In this Ultimate Running Guide for South Africa, we cover everything you need to know from what gear to suit your running style, how to prep and recover from a session, the best and safest routes in your area, and how you can use apps to give you a fitness advantage. Have fun on your next run while Secura takes care of your safety!
Grab the Right Gear to Suit Your Style
Having the right running gear will protect you from injury and ensure you are visible to drivers and pedestrians while running. When it comes to investing in gear, a great place to start is with your shoes. Running shoes are designed to support your feet properly and prevent injuries sustained during a session or over a longer period of time. Your chosen shoe should fit correctly and be manufactured according to your specific training intentions. You can use the following tips to ensure that you choose an appropriate running shoe:
Choose the Right Running Shoe by Pronation
Pronation refers to how your ankle and foot naturally roll while you walk or run. Look at the wear and tear of one of your well-worn shoes to determine your pronation and consider the associated shoe to suit:
- Basic Pronation: most wear and tear occurs centralized at the ball of the foot and heel – consider a neutral running shoe.
- Overpronation: most wear and tear occurs on the inner edge of the ball of the foot and heel – consider a stability running shoe or customized inserts.
- Supination: most wear and tear occurs on the outer edge of the ball of the foot and heel – consider a cushioned running shoe.
Choosing the Right Running Shoe by Size
- Try on running shoes towards the end of the day as feet swell throughout the day and while training. This will give you a more accurate fitting.
- Ensure that there is a thumbs width of space between the end of your toe and the end of the shoe. This will give room for swelling and prevent your toes from hitting the front of the shoe on downhill routes.
- You should not feel any pinching from the shoe when tied and your feet should not be able to slide easily inside of the shoe.
- Consider getting a shoe 0.5 sizes up if you have wider feet as these are designed to compensate for these fits.
Choosing the Right Running Shoe by Type
- Everyday/lightweight running shoes: light and flexible shoes with flat, smooth soles for road-running, track-running, or gyming.
- Trail-running shoes: greater ankle protection, grip, and stiff midsoles for even-running on rough terrain.
- Cushioned shoes: naturally padded and often include a patented cushion technology that absorbs shock for those who experience supination. Ideal for all exercise.
Besides your shoes, ensure that you wear lightweight clothing to stay cool, vibrant and reflective sports shirts for greater visibility and to avoid potential accidents, and a wearable panic button for safety when running in South Africa.
Prep and Recover the Right Way
Depending on the intensity of your running sessions, there are several preparation and recovery strategies to reduce the risk of injury as well as speed up muscle healing. The following tips will help you prepare and recover from your running in the right way:
- Stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Stretch for 10 – 15 minutes after a running session, using the stretches in this guide to promote recovery of tight muscles or tense areas.
- Take a 10-minute ice bath after an intensive run to promote muscular recovery.
- Take a warm, Epsom salts bath an hour before bed as this will help ease tension in the muscles that could trigger injury in the coming days.
Follow the Best Routes in Your Area
Your safety is our number one priority, and we have provided a list of the best routes that are known as lower-risk trails in South Africa. They are typically well-populated with other runners, giving you peace of mind that you are in like-minded company:
- Durban: Durban Beach Promenade
- Cape Town: Sea Point Promenade
- Joburg: PwC Bike Park
- Port Elizabeth: Sacramento Trail
There are plenty of great trail routes around the country. Be sure to check in with your local community Facebook group about the safest places to get your next run in!
We also advise notifying a close friend or family member of your live location via WhatsApp while running so that someone is aware of where you are at all times. This is a small but significant safety tip to consider regardless of where you run.
Use Apps to Your Advantage
The following apps could help you level up your running in South Africa, no matter your goals or intentions:
MyFitnessPal – Goals
Monitor your health and wellness, map out your fitness goals, and achieve them in no time as you plan your diet around your running activities and track your calorie-burning efforts with MyFitnessPal.
Strava – Community
Connect with the Strava running community in your area, track your progress, and improve your fitness as you follow stunning routes mapped out via the app.
Secura – Safety
Choose the right gear, prep and recover the right way, follow the best routes in South Africa, and use apps to your advantage! This Ultimate Running Guide for South Africa lets you put your best foot forward as you take care of your fitness while Secura takes care of your safety.