10 Ways to Celebrate Global Running Day

A women joyfully crosses a finish line at a race

Grab your favorite running shoes because it’s Global Running Day!

We talked to Trina Singian, Senior Director of Media and Public Relations at New York Road Runners, sponsored by New Balance, to learn how it began and what it’s all about.

“Global Running Day is a worldwide celebration of running that encourages everyone of all ages and abilities to get moving,” Singian says. “Global Running Day is the evolution of National Running Day in the U.S., which started in 2009 by leading running organizations.”

Then, in 2016, led by the New York Road Runners and with the support of running organizations and races around the world, it evolved into the global holiday we now celebrate on the first Wednesday of every June.

So, what can you do to make the most of the most important running day of the year? Here are 10 ways to celebrate the sport’s potential to improve health and bring people together.

Two runners run together in a park

1. Join The Big Run

Fleet Feet communities across the country traditionally celebrate Global Running Day with their own 5K race, called The Big Run. In 2020, 11,000 participants ran their own virtual races from 5K to a marathon. This year, Fleet Feet stores across the country are back to hosting local The Big Run events, both virtual and in-person.

Want to join? Check with your local Fleet Feet location for their The Big Run event plans. Don't live near a Fleet Feet? Follow Fleet Feet on Instagram and stay tuned for giveaways and more to celebrate Global Running Day!

2. Try a new running route

Variety is the spice of life, and there’s nothing like exploring a new path, road or trail to reignite your love for the sport. Plus, scientists at Carnegie Mellon University report that learning a new route can help develop the area of your brain associated with spatial learning. It also keeps your routine from getting stale.

So, take a lap around a different part of town today, investigate a new trail, or even run your usual loop backwards and see how different things look when you can see them in a new way.

Girls in Girls on the run tshirts run and smile together

3. Support an organization that gets others moving

Running can change your life for the better. If you want to help others change their lives too, consider supporting a running-based organization through donations, volunteer time or joining in the fun.

Here are a few organizations we recommend:

Girls on the Run - Help 3rd through 5th grade girls recognize and embrace their inner strength through this running-based after school program. Donations cover program scholarships and resources.

Black Girls RUN! - Support Black women as they develop healthier lifestyle habits and build community along the way. Donations to the BGR! Foundation help remove barriers by providing resources like race registrations and running shoes.

Latinos Run - With a global audience of over 25,000 runners of all levels, Latinos Run inspires the Latino community to get moving and change the way the running industry looks. Join a group on Facebook, follow them on Instagram, or join a local group.

Frontrunners - These LGBTQ+ running groups are open to all pace groups from walkers to long distance runners. Frontrunners has chapters that span the globe to create community through local, national and international events.

Black Men Run - BMR uses running as a vehicle to improve the health of its members and strengthen its communities. With chapters across the country, BMR creates an impact through community service projects and regular group runs.

4. Listen to a podcast about running

Podcasts are the perfect companion for a solo run, whether you want to laugh, feel inspired or learn something new. There are hundreds of podcasts out there that will make the miles fly by. Check out our list of favorite running podcasts.

5. Read a running book

Rest is one of the most important aspects of your training, and reading is a great way to kick your feet up and recover. There are tons of books out there to inspire your next run. From stories about running with a donkey to a mental toughness memoir and even a cookbook for runners, check out our list of favorite books for runners.

6. Register for a race

Signing up for a race is a great way to set new goals and challenge yourself. It can also motivate you to get out the door on days you don’t feel like running. In-person races are finally making a comeback after so many COVID-related cancellations and postponements.

Virtual races can also provide motivation for those who aren’t comfortable returning to in-person events just yet. Global Running Day is the perfect time to start training for a race you’ve been eyeing or to join a virtual challenge.

A man runs in aftershokz headphones and a hat

7. Make a running playlist

If you’re ready to take your run to the next level, a carefully curated playlist can help. Making a running-specific playlist can help you stay motivated and engaged when things start feeling tough.

Music can even help you pick up the pace during your harder efforts. One study found that “imperceptible shifts in musical tempi in proportion to the runner’s self-paced running tempo significantly influenced running cadence.”

8. Donate old running shoes

If you love running and want to share your passion with others, consider donating an old pair of running shoes. Running shoes can be expensive, and not everyone who wants to run has the means to buy a new pair.

Many running stores collect old running shoes that are either donated to people in need or, if they’re really beat up, recycled for other purposes. Most manufacturers recommend wearing your shoes for 300-500 miles before buying a new pair. Next time your shoes are nearing the end of their life span, drop them off at your local store instead of throwing them away. You can read more about donating your running shoes here.

A woman runs with her dog and a nathan leash waistpack

9. Run with your dog

Your furry friend has likely been longing to get out the door and hit the pavement with you. What better way to celebrate Global Running Day than sharing your love of running with your dog? Running with your dog can be a great way to spice up your routine and bond with your best friend.

According to an article published in Science Daily, regular exercise helps dogs maintain a healthy weight, release energy and bond with their humans. Dress your pup in reflective gear during early morning or nighttime runs for increased visibility and safety.

10. Get fit for running shoes

If you’ve never been properly fitted by an expert, there’s no better time to do so. Finding the right pair of shoes for your feet can make your runs even more enjoyable by preventing blisters and reducing injuries. Our 3D fit id® foot scanning technology allows us to take an in depth look at your feet and find you the perfect pair of shoes. Find a Fleet Feet location near you or schedule a virtual fitting appointment.

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