There’s a lot about running that isn’t easy. Running up steep hills or pushing yourself to break a personal record is hard, but I’d argue that the absolute most difficult part of running is finding the motivation to start. Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of different strategies to get myself to lace up my running shoes, from sleeping in my running clothes to listening to whatever podcast I’m addicted to at the moment, but I’ve found the best way to stay motivated has been tracking my running data.
Similar to how tracking food intake has been proven to help with weight loss, using my Garmin GPS watch to record the time, distance, and pace of each run keeps me excited about improving my performance. And I know I’m not the only one. When I surveyed a few running friends on what run-related gift they’d like to receive, Garmin watches came up on top.
Currently half-price, this watch–and–activity tracker combo would be a perfect gift for a runner — or yourself. It has all the basics for getting new runners started; lap tracking for intermediate runners tackling speed work intervals; and a 13-hour GPS battery life to get marathoners and ultramarathoners through longer races. Like all Garmin watches, it syncs to the Garmin Connect app where you can see all your running stats and watch them improve over time. There’s also the option of sharing your data with running buddies for some friendly competition, or with a coach who’s monitoring your training.
Even if you need a break from running, you won’t have to worry about the watch collecting dust. You can use it as an everyday activity monitor since it tracks steps and exercise minutes, and without GPS enabled it can go up to eight days without charging. Or if your passions shift to cycling or swimming, simply change the activity mode and track your progress on the bike or in the pool.
It might seem counterintuitive, but wool is actually a great fabric choice for summer running. Naturally moisture-wicking and antimicrobial, it’ll keep you cooler and less stinky than cotton. It’s also a good alternative if you’re looking to avoid synthetics. I’m a huge fan of running year-round in Icebreaker’s incredibly soft merino wool. When it’s cooler out, wear this wool-blend tank under an outer layer to keep your midsection dry and warm.
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