When someone mentioned something about “National Running Day” to me a few years back, my reaction was: “Isn’t that every day of the year?”
Certainly for some people it is. Lacing up the shoes and getting out for a daily run—whether it’s an easy jog or a hard workout—is a ritual for most runners.
But the intent of National Running Day is more than just going out for your usual run. It’s a way to celebrate your dedication to fitness or the start of a new path to healthiness. But it’s also about sharing your running passion with others and encouraging friends, co-workers, family members and complete strangers to get out and run too.
Thousands of running stores, clubs, race organizations, training groups and gear and apparel brands across the country are celebrating National Running Day with group runs, happy hour events, schwag giveaways and race registration discounts. (Get a FREE subscription to the digital edition of Competitor magazine!)
It’s not about being fast or running an excessive amount of miles, it’s just about running.
Here are four simple ways you can celebrate National Running Day in style:
1. Go running!
Just lace up your shoes and head out the door! Yes, it can be that easy. Do it every day and soon it will become a habit (if it isn’t already). Encourage a friend to join you or head to a local running store group run. Run to lower your half-marathon PR, run lose 10 pounds or run just to stay healthy and fit. Find a new trail and lose yourself in nature. Just go run!
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2. Sign up for a race.
Running every single day is great—even with no end goal in mind. But training for a specific race goal is even better, mostly because it will help you mark positive physical, mental and emotional change as you fine-tune your fitness as race day approaches. Sign up for a half-marathon in the fall so you can spend your summer getting fitter and faster. Or start planning now for a Fourth of July 4-miler with family and friends.
3. Visit your local running store.
No place is packed with inspiration as much as your local running store. With new shoes and apparel, must-have accessories (like a R8 Roll Recovery tool), new flavors of running nutrition products and local race flyers, just walking inside a running specialty shop can get your juices flowing. But you don’t have to buy a thing: Just being around the people there—staffers committed to helping you run better and customers engaged with health and fitness—is always motivating.
4. Plan for something big.
Now is the time to do something big. Sign up for your first (or next) marathon. Plan a multi-hour group training run. Start training for your first ultra-distance race. Plan a bucket-list adventure run across the Grand Canyon. Go on a running-oriented overseas vacation, tied to a race or an epic trail run.
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