Commonwealth Games kit roundup: the gear you need to train like the pros

 Shoes to sunglasses

Being motivated to go for a run can be a struggle in itself, never mind the actual run if your form is lumpy. Give yourself a much needed lift with a watch that will dial into your performance, and accessories that allow you to concentrate on the road ahead.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music fitness watch

Metrics at your fingertips and tunes to match

Weight: 42.2g | Water rating: 5 ATM | Connectivity: GPS; GLONASS; Bluetooth; ANT+

Tracks tons of sports
Will last for a week in passive mode
Need a chest strap for some metrics
No Spotify compatibility (yet)

Garmin’s upped its game with the 645. Onboard storage now squashes in 500 songs in mp3 format, and you can also download tracks and playlists from iHeartRadio and Deezer (with plans to expand to other services). Music aside, the Forerunner 645 can offer incredible feedback on your pacing, form and fitness. An optical heart rate monitor measures the pulse at your wrist, and when paired with your smartphone you can view notifications.

Read the full Garmin Forerunner 645 Music review

Jaybird X3 headphones

Sports headphones for the everyday runner

Battery life: 8 hours active, 200 standby | Weight: 17.9g | Width: 28.02mm | Height: 27.69mm | Depth: 13.42mm

Great sound
Durable and compact
Proprietary charging dock
Signal sometimes cuts out

Whether you play your music off your wrist (see the Garmin 645 watch above) or from your pocket (see the Xperia XZ1 Compact below), a good pair of sport-specific wireless earbuds can turn a good run into a great one. The X3 features a hook that rotates into the upper part of your ear, locking 'buds into place. The set's slim profile and eight-hour battery life puts it above most other 'buds in the same price range, and they produce great sound, too.

Read the full Jaybird X3 review

Oakley EVZero Path sunglasses

Frameless lenses so you can see for miles

Weight: 22g | Lens size: 50mm | Filitering: 100% of all UVA, UVB, UVC and blue light up to 400nm

No frame, no distractions
Super lightweight
Can’t change lenses

No, your wayfarers won’t cut it when you’re going for a run. Grab a pair of lightweight and streamlined sunglasses that are perfect for running on the road (and will happily double up for the bike, too). Oakley’s EVZero shades ditch the frame to give your eyes maximum peripheral vision, and they weigh a waif-like 22g to make them extra comfortable. You get a choice of lenses, with each tuned for different light conditions.

Adidas UltraBoost running shoes

Cushioned for comfort

Weight: 302g | Drop: 10mm | Material: : thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)

Durable foam
Tight fit for wide feet
Needs better ventilation

The UltraBoost series is famed for its cushioned yet responsive ride, and the ‘boost’ part of the name comes from that foamy cushioning and the upward curled toe. One solid knitted panel keeps the front of your foot in order, and also reduces unnecessary friction. Less friction equals fewer blisters, and fewer blisters means more time training. They’re also remarkably durable, and you can expect to get about 600 kilometres of use (that’s a lot). 

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact

Lose the bulk for a pocket-friendly phone

Screen size: 4.6” | Resolution: 720p | Weight: 140g | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 2,700 mAh

Impeccable performance
Small form factor
Only 32GB of storage
No wireless charging

Until the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is released, Sony’s 4.6” phone is your best running buddy. It’s waterproof, will stream Spotify, the maps will get you out of trouble if you get lost, and it’s perfect for uploading your training results through fitness app Strava. Forget lugging around a big handset; whether you like to strap your phone to your arm or wedge it in a pocket or running belt, the XZ1 Compact strikes the right balance between weight and form.

Read the full Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact review

Paul Taylor is chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub SME Leaders Steering Group and and Cybersecurity Partner at KPMG.