Unlike skiing or surfing, running is one of those sports we do more than just a few times a year. For many, it’s part of a daily routine. Many people like to track their runs using various apps, but wearing a GoPro on your running route can also be a nice way of capturing your progress. In this tutorial we’ll share our top GoPro running tips to help you create professional quality videos. Plus, we’ll share our advice for the best GoPro mounts for running and which camera settings to use.
Why would you want to GoPro your run? For me, I like to create a timelapse when I run a really long route to show the journey I have been on. Starting and ending it at my front door creates a nice sense of the distance travelled.
When I run my regular route closer to home, sometimes I like to take photos to capture my local area in different seasons of the year.
There’s also a safety element to running with a GoPro. Where I live in the countryside, my running route involves traversing narrow country lanes. Over the years I’ve had some close encounters with cars. Wearing a GoPro on your run gives you visual evidence should you unfortunately need it.
But for this tutorial we’ll focus on the creative reasons to GoPro your runs!
What GoPro for running?
In theory you could use any GoPro camera for running. The common mount and variety of accessories means that you could choose any GoPro camera to film your run. However, the best GoPro camera for running would be anything from the current Hero9 Black going back to the GoPro Hero5 Black.
These GoPro cameras are all waterproof, so should the heavens open up during your run, or should you fall in a creek, you don’t need to worry about your camera getting wet. Early GoPro cameras up to the Hero4 Black were not waterproof.
What’s more, the GoPro Hero8 Black and GoPro Hero9 Black both have built-in HyperSmooth 2.0 stabilisation. GoPro’s HyperSmooth electronic image stabilisation technology is so good it eliminates the need for a gimbal, even when running.
Have a look below at how good it is. This is a test I shot on the GoPro Max. I ran the same stretch of rocky terrain with the Max mounted to my head. On the left, HyperSmooth and Horizon Levelling are turned off. On the right, they’re turned on. Just look at that difference.
Which GoPro mount to use for running?
A chest mount is one of the best GoPro mounts to use when running. It’s a little less conspicuous than a head mount, and it keeps the camera centred and fairly stable. You get a nice, nearly eye-level view of the landscape, and when running it will also capture your arms in the frame for a better sense of that first person view.
When using a chest mount to GoPro your run, make sure it’s fastened tight. You can get a lot of side to side movement with your strides, and your GoPro can also slide down your chest if not tight enough. It’s worth doing a practice lap to see how it holds up.
A head mount might be better for keeping your GoPro stable, but of course people will look at you strangely! However, if your GoPro has HyperSmooth stabilisation, you don’t need to worry too much about shaky video. With a head mount, you won’t get the camera angle tipping down like it can with a chest mount.
A selfie stick can also be nice for shorter runs because it keeps you in the frame; however, you have to carry it the entire time. Another option is to strap the GoPro to your upper arm.
How to set up your GoPro to film your run
One of the great features about GoPro cameras is their voice control. This is very handy on a run. You can tell it, “GoPro, start recording,” and then “GoPro, stop recording,” without needing to fiddle with the camera. It also means you can eschew the GoPro Quik app leave your phone at home during your run. But if you’re not going to control the GoPro remotely via your phone, you’ll need to set it up beforehand.
GoPro cameras are fairly simple to use and have a straightforward menu and controls. I set my lens to the Wide or Superview options, in order to get more environmental context. With the camera mounted against your chest, you want that wider view so that your shirt and shoulders aren’t filling the edges of the frame.
Set the GoPro’s lens to wide-angle to give a wider view of your environment. This will also include your arms in the frame as you jog, providing context. Also, the wider angle should help reduce the bouncing.
Best GoPro settings for running videos
If I’m filming a video of my run on my Gopro, I go to Video mode and use these settings:
- Full HD at 60fps
- Lens at Wide or SuperView
- HyperSmooth at Maximum (this applies a tight crop, but makes your footage very stable)
- Duration – No Limit
- 2x Slo-Mo enabled
I don’t need large 4K files of my runs, so choose to film in HD, which is big enough for my purposes. Enabling HyperSmooth is really a must here, and I like the slow motion option for editing.
You can also fine tune your exposure within the ProTune menu. Here you’ll have options to adjust the bit rate, shutter, exposure compensation, white balance, ISO, even the colour and audio. A handy option here for when you GoPro running is to enable the wind noise reduction.
Best GoPro settings to make a timelapse of your run
I like to make a timelapse of some of my longer runs to show where I’ve been. These are the settings I use:
- Full HD resolution
- Lens at Wide or SuperView
- Compiled as a video (some GoPro cameras will also provide you with a folder of all the images)
- Interval at 1sec or 0.5sec
- Duration – No Limit
Again, you have access to the ProTune tools here and can fine-tune your exposure for the conditions you’re running in.