Although I’m not a runner myself, many of my friends are, and I noticed when they're not discussing the next big race, they're constantly discussing training gear. Here are a few runner-friendly impact resistant smartphone cases, protective armbands, and training aids a few of my fleet-footed friends recommended I share...
Kangarun: Want to get really technical and improve your running form while reducing the likelihood of injury? Then you'll want to know about your running efficiency. Maybe you're running with too much bounce to the ounce, wasting valuable energy vertically rather than forward, needlessly taxing your legs and body. The .99 cents Kangarun app measures movement efficiency using a 2-minute running test, comparing the energy used to propel forward and the total energy spent during exercise, charting it all into a feedback chart and efficiency score.
Sony Walkman 16 GB: Most runners like to train to a music playlist, but it could be advisable to leave the valuable smartphone at home and use a less expensive music player instead. If it's dropped or lost, always a chance while out running, the loss will be less painful than losing a phone. The Sony Walkman is a good alternative if you’re looking for a
capable music player, with 16GBs
worth of storage and also a built-in FM tuner, clock, and
two games to play while you catch your breath. Similarly, the Apple nano is designed to slip into a pocket easily and work with built-in Nike+ training support.
Griffin Adidas miCoach Armband: A couple of my friends recommended the Griffin armband to securely hold smartphones while running. The band offers a sweat-proof screen cover that is
still touch sensitive, providing touch access while it’s secured within the armband.
If you have a miCoach, adidas' interactive coaching system, this armband was specifically designed as an accompanying accessory.
LifeProof Case: Whatever your training requirements, wherever you train, the LifeProof Case can probably handle it. The LifeProof offers
the most protection from water, shock, and dirt while still maintaining a fairly thin and light addition (the case adds just 1.5 mm to each edge). Available for the iPhone 4, 4s, and 5.
A friend recently switched his over-ear headphones for a set of Powerbeats earbuds and raved about their comfort and performance. The
earclips are flexible, preventing the earbuds from shifting around, no matter how rigorous
the workout. Although these units deliver solid sound especially with bass heavy music, characteristic of Beats by Dre engineering, the earbuds still let in
ambient noise to allow runners to remain aware of their surroundings while running
Garmin Forerunner 610: The Garmin Forerunner 610 is a GPS-enabled training watch with a swipe and scroll touchscreen interface which offers easy to read performance data. The 610 comes with a USB stick for wireless uploading of data from the watch, including weight, body fat, body water and six other measurements when used in partnership with the Tanita BC-1000 body scale (another useful training tool). A GPS watch like this can become a powerful training buddy because of real time feedback; the Virtual Partner and Virtual
Racer can additionally motivate runners to move a little faster and a little further each outing.
(Images: as linked above)