Global Running Day: When It Is and How You Can Celebrate

Women running in a park

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Running has many benefits, and not just the endorphins. It's been found to bolster your mood, improve mental health, and enhance your cardiovascular health. You don't have to be a competitive runner to reap these perks—even a short or paced-out run in the park has its advantages.

In celebration of running, once a year people from all over the world lace up their sneakers and take to the road in celebration of Global Running Day. And there are many ways to mark the occasion. Read on for a dose of inspiration.

The History of Global Running Day

Formerly launched as National Running Day in the United States back in 2009, Global Running Day takes place on the first Wednesday of June each year. During the inaugural event, over 2.5 million runners, spanning 177 countries, together clocked up a staggering nine million miles combined.

The worldwide event unites people from across the globe to not only run together, but to shine a spotlight on the mental health, wellbeing, and fitness aspects of the sport. It doesn't matter if you're a novice or a pro—the day is an open celebration for everyone.

How to Celebrate National Running Day

Global Running Day not only brings awareness to the importance of living an active lifestyle, but it's an opportunity to join with family, friends, and members in your community to participate in a variety of events.

Here are some ideas to get the celebration rolling.

Take Part in a Running Event

What better way to honor the day than by making your pledge on the official Global Running Day website and partaking in Strava's 5K virtual run? Registration is free and you can complete the race within a one-week timeframe. Alternatively, check out what runs are taking place in your area and sign up!

Go on a Run with Family or Friends

Studies have found that exercising with a workout partner provides emotional and social support, improving self-regulation and self-efficacy.

This doesn't have to be a big, elaborate event—recruit friends and family to join together for a run in the park, along a trail, or anywhere that appeals to the group. Make a morning or afternoon of it by stopping to take pictures along the route and enjoy a post-run breakfast or lunch together.

Challenge Yourself With a New Route

If you are lacking the motivation to take on your usual route, spruce it up with a little bit of change. Whether it's increasing your mileage, adding in some hills, or taking on new terrain, there are many ways to inject new life into your running routine.

Set New Goals

If a workout funk is hampering your progress, use Global Running Day as inspiration to re-evaluate your goals. Whether it's attempting to run a new distance, improve your sprint pace, or reinvent your current workout routine, make this the day to re-focus.

One way to re-define your workout is by setting SMART goals—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound—which is a useful tool fitness professionals use with clients to re-focus your motivation.

Volunteer for a Race

If running is not your forte, you can still mark the occasion by volunteering at a race. There are plenty of roles up for grabs, including bag checks, handing out drinks at a hydration station, or answering questions for participants on the day.

As an additional perk, research has found that regularly volunteering can improve your mental wellbeing.

A Word From Verywell Fit

Running is beneficial for both the mind and body and is an active way to enhance your everyday health and mental wellbeing. Even a short run slotted into your week is enough to see these positive effects. If you're new to the sport, make sure to purchase a good pair of running shoes, and ease yourself in slowly to avoid straining any muscles or injuring yourself.

If you have a chronic illness, such as arthritis or knee pain, speak to a healthcare provider before beginning any new routines. You may also consider hiring a running coach to set up a suitable program to help get you started.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When is Global Running Day?

    Global Running Day takes place on the first Wednesday of June every year, and is celebrated by people from all around the world who take part in events and self-organized activities.

  • What is National Running Safety Month?

    National Running Safety Month takes place every November ahead of winter as a reminder of running safety in colder months. Tips for running during shortened days and dipping temperatures include wearing the right clothes for warmth, reflective gear, and general safety awareness.

  • When was running invented?

    Although it has been claimed that running was invented in 1748 by Thomas Running who "tried to walk twice the same time," its history dates much further back to the start of time. Humans required the ability to run in order to hunt prey and flee if needed. therefore rather than being invented, running is a natural progression of the human species.

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8 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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