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Running with gadgets

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It is no secret that running is amongst the more popular sports in Singapore, all the more apparent by the huge turnout at marathons and fun run events. A quick glance at the Run Society’s running calendar shows an average of a run event every week through October this year, and even the CNN has done an article on the 10 best places to run in Singapore.

Like practically every sport, running is not immune to the increasing pervasiveness of technology. In the age of activity trackers and wearable devices, what are some gadgets that runners are taking out with them? In a quick straw poll, it became apparent that runners can be divided into two main groups: Smartphones and non-smartphone users.


The idea behind bringing the smartphone is pretty self-evident: Modern smartphones are good not just for communication, but are packed with technologies that allows them deliver music, accurate positioning on a map via GPS, and to a certain degree, even track the intensity of the workout.

Of course, it would be tricky – and probably not too wise, to carry the phone in your hands or in a loose pouch. For this, an arm belt designed for smartphones, or something similar, is essential. Dom Leong, who identified himself as a casual runner, is one of these runners. Dom says he runs with an Apple iPhone in an arm belt together with the popular RunKeeper app.

Running without the phone

However, not everyone believes in bringing a smartphone along for the run. At least one respondent cited the bulkiness of smartphones as a reason, though one can imagine that others may simply be seeking to avoid that untimely call from the office.

Nike+ Sportwatch

No smartphone doesn’t mean no music of course, given the widespread availability of dedicated music players such as the iPod nano and iPod shuffle. Headphones with integrated MP3 playback capabilities are also an option for runners who like to run light, like the Sony W Series Sports Walkman used by Syefri Zulkefli. Another gadget suited for this group of runners would probably be hardware like the Nike+ Sportwatch used to track actual runs.

Sony W Series Sports Walkman

Whether you run with your smartphone or not, we have compiled a list of the best earphones for runners who like to listen to music here. They are categorised according to characteristics such as sound quality, grip, and wireless capability, so do check it out if you can.

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