Gear Patrol (6-7-2020)

The beauty of running is that you don’t need fancy gear to do it: just a good pair of running sneakers, maybe some headphones and you’re off. But we live in an era where we can’t part from our phones, even on the run — how else can you track your mileage, navigate unfamiliar running paths or snap a good run selfie? Even purists often carry their phones in case of an emergency.

If you’re going to bring your phone though, the worst thing you can do is hold it in your hand. There are two reasons. For one, proper running form calls for loose, relaxed hands and clenching a phone in your fist wastes energy. Secondly, holding the extra weight on one side of your body (yes, even just a few ounces!) is a recipe for imbalances and asymmetries that could lead to injuries.

So where do you put it? Fortunately, the more reliant we become on our devices, the more products pop up to help us deal. Rather than sift through hundreds of those items, we tapped expert runners who shared what they do with their phones when they’re out putting in miles.

The Original SPIbelt

“For me, it comes down to not having anything bouncing around my waist that affects my gait,” says Matt Nolan, a master instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp in New York City and RRCA-certified run coach. As light as phones are now, having one slapping your lower back or the top of your legs can be distracting and prohibit you from running naturally, which opens you up to injury. “I swear by the Spibelt — it’s the best because it’s super stretchy and can fit any size phone, keys, cash and cards while having loops for gels and being tight enough that it won’t bounce around as you run.” Made from stretchable Spandex and comfortable elastic waistbands, Spibelts are a staple at any race expo, are totally affordable, and come in various sizes depending on what kind of phone you’re toting.

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