Life is all about making an impact. Making things better, making ourselves better and the lives of those with whom we are connected. It’s to forge enduring values, affect lives and to aspire to goals that connect us as individuals and groups to our immediate world.
If you’re an athlete or fitness enthusiast, you will likely be familiar with the fact that Under Armour is all about just this. So much more than a high-performance sports apparel company, Under Armour occupies an unprecedented edge in the fitness world, having transformed into the world’s largest digital fitness brand whose universal values are an unwavering expression of how they work to make all athletes better.
Not one to do things by halves, Under Armour have made it their mission to inspire us with lasting mindsets and “performance solutions we never knew we needed”, and this year is no exception. Beneath the sweat-wicking tech-performance gear, the premise is simple yet compelling when it comes to the athlete in us, however seasoned. For Under Armour recognises the immeasurable physical and mental benefits of running – even if it is just a mile a day. In fact, such is their steadfast dedication “to make all athletes better through passion, design and the relentless pursuit of innovation”, they are now paying tribute to one of the most revered running events of the world – the mile.
Whether you are a seasoned runner accustomed to 5ks and 10ks, or just starting out, the mystical mile is that ultimate, accessible fitness distance for everybody – regardless of age or ability. Yes, embracing the mile demands focused training and preparation to ensure a personal best is achieved, yet in being at the shorter end of the endurance scale, it allows you to set new goals and challenge yourself more frequently without beating up your legs, compared with the time, commitment and recovery involved with longer distances. Which is why Under Armour has introduced The Under Armour All Out Mile – the ultimate challenge to set your benchmark mile and improve your time, bolstered with training plans and insider tips provided by Under Armour’s professional athletes, coaches and Human Performance experts.
It’s simple – from May 1 to May 31, you set your mile bar and you train, taking advantage of UA’s stable of weekly training plans and video tips. Then from June 1 to June 5, it’s time to pull out all the stops for the UA All Out Mile competition period, aka your opportunity to blitz your mile personal record or “PR”, which you are more than welcome to try more than once. In registering for the All Out Mile challenge at http://uaalloutmile.com/, which opened on April 20, you can automatically track all your runs by linking your UA MapMyRun account on FitRankings. Once you have completed your best UA All Out Mile, your results are automatically pulled from UA MapMyRun to appear on the FitRankings leaderboard, so you can see how your efforts have stacked up against other runners going all out around the globe.
If anything, this accessible “from inspiration to perspiration” challenge serves as motivation for thousands of runners around the globe to uphold their fitness routines by setting and achieving their goals in the company of other like-minded fitness enthusiasts whose training and routines have also been challenged by the pandemic.
Occupying both the live and virtual spheres, the Under Armour All Out Mile challenge connects runners of all levels and highlights their unique stories from around the world, as they smash their personal bests. Logging your Mile results means you can compare your efforts with your immediate running buddies as well as those in your region, New Zealand being in the company of Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, with cash and product prizes on offer for personal glory across the fastest female and male milers in your region.
Core to Under Armour’s commitment to helping the fitness enthusiast in all of us be better, stronger and more focussed, is their belief that sports are critical to youth development, it being on lost on them that a marked 78 percent of low-income children won’t experience the sort of joy and empowerment kids experience while playing sports and being a part of a team. This has led to Under Armour pledging to award the top participating team in the “Most Milers” UA AOM competition with a monetary donation of USD $10,000 back to a charity of their choosing that champions access and opportunity for all young athletes.
There you have it. The perfect distance to make an impact – to get better and do good while you are at it. Just long enough to burgeon a sense of accomplishment while short enough to keep you fully optimised for training the next day. It’s a mindset. And before you know it, that certain something you can’t imagine living without.
· April 22: Registration opens
· May 1 – May 31: Set your benchmark time and train
· June 1 – June 5: UA ALL OUT MILE Week