Train Smarter...Not Harder!

Train Smarter...Not Harder!

Apr 19, '19

The 8 most popular (and some not so smart) ways to carry your phone on your next run - which one's best? (Spoiler alert: it's eco-friendly!)

In this continuing series of “Train Smarter… Not Harder” articles, we’ll explore simple “steps” we runners can take that can translate into big “strides” in performance.  While every runner is always mining for that performance enhancing “gold nugget,” we’ll start this series with a basic “pick-and-shovel” approach.

While the latest gold-rush of real-time, smart technology running applications promise tremendous performance enhancing benefits, today’s most sophisticated, state-of-the-art apps require syncing various monitors and sensors to the amazing computing and display power found in today’s smartphones. These miracle devices have the same computing power as the massive super-computers that placed a man on the moon 50 years ago.

Old School Super ComputerFortunately, we don’t need to trail miles of wires and cables behind us to connect ourselves to a mainframe IBM, Binford 2000 Supercomputer.  All we have to do is look at our phone screen to witness the miracle of the valuable real-time data that can cover every aspect of our performance.  From foot power and ground contact time to voice navigation with computer-generated verbal coaching.

But what is the “Smartest” way to carry your miniature IBM mainframe we call a smartphone?  Since the dawn of civilization, man has grappled with the problem of efficient and painless methods of carrying essentials.

This conundrum continues to challenge athletes of all abilities today, with each generation of smartphones ever-increasing in size.  Samsung’s most recent tech marvel, the Samsung S10+ stretches to a ponderous 6.25 inches (15.76cm) weighing in at 198 grams – nearly 7 ounces.  As any distance runner can tell you, lugging 7 extra ounces can feel like hauling a 50 lb. brick over the course of a long run. In an effort to see how far we’ve progressed over the course of 50,000 years in carrying solution technology, I stumbled upon a January 2019 FlipBelt article that asked, “How do you carry your smartphone when you run?”  This article’s responses (listed below with anecdotal caveats) reveal that we haven’t come far:

“In my hand…” but
My phone gets sweaty and slippery
I’m afraid I’ll drop it or trip and destroy my phone
My hand gets tired from the death grip
My form suffers from the tension in my arm
“In my short’s pocket…” but
It bounces and bruises my leg
I have to stop running to pull it out and see my screen
With bike shorts the phone gets hot and my leg gets sweaty
It’s very distracting and impacts my workout
“In the waistband of my running shorts…” but
The pounding of my feet hitting the ground results in the phone slipping out
I can’t ride my bike or use any seated gym equipment without it digging into my skin
I can’t see my screen without stopping my workout
Gravity is a stronger force than the elastic in my shorts!
“I stick it in my sports bra…” but
My phone gets hot and sweaty against my skin
I’m afraid I’ll drop it  and destroy my phone
I have to stop running to pull it out and see my screen
It’s very uncomfortable and distracting
“I carry it in an armband…” but
The sweat soaks the armband and it slips down my arm
I have a big case and it won’t fit
It’s uncomfortable, irritates my skin, and it stinks after a run
It’s cheaply built and fell apart after two weeks
“I carry it in a belt…” but
My phone bounces, and jabs into my waist, and can’t use it for any seated gym exercises
Sweat and rain soak through to my phone  (I’ve already destroyed two)
The belt traps heat, is uncomfortable, and leaves big sweat stains
I can’t see my screen unless I stop running and fumble through pockets for my phone
I don’t need a phone while I’m running. I just focus on my form and enjoy my surroundings…
Until I get hit by a car and need to call 9-1-1
Until I twist my ankle and need to call an Uber
Until I lose my job because my boss is trying to reach me
Until my kid gets sick at school and I can’t be reached

Over several years of distance running, I’ve tried each of these methods. Admittedly, I’ve never tried the “sports bra” option, but those who have can validate the identified shortfalls. Likewise, FlipBelt’s stated option of stashing your phone in your sock or shoe was too absurd to mention.  Even Tosh.O wouldn’t video that pinnacle of stupidity. Next, I included the shortfalls of “belts” which FlipBelt understandably neglected to address. Finally, while #7’s “no phone” comments are a bit dramatized, in case of an emergency, it’s a good idea to carry your phone at all times. And with all the great performance monitoring apps, the ability to tune into your favorite music, and the ability to capture special moments in a photo during a run, your phone can turn any mundane run into an enjoyable, rewarding, and memorable experience.

So are we condemned to head baskets and elephant tusk wheelbarrows when we carry a smartphone?

Don’t despair.  There’s one more “smarter” carrying option that FlipBelt doesn’t mention.

Elite athletes from around the world, who have perfected “Training Smarter”, claim #8 is their preferred option.

“I carry my phone and essentials in an Armpocket.”


It’s made with eco-friendly materials - post-consumer recycled plastic bottles and ultra-soft, moisture wicking natural bamboo – plus it’s machine washable.

Comfortable, ergonomic memory foam design allows multiple carrying options.

Durable sweat-proof, weatherproof (and mud-proof)- perfect for trail running and biking.

Easy access full-screen and double-pull zippers with multiple interior storage compartments.

Can fit all large phones and cases – available in small/medium/large strap lengths.

Dennis Koors, Denmark -

Badwater Challenge of the Champions (Death Valley)

Ultra Trail du Mt. Blanc Ultra-marathon


Isobel Ross, Australia

Tarawara Trail Ultra (New Zealand)

CCC Alps Ultra (Italy-Swiss-France)






 Ralph Avalone, USA

  Navy SEAL Battlefrog

  Elite Obstacle Course Racer





 OK, so you’re not a world-class athlete… yet.  But whether it’s running, cycling, mountain biking, or any form of exercise, these top-10 requirements identify what athletes who demand superior performance in a carrying solution require:

  • Security (from gravity-induced damage: dropping, jarring, vibrations during mountain biking)
  • Comfort during intense exercise
  • Protection from sweat, dust, dirt, mud, and weather
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Protection from inadvertent dunking (28% of phone owners drop their phones into a liquid; 19% in the toilet)*
  • Screen visibility and “on-the-move” app operation
  • Universal fit (all phones – all body sizes)
  • Can carry other essentials (ID, key, credit cards, lip balm, tissues)
  • Durable
  • Machine Washable


So, the “YES’s” have spoken. Let’s peel back this Armpocket® onion and uncover the inside story as to why elite athletes from across the globe prefer this particular smartphone carrying solution.

Armpocket is clearly not your typical C3 (Cheap Chinese Crap) armband.  Here’s why:




Armpocket - Laboratory Tested:  Certified weatherproof, sweat-proof, and shock-proof 

In 2016, Microtech Laboratories compared the performance characteristics of the10 top-selling armbands.  Performing military-standard tests for durability, life-cycle, and misting chamber tests for water-resistance, Armpocket was the only armband that passed the demands specified by the military to meet their most stringent standards and proven IPX-4 splash-proof. Loaded with multiple layers of memory foam, Armpocket was the only product to survive smartphone drop and shock tests up to a height of six feet. So if you bike over washboard trails, or take a tumble on a run while carrying your phone in an Armpocket, your phone will be safe and secure. This ergonomically engineered carrying solution is also versatile.  Armpocket armbands can be worn on the arm, the wrist, in the hand. With its patented “hand-hold” design, you can comfortably cradle your phone in your natural, relaxed hand position when running. No wasted energy or effort needed to maintain a death-grip on your smartphone while enjoying the fact you have ready viewing of your performance data. Worn on your wrist, Armpocket’s soft bamboo mesh and memory foam back contours to the natural shape of your wrist for a super comfortable, no-slip fit with easy viewing of your smartphone’s screen.

Still prefer the belt option? Armpocket offers its ultra-soft, belt attachment (sold separately) that easily connects to any Armpocket.  With its moisture-wicking and evaporation cooled ventilation, you can say good-bye to ugly and irritating sweat stains that plague other stretch-lycra or nylon-elastic belts. Now, you can easily access your essentials without searching and fumbling around in awkward storage compartments that plague other waist belts.

For cyclists, the ultra-strong “Sport Velcro” allows you to attach your Armpocket to your bike’s handlebar yoke or on your aero-bars allowing continuous performance monitoring.  Meanwhile, Armpocket’s multiple layers of thick memory foam effectively dissipate vibrations, shocks and jarring during your most challenging (and toughest) trail-rides while the rugged splash-proof fabric protects your phone from mud, dirt, dust, and rain.

With smartphone prices now topping $1000, and running shoes surpassing $200, Armpocket’s prices range from $29 for the streamlined Racer to $49 for the Elite, Mega i-40 Plus designed for the larger “plus sized” smartphones.  Considering the peace of mind, comfort, versatility, quick-access, and ability to optimize the full capability of your phone’s “smart technology” – Armpocket is well worth the price.


 TRAIN SMARTER…NOT HARDER!  Anything out there better?  What smartphone carrying solution do you prefer? Feel free to share your ideas and comments below!


* sources:


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