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Six reasons your smartphone is your best running partner

When you’re in the mood to run, the first thing you grab may not be your pair of running shoes or your water bottle — it’s your smartphone. Why? Because it’s the most convenient tool for runners, whether you’re hitting the trail by yourself or joining a partner.

Keep Track of Your Miles

Image via Flickr by blachswan

Whether you’re training for a marathon or simply trying to stay in shape, you’ll want to know how many miles you run every session. It’s easy to track mileage on the iPhone 7 with a running app, especially on T-Mobile’s fast network, where you can use GPS not only to tell you how many miles you’ve covered, but also the route you’re taking and other important information. The iPhone’s large Retina display and long battery life make it the perfect running companion. Most smartphone’s are easy to carry and can fit into a small running backpack if necessary when performing extremely long runs.

Some apps, such as the free Map My Run from the Apple store, also offer graphs and data to show how your workouts change over weeks and months. If you’re training for a specific goal, these features can keep you on track and help you stay motivated.

Map Out Your Route

Use your smartphone to map out the best route for tomorrow’s run. Maybe you want to explore a new part of the city, or perhaps you’re curious about alternate routes in your neighborhood for variety. Go to Maps on your smartphone, then enter a starting and ending point. You’ll see route variations pop up on the screen.

You can also use your smartphone to check in with other runners in your area. Go online to find message boards and social media platforms where runners share their favorite routes.

Call For Help

When you’re running long distances, you don’t want to put your safety in jeopardy. If you fall and hurt yourself, for instance, limping back home can worsen your injury. Use your smartphone to call for help, whether you dial 911 in a true crisis or simply call a friend to pick you up after you twist your ankle.

Connect With Other Running Tools

Many smart running tools can connect to your smartphone via an app. For instance, smart running shoes automatically track your miles and provide data about your technique. They typically use sensors that are embedded in your shoes’ soles. The sensors communicate with your smartphone so you can check your performance even while you’re running.

Look for water-resistant smart shoes that are built specifically for running and jogging. Battery life can vary significantly, so consider how long you run on a daily basis. If you’re training for a marathon, for instance, you’ll want a pair of smart shoes that can transmit data for eight hours or more.

Check Your Vitals

When you’re running, you want to carry as few items as possible. Your smartphone can double as a heart rate monitor, so you don’t have to add any more weight to your body. Simply download a heart rate or fitness app, then follow the instructions to check your heart rate before, during, and after your run. You’ll usually put your index finger on the camera’s lens for several seconds to register your heart rate.

The best apps track your target heart rate and help you stay within healthy zones. Some also help you build a workout around your chosen sport, such as running, and let you make notes in the app about your performance.

Listen to Tunes

Running can prove dull, especially if you’re cruising down an urban street instead of a wooded trail. Music not only distracts you from discomfort and keeps you entertained during a run, but it can also help you keep a steady pace. Choose upbeat music with a fast tempo to motivate you through the workout. You can also listen to other audio on your smartphone, such as the latest episode of your favorite podcast.

Clearly, your best running partner is the device that you carry with you everywhere you go. Make sure you have a smartphone you can trust to help you reach your fitness goals and stay in shape.

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