Runners are a diverse group of people in that each runner trains with a distinct set of goals in mind. Whether you are a professional marathoner, a casual jogger, are running to lose weight or a sprinter looking to improve your speed, using the right workout equipment and tools can help you gain the most out of your training. Whatever your purpose for running, you will find a bevy of devices that can help you train better and monitor your progress. Here is a list of such useful gadgets that are not only fun to use and trendy but also practical and efficient. Remarkably, these devices have been designed to conform to the running needs and workout environments of each runner.
Adidas miCoach Smart Run
Adidas has manufactured a fitness-tracker watch with touchscreen and 4GB memory. Released in 2013 and redesigned in 2014, the Smart Run comes with a built-in heart rate monitor that measures the pulse on your wrist rather than requiring you to strap a heart-rate monitor to your chest. In addition, the built in GPS system is designed to follow your every move, from step to stride. Tracking your speed, distance and route is now accessible at the touch of a finger. If you need some extra motivation, plug in a Bluetooth headset to listen to “coaching” messages or your favorite music playlist. No matter what country you live in, you can purchase the Smart Run from the Adidas miCoach site, for US$400.
Kangoo Jumps Boots
If you grew a little bit tired of jogging and running and wanted a different kind of fun getting in shape, you can try the Kangoo Jumps boots. The Kangoo Jumps is a low-impact rebound exercise, fun to use for all gender. It lessens your impact and reduces your joint aches, among a host of other health benefits. The Kangoo Jumps boots have different models, specifically three different Impact Protection System springs, catered to three different user’s profile. The price ranges from USD$179 to $299.
FuelBelt Revenge Hydration Belt
FuelBelt has released a series of hydration belts that will help you stay hydrated while you are on the run. First put on the market in 2011, this lightweight belt has since been upgraded, coming in six models that fit comfortably around your waist via a velcro strap: R20, R30, Revenge 2-bottle, Revenge 4-bottle, R2Outdoor, and Classic Collection. These belts are designed with aerated Thermafoam padding and additional pockets that hold personal items like your ID, money, mobile device and keys. Each Revenge Hydration Belt comes with free bottles and Silicone push-pull bottle caps. Starting at US$34.95, runners can purchase one of these innovative fuel belts designed by President, Founder, and Ironman competitor, Vinu Malik, at fuelbelt.com.
SKLZ Speed Resistance Training Parachute w/ Carry Bag
The SKLZ Training Parachute is excellent for sprinters or runners who want to improve their stride and speed acceleration. The adjustable belt will fit almost every waist size, and the 360° rotation belt with free motion ring lets the parachute shift in any direction. The chute will expand 54” while running, releasing 15- 30 lbs. of resistance. Runners can expect to pay US$29.99 at sklz.com or US$18.54 at Amazon.
Jaybird BlueBuds X
JayBird Sports has created wireless and sweat proof earphones that offer Bluetooth audio. Designed after a Sports-car grille, the BlueBuds X fits snugly into the surfaces of the ear using hexagon cushioning for stability and comfort. BlueBuds X are the smallest and most progressive Bluetooth headphones designed. Boasting an 8-hour battery life, these earphones were created with X-Fit over/under ear options, in which the earphones can be worn in the traditional manner or over the ear. BlueBuds X come with Signal Plus, Jenna voice prompts and in three sizes: S, M and L. Sells for US$169.95 at jaybirdsport.
Apple iPod Nano
A good run can be complemented by good music. This is why the iPod comes in. The newest iPod that Apple has to offer is advertised by Apple as the “thinnest iPod ever”. Apple has improved the iPod’s design by fitting all of its technology in a 1.54” frame. Created with Bluetooth 4.0, the Nano has an enlarged 2.5-inch touch screen, more appealing colors and a streamlined look with polished anodized aluminum. Runners can personalize their iPod preferences by downloading an app that tracks their runs. To view your workout details, you can program the Nano to audio prompt your vitals, pace and distance, or you can simply tap the screen to take a quick peek while still keeping pace. The Nano can be purchased at Apple Store for US$149, 8GB or US$179, 16GB)
Pivothead Recon Black Jet
Released for the first time in 2013, these running sunglasses are lightweight and fog free, and they are snug enough to remain on your face during long runs or vigorous sprints. Not only do they look great, they also have a small camera built into the sunglasses’ bridge. The Recon’s 8-megapixel camera can capture your run, then transfer the footage wirelessly. There is also a microphone located on the inside of the left temple part of the sunglasses, which captures your voice commands. Sold at many of the major online-retailers such as, Amazon.com and Sports Authority.com, you can find a deal for as low as US$199.99.
Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS
The Forerunner 310XT is a GPS-enabled running watch that will log how far and how fast you have run. Even though this watch was released in 2009, it continues to be Garmin’s #1 selling GPS running watch. With a battery life of 20 hours, this waterproof watch acts just like an app, tracking how many calories you have burned and how well you are accomplishing your workout goals. After you have logged the running miles, workout regimen and diet, the Forerunner 310XT will wirelessly send the data to your favorite computer device. Garmin sells this watch for US$249.99.
The fitbit Flex is a stylish activity and sleep wristband. The Flex will track everything you do; it will even wake you up in the morning. Wearers can pre-program their fitness and eating goals into the device and expect to receive the wirelessly transmitted information on their computer devices. The Flex is designed with 5 indicator lights, each light represents 20 percent of your health and wellness goal; when all 5 lights illuminate, you have reached your goal and are ready for another one. You can buy a Flex for about US$99.95 at nationwide online retailers.
proSport Night-Vision Sunglasses
Night runners can now train at night without being blinded by headlights. proSport Night-vision “sunglasses” are designed with Z87.1 Yellow Polycarbonate lenses, which provide 100 percent UV protection. Sold for US$21.99 at Amazon.com, proSport Night-Vision sunglasses are extremely lightweight. They are made with UltraGrip rubber and MemoryFlex frames, allowing these sunglasses to fit snugly around the bridge of the nose and the ears.
The smallest health and wellness monitor on the market measures your heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen level, and any heart rate irregularities with the touch of a thumb. There are 3 versions of the Tinke, two for iOS devices and one for Android devices; a free app is also offered to help you record and track your health information. By connecting the Tinke to your iPhone then placing your thumb on the sensor, the Tinke will help you monitor deviations in skin, blood volume. Zensorium has made this small gadget affordable for US$119 for iOS compatible and US$129.00 for Android devices.
Innovators in creating the first daily activities bracelet—slip this sleek, black bracelet on to monitor every action from working to running to eating to sleeping. Designed with Bluetooth Smart support and motivational feedback, you can swim, run and eat; then, you can check out the stats with the Flow mobile app. The 2014 Polar Loop is sold for US$109.95.
A Bonus Fitness App
Now that you have some running gear options, wouldn’t you like a personal trainer and dietician to keep you motivated when you are not running? Balancing this list of great running gear gadgets is the Daily Burn Tracker app from Apple. This free app helps with your workout and dietary planning. With a database of 350,000 foods, the program combines your running workout for the day with a diet plan to help you always stay on track.
Have you used any of the above-mentioned gadgets? Which is your favorite running gadget? Share it with us in the comment below.