Have An (H)Appy Run

Digital tools to make training for the 2021 virtual edition of the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon easier and fun.  

By Chris Ong        28 September 2021

Running shoes? Check. Running apparel? Bought. Now, what to do next to prep for the 2021 SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon?

Try downloading some apps. There are loads of benefits from using digital tech via free applications created to assist in building up your fitness, health and all the bits, bobs and bytes of your physical and sports leisure activities.

Here are 4 to install (plus some accompanying devices to buy) to help you make the most out of your training for, and also during, the 4-week event period in November.

All apps are available on the Google Play store and App Store.


The app for everyone: Runkeeper

A popular fave of runners both new and experienced, this GPS fitness-tracking OG (launched in 2008 and acquired by running gear specialists, ASICS, in 2016) is a relatively easy-to-use, comprehensive app.

Runkeeper helps to take note of all the essential stuff you need to know for training and upping your performance. For instance, tracking and monitoring your route distance, running pace, calories burned, total exercise time and other metrics, with audio updates delivered accurately and in real time.

The app also provides handy training plan workouts, helps find and map running routes in your surroundings, integrates and syncs well with other fitness apps and devices, and even offers gamified in-app challenges to help make you move it.

The best thing for all-rounders? It’s also useful for logging all of your other fitness activities such as biking, brisk walking and even yoga, all one platform.


The app for the #win: Strava

One very good reason why this is an app to try? It allows for automatic submission of your running records for the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon.

But, in all honesty, Strava is one of the top running GPS-enabled apps to download right now if you love the competition-based or social elements of racing. Aside from the usual suite of features (tracking distance, speed, elevation, calories burned, and so on), it also offers a trail network where you can record and share your favourite route with others in the general running community or your best jogging buds.

Need a little more competitive motivation? You can use the app to join up with like-minded athletes in clubs and teams to compare performances in a friendly manner and even set up group challenges to test each other’s limits.


The app for (Garmin) brand loyalists: Garmin Connect

Here’s another app you that you can use to automatically submit your running records for the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon.

Best paired with a compatible Garmin device, this app is packed with more than enough features to aid you in besting your training timings. What you can do with it: Create customised workouts and courses, analyse your physical activities and pertinent data, review personal records for distance and pacing, and sync easily with other popular fitness-related apps such as MyFitnessPal and the aforementioned Strava.

And, don’t worry; there are more than enough Garmin products out there for you to choose from so that you can optimise all the features of the Garmin Connect app.


The app for music lovers: Spotify

We’re quite sure we don’t need to tell you all about Spotify – it is the must-have music streaming app.

Instead, let’s list out some general reasons why listening to your favourite songs on your training runs might help you with hitting your stride. Depending on your purpose, music can: help you get into the “zone”, relax and calm you for your casual evening jogs, boost your speed and ramp up your pace, or just provide some “entertaining” distraction so you don’t get too bored of your usual routine.

Even if music isn’t your mood-maker, you can also choose to tune into the many podcasts available on Spotify if you want to maximise your time physically and “informationally” while hitting the scenic route.


Extra read: The apt app devices to get

Need more help? Here are our suggestions on the devices that you can purchase to go along and pair with the aforementioned apps.


For Runkeeper and Strava:

Fitbit Charge 4 Special Edition Granite Reflective Woven/Black Fitness Tracker, $218; and

Fitbit Ace 3 in Cosmic Blue/Green, $118  

If you are in it to win, then you need to be packing the right kind of heat. The Fitbit Charge 4 will show just how serious you are, what with its all-business sleek black looks and its own rich suite of health- and fitness-related features (think oxygen saturation monitoring, skin temperature tracking, sleep tracking and scoring, and all that jazz).

Or, if you need a device for your younger loved ones joining in the Families for Life 10km Challenge category of the virtual run, you can purchase the Fitbit Ace 3 that comes with easy-to-use friendly functions for the aspiring athletes in the family.



For Garmin: Garmin Forerunner 55 Smartwatch, $299

If you aren’t sure in investing in a Garmin product, then try one of the brand’s most dependable wearables,

This GPS smartwatch is made for runners of all skill levels: it helps to track distance and pace, suggest runs tailored for you through its PacePro technology, and builds your personal activity profile and schedule via its built-in recovery advisor, race predictor and coaching tools features.


The featured Fitbit and Garmin devices are available from Courts stores, multiple locations, www.courts.com.sg; www.instagram.com/courtssg

BONUS: SAFRA members get to enjoy up to 50% off selected products at Courts retail stores. Click here for more information.


For Spotify: Sony EXTRA BASS Wireless In Ear Headphones for Sports, $79

Want something affordable just for your training runs? Then the Sony ones with IPX5-grade splash and sweat resistance, a lightweight neckband (so you won’t lose them if the ear pieces pop out during more vigorous strides) and EXTRA BASS tech (to help push you through the last lap with some extra sonic punch) should be your wallet-friendly buy.

The Sony EXTRA BASS Wireless In Ear Headphones for Sports are available at Sony brand stockists and stores, multiple locations, www.sony.com.sg; www.facebook.com/SonySingapore; www.instagram.com/sonysingapore


BONUS: SAFRA members get to enjoy up to 35% off selected TVs, cameras, personal audio soundbars and wireless speakers at Sony. Click here for more information.