6 Ways I’ve Tried Running with My Phone
May 28, 2022
I pretty much always run with my phone. Initially it was for training plans, or tracking my runs, listening to music; and being able to stay in touch.
As I’ve upgraded my watch though most of those reasons have gone away, with the exception of staying in touch.
Do I really need to be contact-able every moment of the day? Not really, but my wife and I run a business and I want to be available if something urgent comes up, as well over the last few years we both had elderly parents and I didn’t want to be unreachable if something should happen.
Also its got my camera, and do runs even count if you don’t have a picture? And those sunrises and sunsets …
Here’s the 6 methods of running with my phone I’ve tried (so far):
QuadLock on Arm
Before I started running, I was cycling, and I had already discovered QuadLock and had the mount on my bike and the case on my phone. It was a no-brainer to get the QuadLock arm-band for running.
I’m a big fan of QuadLock, – I think I’m on my third case now, getting new ones as I’ve upgraded phones – but I have tried some different solutions as well.
I do find that if I am wearing a sleeveless shirt – a tank top/singlet/that type of thing – the band can irritate my side-chest (?) just below the armpit where it can rub, and sometimes its nice to have free arms.
In the late fall/winter its easy. I wear a windbreaker with pockets and don’t bother with the armband. I was worried at first about the phone bouncing around in my pocket, but my jacket has a strap in the pocket that holds it for the most part still (that strap turns into a handle – the whole jacket turns inside out and packs into the pocket. It’s super convenient. More on this in my winter running blog).
QuadLock on Belt
Last summer as I was stripping down to the tank top (I run hot), the first alternative I tried was just taking the QuadLock connection off of the armband and attaching it to my running belt. It’s got kind a slide-through type connection and so its easy enough to do.
This worked ok for a little while – however it started pulling the belt down (I guess phones aren’t that light), and I found myself pulling the straps ever tighter until I eventually just tied a knot in the front. Even that wasn’t working out so well and it started driving me a little bit nuts. I don’t have a picture of this one.
The next option I tried was a running/hydration vest. This actually worked out quite well. I picked up an Nspire hydration vest at the Running Room. It was under $100 and has a couple of pockets on the front that are the perfect size for a phone, keys, gel paks, and a few other things.
Beside the space at the back there are also a couple of pockets there, where I stuffed in my windbreaker (for just in case), a headband (cheesy I know, but they keep the rain out of my eyes when it rains), and a couple of other things (often other peoples keys).
I actually wore this a lot last summer. I hardly feel any weight when its born by my shoulders that way. I mostly I removed the hydration bag – the sloshing back and forth got on my nerves – but as a way to carry stuff its excellent.
In terms of extra heat its not bad. Most of the of the padding is vented and because my arms were totally free I found that helped in keeping my cool a bit. Granted though, it could be pretty moist by the end of a run.
Running Shorts with Pocket
This spring I thought to try something new and ordered a pair of shorts that has a pocket on the inside for carrying the phone. I’ve been seeing ads for these for ages and was curious to try them out.
Super convenient, but they didn’t really work for me. I don’t know if its because I ordered a cheap pair from Ali Express, but the main issue I found was that the weight of the phone felt like it was slowly pulling my pants down and so I was adjusting them every few minutes.
Additionally, there wasn’t really room for me to wear underwear under the shorts – the lining is like a built in underwear, and I prefer to have something separate. For long runs in particularl I have a few pairs of that super slippery running underwear, which helps keep the chafing down (that and a bit of nut butter).
Slim Running Belt
This spring in Vancouver I picked up a “HIP Stylish Running Belt” from Seven Blu – its like a waistband with a couple of pockets in it where I can easily put my keys, glasses, and a couple of other things.
I wore the Quadlock armband during the Vancouver race, but when I got back I tried putting my phone in the belt as well, but again faced the issue of feeling like it was being pulled down and wanting to adjust it all the time.
I quite like the belt – without the phone though its fine, and it ends up under my shirt so isn’t very visible at all. Lately I’ve been wearing it in combination with the armband for the phone.
So for now I’m back to QuadLock for my phone. I think I’ll probably switch to the vest again in the near future, but I’m always on the lookout for new ways to carry my stuff, with the least possible amount of irritation.
What do you use? Have you tried anything different? Let me know in the comments.
Mid August Update
I used the hydration vest for a few runs, but I’m mostly running with the belt and the quadlock on my arm. I’m just liking the freedom of it more.
I also haven’t been running as long or in the trails much (had covid in July and it through my running way off), so carrying water really isn’t a concern. I have a little squishy cup that I got as swag from a 5 Peaks run that easily fits in my belt, and there are enough fountains around that I’ve been able to get water pretty much as often as I need.
Back to the jacket pocket.