Fitness aids: Walk? Run? Jog?

How to improve your personal best — even if your best is that you haven't started yet.

Track your heart rate
Advanced devices like the Polar RS800SD, which comes with a sensor to clip onto your laces, monitor heart-rate information as well as speed, distance, cadence, ascent and descent data, average stride length, and even barometric altitude, to measure your performance and recovery time. $540

Stay hydrated
Carrying water bottles at your waist is a necessary encumbrance for long runs, but some serious endurance runners prefer to strap it between their shoulder blades. CamelBak’s Velocity backpack has a 2.1 litre insulated reservoir and mesh panelling for ventilation. $90

Keep time
The Nike+ Sport Kit uses a wireless sensor disc placed under your insole to transmit information about your time, distance and pace to your iPod display (you’ll need an adapter for non-Nike+ footwear). After the run, sync your data to Nike’s website to track your progress and set goals. $39

Lose the wire
There’s nothing more irritating than ill-fitting headphones. Neck-band styles like Sennheiser’s rugged and ergonomic PMX 80 Sport II get the cord out of the way, and are made with sweat- and water-resistant materials. A reflective strip provides additional visibility. $60

Step to it
The latest iteration of the world’s most popular digital music player, the iPod Nano, features a pedometer with a built-in accelerometer. It counts your steps everywhere you go, even between runs, and calculates your calorie burn. $169 for 8 GB.

Freshen up
Silver-woven fabrics not only keep you dryer, they’ll keep your running gear from smelling. The Running Room’s lightweight Silver jersey line wicks away moisture, and is pre-treated with silver to neutralize odour-causing bacteria. T-shirt, $50

Boost your energy
Twenty minutes before heading out, drink a scoop of Vega Sport performance optimizer dissolved in water. Formulated by Canadian pro Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier, this organic, plant-based beverage is designed to increase endurance, replenish electrolytes and reduce pain and inflammation. It’s also free of gluten, dairy and soy. $50 for 30 servings

Support yourself
Nothing is more important that a well-fitting, supportive pair of runners. In the race to produce the lightest shoe, Nike took the lead this year with its new Lunar+Glide, a daily distance trainer made for stability and cushioning. $150