Living in the city certainly has its perks. Starbucks right across the street? Grande Americano with sugar-free hazelnut, please. Not having to drive home from the bar? Win for the safety police. No, wait—make that the real police.
But when you want to lace up your shoes for a run, there are a number of things to think about before you step out the door. We've gathered a list of nine must-haves for a successful urban run so that you can hit the pavement in style.
1. Finding Your Stride
There are more than a few theories that running on pavement can be tough on your body, especially your legs and your lower-body joints. To alleviate the strain from literally pounding the pavement, you need to ensure you're wearing the correct shoes to protect yourself from both short- and long-term injuries. Your local running store will likely have methods to find the best shoe for you, taking into account the way your foot strikes the ground and the surface on which you most often run. Urban runners will likely need a cushioned and flexible shoe to help support and protect feet against the harsh city pavement.
2. We Got the Beat
Running without music is like eating ice cream without sprinkles. You can do one without the other, but why would you want to? With the plethora of earphones and headphones these days (not to mention can't-resist jams), there's no shortage of opportunity to rock out—or mellow out—on your runs. The latest Bluetooth technology even allows you to go wireless. No more tangled headphone cords. #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat
When you run in the city, however, being aware of your surroundings is more important than ever. This includes being able to hear what's going on to the front, side and back of you at all times. Wear only one earbud during an urban run so you can listen for approaching cars, bikes or people who may not be able to see you. Always remember: Just because you see them doesn't mean they see you.
3. Watch Yourself There
Serious runners know a run isn't complete unless you can track distance, time and pace. Pick up a watch with the ability to track heart rate and calories burned, and you're putting yourself in the game with the big dogs. Wearable technology is reaching new heights, offering devices that connect to your phone, computer or the cloud. These new gadgets let you track runs, compete with fellow runners in your area and can even analyze your gait.
Do keep in mind that a GPS signal can be touch-and-go when surrounded by a city's tall buildings and many other competing signals. (No, you probably didn't just run across that lake, Scott. Or did you?)
4. Style Matters
When you're running in the city, you're likely to be around people. Lots of people. And their eyes are staring directly at your ripped up T-shirt and shorts from your high school soccer team. Instead of #TBT every day, make sure you're attired with the latest gear offering technical (and style) benefits. Cotton should be avoided at all costs—this will do you no good and you'll end your run with a heavy, soggy mess hanging off your body. Choose lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing to keep you dry and regulate your body temperature. Being hot and bothered should not be the goal.
Today's trends are eye-catching clothes with high-visibility. To meet the style bar without going over the top, anchor your outfit with a neutral color (black, grey or white) and add a pop of fun with a brightly colored or patterned item. Rock a graphic print or striking color on your run, and you're sure to catch some eyeballs—in a good way.
Match your shoes to your shorts to your shirt and you'll be King or Queen of the
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