America has a day to celebrate just about anything. There’s National Pancake Day, a day dedicated to the love of beer, and even a Tin Can Day. While some are funny and others are meant to enjoy a favorite food, there are a number of special days dedicated to causes and general well-being, too.

National Running Day is one of those holidays, celebrating the health benefits that running provides and encouraging people across the country to get active. Whether you already love this form of cardio or are interested in making it a part of your weekly routine, here’s what you need to know about the holiday.

What Is National Running Day?

men running

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This holiday is recognized both globally and nationally, though it still retains its national moniker in most publication throughout the United States. It takes place on the first Wednesday in June each year, allowing participants across the nation to strap on their running shoes and head outside. Celebrating the holiday is simple, all you have to do is run.

You can take part in this special day no matter where you are or who you choose to participate with. Some even choose to celebrate the day alone as they stick to their usual running routines or take the first step towards achieving their fitness goals.

The goal of National Running Day is to celebrate exercise and encourage individuals to get active. Regular exercise offers a wealth of benefits to your overall health, which means starting to run for just a short time a few days a week can have a major impact on your life. Those who are avid runners take this day to celebrate their achievements and look at how far they’ve come.

When Did This Day Start?

National Running Day began back in 2009 as publicly recognized holiday in the United States. Since then, it was adapted to Global Running Day in 2016 when over two million people from 177 countries took part in marathons. New York, Boston, and Atlanta have all made this day a part of their city calendar, as have dozens of other places across the nation.

There is also a Million Kid Run that takes place on the same day. It’s the child-friendly equivalent, aimed at getting kids active and showing them that fitness can be fun. This spin-off also started in 2016 with over 600,000 kids taking part in numerous events.

Ways to Celebrate

athletes running

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Celebrating National Running Day is simple, all you have to do is run! However, there are all sorts of ways you can accomplish this task.

For starters, you could begin a running regimen if you don’t have one already. Since this holiday is meant to encourage individuals to start exercising and stay healthy, now is the perfect time to start running every day. You don’t have to reach marathon distances off the bat, just running up and back down your street is an excellent start.

If you’re already an avid runner, then you might want to consider signing up for a marathon on this day. You could also find other runners in your area to join or see if there is a community event at a local park. On the other hand, you could simply stick with your exercise regimen and look back on the time you’ve spent improving your health.

Major Events and Activities

There are many events taking place around the country on this special day, some official and some not. Here are a few you can join in on to celebrate the joy of running.

Philadelphia Marathon

Philly hosts an annual marathon every 6th of June where hundreds of individuals turn up to challenge themselves and have a little fun. It’s called the Back on My Feet Treadmill Challenge, though there are no treadmills included and there are different ways to participate.

Runners can choose to do the full marathon, a half marathon, or a number of challenges like particular distances in certain amounts of time. It’s incredible to see so many individuals coming together to celebrate physical fitness and a sense of community.

My Run Plan

Runner’s World offers an intuitive training program called My Run Plan. It comes in the form of an app with adaptive algorithms and other neat aids to help you reach your running your goals. Since Runner’s World is all about running, they like to get people involved in National Running Day.

Using the hashtag #GlobalRunningDay, you can tag My Run Plan using Instagram so long as you take a photo of yourself or your friends getting active. There’s no prize incentive, but it’s exciting to see who else is running with you and keeping the hashtag trending.

Major City Events

Nearly every major city or state capital becomes the home for a running event on National Running Day. Check with your city council to find out what time the event takes place and where the run begins. These runs are often hosted by sports companies, which means there’s a chance you’ll receive cool gear for participating.

Gadgets to Help You Stay Active

There are numerous devices and apps out there to help you incorporate running into your lifestyle. Here are a couple popular options that you can start using on National Running Day.


This app is an excellent choice for beginners. It runs quietly in the background while it tracks the amount of time you spend being active. It’s simple to use and easy to understand the data it provides as feedback.

Human also motivates you to hit a daily marker, 30 minutes of exercise, with simple reminders. Even better, you can compare your fitness activity with others who use the app to make it a fun and challenging game.

Couch to 5k

This is another app that many who are just starting out enjoy. The app starts out slow-paced, gradually pushing you further as you build up to the ability to run a full 5k marathon. Each week becomes slightly harder but works in small enough increments to help you achieve your fitness goals.


This app is for the avid runner. It features a range of GPS related features to help track and map your runs, as well as a variety of metrics to help you stay on top of your performance. You’ll also be able to stack your metrics against others using the app and take advantage of its built-in safety feature, which alerts three contacts of your location during a run.


You don’t need a fancy Fitbit to track all of your running data. For a fraction of the cost, you can pick up an armband that securely holds your phone in place while you run. These devices are excellent in combination with any running app and also make it easier to wear earbuds while working out.

Fitness Trackers

If you do want the convenience of a wristband, there are multiple options on the market. Major names like Fitbit and Garmin remain popular choices, but there are dozens of companies that offer similar advantages without a hefty price tag. Moov, Misfit Ray, and Xiaomi are a few of the more popular brands out there.

Neat Facts

Did you know that running just twelve miles a week can boost your immune system? It’s true, and that isn’t the only thing that running can do for you. Here are a few neat facts surrounding this activity.


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  • Every year, over one billion running shoes are sold globally
  • Taking one step while running utilizes over 200 muscles
  • If you run for twelve to twenty minutes each week, you can increase your bone mineral density
  • Running outside as opposed to on a treadmill burns more calories due to air resistance
  • As you run, your ability to absorb oxygen is increased. That means a healthier brain
  • Runners have healthier skin overall, giving them a healthy glow
  • Some studies suggest that running might postpone the effects of aging
  • Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are all kept at bay by running just a few times each week
  • Running promotes the clotting of your blood, keeping you safer in the event of an injury
  • Regular exercise boosts your mood, which means running can help you handle stress, depression, and more
  • The more you weigh, the more calories you burn when running. A 140lb person burns 318 calories in 30 minutes, while a 180lb person burns 408.

The Joy of Running

man running at the finish line

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National Running Day is all about combining fitness with fun. Running is an excellent way to stay active and healthy no matter your age and a great chance to become part of a larger community. Whether you’re already running 5k marathons or making this holiday your first run, there’s never been a better time to enjoy this form of cardio.