Want to start running? Here’s the tech you’ll need
So, you’ve decided it’s time to dig out and dust off those trainers, take to the open road and give running a shot.
Maybe it’s all the chocolate eggs you consumed this Easter that’s convinced you to take up running, or perhaps this is your second attempt at your New Year’s resolution that failed two weeks into 2017. Or maybe, you’ve always dreamt of participating in the London Marathon one day – and, well, everyone has to start somewhere…
So long as you’ve got a decent pair of trainers and comfortable kit (and a water bottle, don’t forget), the world is your oyster. You might not need tech to start running, but as an article on TechRadar explains, there are plenty of gadgets out there that can help you to pick up the pace, and make the running experience all the more enjoyable.
Some of the tech newbies should consider equipping themselves with include:
If you’re new to running, you shouldn’t spend too much on a GPS watch – £100 max. The high-spec watches include functions you probably won’t ever use, at least until you’ve determined what kind of runner you are, and most importantly, whether or not you actually enjoy the activity.
When browsing, the key thing to consider is whether the screen is large enough and if it shows your running speed. Watches including the TomTom Spark 3 or Garmin Forerunner 25 are good bottom-end models, displaying speed and heart rate (if you connect a strap), plus a number of other easy-to-use features.
Heart rate monitor
You most probably won’t need one of these to start with – you’ll just want to focus on increasing your speed a little every time you head out for a run.
But when you’ve completed a race or two, you might be interested in monitoring your heart rate using a chest strap. The strap itself is a little tight and will take some getting used to, but after a couple of weeks of running you won’t even notice it – and its likely to provide more accurate data than using a monitor on a watch.
The Wahoo Tickr is a great choice in terms of both fit and functionality, connecting to most watches and phones. Upgrade to Wahoo Tickr X and you can change music tracks by double thumping your chest – though, that feature alone might not be worth the extra cash.
Music + running = a match made in heaven. The most important thing to consider before purchasing a set of headphones is whether or not you want them to be wireless. Bear in mind that wired headphones are usually cheaper and don’t run out of battery – the JVC HA-ETR 40 headphones, for example, are excellent fit and the wire has two lengths (one for pocket, one for arm pouch).
If you don’t want the hassle of wires, try the Plantronics BackBeat Fit Bluetooth running headphones, which are reasonably priced, have a decent battery life and comfortable controls.