leave home. You’ll be able to see information about your route through the app such as how long it is. This prevents you from getting in over your head as a new runner.
Find a Running Buddy
Running is always better with a buddy or group. If you partner up with a more experienced runner, you can learn a lot from them, including how they stay in shape between runs, proper form, and even how to fix your diet. If you’re with another new runner, you two can learn together and share the information you discover with each other.
Who you run with is your choice entirely. Perhaps you ask a coworker, neighbor, or trusted friend. You can even inspire your whole family to run, which can be a great way to stay in shape as a unit. If you don’t know anyone in your immediate circle who’s interested in running, then look for a running group online or offline. You can also attend running events and talk to people. You could just meet your running partner that way!
Volunteer for a Running Event in Your Neighborhood
Every National Running Day, races and other events occur on a countrywide and global scale. If you can’t run or if you want to extend your influence further, why not contact the organizations and groups in charge of these events and see if they need an extra set of hands? You might be tasked with increasing the rate of signups, doing prep the day of the event, procuring supplies, stocking, or cleanup.
Volunteering in any capacity always feels great because you give your time and energy just for bettering your community. Plus, volunteer positions look great on your resume whether you’re looking for a new job or you’re trying to get a promotion with the company you’re already working for.
Donate to a Running Organization
At the very least, if you’re all tied up with work or other commitments on National Running Day, you can donate to some of the fantastic organizations that have introduced the fun of running to people all over the world. Any little bit counts, so don’t feel like you have to donate a lot of cash. Your contribution will certainly be appreciated!
The Benefits of Running
We’ve written extensively about how beneficial running can be, such as this post and this one as well. We’ll now recap those posts so you can learn how your body can change for the better if you run regularly, even for up to 30 minutes at a time!
The American Council on Exercise or ACE’s Fit Facts report compares the number of calories burned when running compared to activities like weight training, walking, playing tennis, swimming, downhill or waterskiing, cross-country skiing, roller or ice skating, jogging, hiking, power-cart golfing, gardening, socially or aerobically dancing, cycling at 10 miles per hour, bowling, and playing basketball.
Running burns more calories than each of those activities. The breakdown is this: per minute, at 120 pounds, you’d burn 11.4 calories running. If you’re 140 pounds, it’s 13.2 calories per minute. At 160 pounds, it’s 15.1 calories a minute, and at 180 pounds, it’s 17 calories a minute.
Through consistent running and a healthy, nutritious diet, you could finally shed those stubborn pounds.
Helps Your Knees
On this blog, we’ve debunked the rumor that running is bad for your knees. With proper form, you can lower your arthritis risk by running, especially compared to those who lead a more sedentary lifestyle. So says Jumpstart by WebMD, which reported on a 2013 study with 75,000 people, runners and nonrunners alike.
Part of why you may lose weight as a runner has to do with your accelerated metabolism. We’ve cited this 2011 Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercisereport that discovered how with 45 minutes of “vigorous exercise,” your metabolism can go up for hours afterward. The study wasn’t about running specifically, so training to run can also potentially boost your metabolism!
Helps Your Mental Health
Although the famed runner’s high is not an emotional crest that every runner gets to experience, running is still good for your mental health. Many studies done on the topic that we’ve discussed on the blog have found that running can reduce both depression and anxiety, as can other forms of exercise.
Could Lower Cancer Risk
If you need the motivation to run, how about this? You might be able to lower your cancer risk. We must mention again a 2019 study from the Journal of Oncology that reviewed the benefits of exercise in participants aged 32 to 91. The study had 755,000 participants and lasted over 10 years.
The most fervent exercisers, or those who were active for 7.5 weekly hours, saw their cancer risk drop for seven of 15 types of cancer.
Might Increase Your Lifespan
Last but certainly not least, there’s this. Running could be the secret to a longer life. Between the reduced risk of cancer, healthier weight, and good mental health, it makes sense. There’s research to back this up too, like this 2008 Stanford Medicine article that discusses a study done on 500 runners over 20 years.
The running group had fewer disabilities, fewer signs of aging, and lived longer.
National Running Day in June is a chance to do all sorts of running-related activities, including planning your first run, signing up for a race, buying new gear, or even volunteering your time or money to a running organization. Of course, don’t feel like you have to wait until June to start your running journey. We have plenty of great resources on the blog for learning the ins and outs of running right now. Best of luck!
In running, the shoes you wear are everything. You could have the most endurance and stamina in the world, yet if your feet are sore from ill-fitting shoes, your performance will be negatively affected. Choosing your running shoes should not be a decision made lightly then. Instead, you want to take your time and do your research. What should you look for in the perfect running shoe?
You’ve recently decided to take up running. You love the freedom you feel when you’ve hit your stride, not to mention how fit running is making you. It’s your goal to participate in a race sooner than later, and you’ve already started preparing. A running buddy of yours suggested you buy some running socks as part of your training, but you’re not so sure. Are running socks worth it?