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Where To Put Your Phone While Running (Carrying A Cell Phone)

Running with a phone is essential for nearly all runners. You can use it to track your miles and it’s vital in emergencies. But where to put your phone while running? Set off running with your cell phone in your hand and it quickly starts to feel heavy and inconvenient.

When you need to carry your phone while running it can take some trial and error to find a good method. There are different ways to carry your phone and how to run with your phone will depend on your tolerance of its weight and the size of your phone.

Here are some options to run with your phone including the best options and pitfalls you need to avoid.

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how to carry your phone while running

How To Carry Your Phone While Running – The Best Options

A phone is quite a big heavy object. Even with the best running style, that phone is going to bounce around unless it’s secured properly. The last thing you want is your expensive phone bouncing out of your pocket and hitting the pavement.

So it’s worth investing in ways to carry your phone while running that will keep your phone secure. These options don’t have to be expensive but spending a little money is better than paying to replace a cracked screen.

ways to carry phone while running

1. In Your Shorts Pocket

A phone pocket in your running shorts can be a great solution for running with your phone if you find a pair of shorts you love with a secure pocket.

Make sure you avoid garments with just an open stash side pocket. It may be easy to access, but there’s a lot of up-and-down movement when you run and you don’t want your phone falling out.

Look for shorts with secure zippered pockets or at least stash pockets with snug elasticated fabric. Phones keep getting bigger – so make sure your phone will fit!

I’m a fan of these Baleaf Shorts. There’s also a men’s range with phone pockets and a cute running skort.

BALEAF Women's 5" Running Shorts with Liner Quick Dry High Waisted Athletic Gym Lined Shorts Workout Zipper Pocket Black Size M

Baleaf Women’s Running Shorts With Phone Pocket

I like the way these shorts have a zippered pocket in the waist for your phone – it doesn’t bounce around as much. There’s also lots of leg cover if you don’t want your shorts to be too revealing!

Just make sure the built-in pocket is big enough for your phone. I love these CRZ YOGA shorts but the 4″ pocket won’t fit many phones

CRZ YOGA High Waisted Running Shorts for Women - 2.5'' Liner Gym Athletic Workout Shorts with Zip Pockets Breathable Magenta Purple Large

Crz Yoga Women’s Running Shorts

The pitfalls with keeping your phone in your running shorts are;

  • It can still get sweaty,
  • You can’t see the screen when you run,
  • Your most comfy shorts may not have a phone pocket!

Now personally, I’d rather have my phone stashed out of sight – otherwise, it’s too distracting. Yet Strava fans may disagree and, of course, phones are handy for navigation when you’re following a new route.

So my next option is…

2. Strapped To Your Arm

This option works for a lot of runners with quick access to your phone as you run. There’s a huge range available and the ones that swivel on your arm are really neat! (If not even more distracting!)

VUP Running Armband 360°Rotatable for iPhone 15/14/13/Pro Max/Pro/Mini/12/11/SE/Xs/XR/X/8/7/Plus, Fits All 4-6.7 Inch Smartphones, with Key Holder Phone Armband for Running Hiking Biking (Black)

I like the way this option is sweat-resistant and sits securely on your arm with adjustable straps.

If strapping your phone to your arm works for you – go with it. I find I start to really notice the weight on longer runs. Maybe I just have puny arms – but you do feel a little unbalanced!

3. Opt For The Handheld Device

Yeah, but didn’t you say this wasn’t a good idea?

It isn’t unless you have one of these

Nathan SpeedView Flask, Handheld Water Bottle & Phone Case Holder, Insulated for Running & Walking, 18oz

Nathan Speedview Flask

The case includes a strap that lets you hold your phone without gripping it. It means your hand doesn’t tire so easily or your shoulder clenches up as you run.

It’s a great solution but I would only use it for shorter runs or you’re still risking shoulder problems. You can also get versions without the handheld water bottle but this Nathan one really wraps securely around your hand.

hydration vests are a great way to run with your phone
Hydration vests are an excellent way to run with your phone – great for trail runs!

4. In Your Race Vest

Now, this option is getting more pricey, but a race vest or hydration pack is just the best way to carry stuff when you’re running. Especially on long runs. I love a good race vest…

You can get some really lightweight race vests, ones you barely know you’re wearing. They’re the best option when you need to take water with you for running on a hot day.

Salomon Sense Pro 5 Set Vest - Women's Black, M

Salomon Sense Pro 5L Hydration Vest

This one’s my all-time favorite. Super lightweight – you won’t know you’re wearing it! If you can get it for less than $159 snap it up!

I know it’s not a cheap option but it’s a good investment for trail running or summer marathons – and a lush way of carrying your phone!

5. In A Hip Running Belt

Carrying your phone in a running belt, out of sight, is one of the most comfortable ways to carry a phone. I find I can just get on with running with no distractions. Plus it’s a great way to carry other small items such as your house keys or a gel.

There are many options for running waist belts but the Flip Belt comes out top. It’s one of the best pieces of running gear you can buy for carrying your phone securely as you run! Watch out for inferior imitations.

Slide your phone, keys, and anything you want to keep secure, into the discreet openings and the close-fitting stretchy fabric keeps everything firmly in place. There’s a key fob for extra security.

The Flip Belt sits neatly around your waist with no bounce. It’s quick and easy to reach your phone but it won’t slip out. I find it’s lightweight and bounce-free. In wet weather, I just tuck the belt under my waterproof jacket to keep everything dry.

How Not To Run With Your Phone – Options To Avoid

1. Don’t Run Holding Your Phone

You could just hold your phone in your hand as you run, but your arm muscles will get tired and you won’t be able to run efficiently. Clenching something tightly in one hand for several miles can set off all sorts of muscle imbalances causing injuries in your hips, knees, and shoulders.

2. Don’t Stuff Your Phone In Your Waistband

Find a way of stashing your phone safely. Just stuffing it in the waistband of your shorts isn’t the answer. It can easily fall out and get damaged! Find a more secure way.

3. Don’t Stuff It In Your Sports Bra

If you’ve ever tried this you’ll quickly realize why it’s such a bad idea. It’s so uncomfortable jamming your phone in the front of your bra and it will bounce about as you run.

But I was excited to find sports bras with pockets. These pockets are at the back of the bra and as long as you’re flexible you can reach up over your shoulder to access your phone.

There is a pitfall. The problem, as any female runner will tell you, is it can take years to find the perfect running bra. There just isn’t a “one bra suits all” solution. So if a sports bra with a pocket fits and provides the support you need for running that’s terrific. But often it’s best to find a good high-impact running bra for your shape and find some other way of stashing your phone!

Choosing Your Running Phone Holder

How you carry your phone comes down to personal preference. Try out a few different ways until you find out what works best.

To help you make the right choice (for you) quickly instead of wasting money on lots of different options, here are a few things to think about:

Do you check your phone a lot when running?

Make sure your choice has easy access. A phone armband could work for shorter runs or a phone holder running vest works for men.

Do you run long distances or trail run?

A race vest is the best investment. They’re pricey but you can also carry your hydration solution and safety equipment such as a rain jacket. Your phone can be easily accessible in a front pocket – ready in case you need it for navigation.

Need a low-cost solution for running with your phone?

Go for the FlipBelt. This simple solution works in all situations and your phone is safely stashed away – out of sight and out of mind. Running is your downtime – ignore those work calls!

Why You Should Be Running With Your Phone

Confession: I do sometimes run with just my watch. It’s a smartwatch and tracks everything I need to know about my run such as running pace and distance.

Leaving my phone at home keeps it secure but that’s no good if I have an emergency. These are some of the good reasons for running with your phone:

  • You can use it to get help. Even running on roads you can run into difficulties. You might develop an injury or run out of energy. On the trails, the consequences of running without a phone could be serious.
  • It helps you feel safer when running on your own.
  • You might have a bad day and find yourself stuck in a downpour or running on tired legs – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve called for a lift halfway around a long run.
  • It may help if you get lost. Don’t rely on your phone for navigation but its GPS does help to get you back on the right route.
  • Without a phone, you can’t take any photos!

Carrying your phone at all times is a good habit to get into. You never know when you may need it and the photos you stop and take will create rich memories.

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