A blog by runners. For runners.

Running with Armbands

I recently went for my first run with an armband. I believe there are benefits to running with an armband and also without one. In this post I review the Adidas armband I used, and also share my thoughts on armband running.

Running without an armband

This week was the very first time I tried using an armband while running. I’m not against armbands but the idea of having something strapped to me while running wasn’t appealing. I’ve tried using a FuelBelt in the past to hold fluids while running and I always hated the extra bulk.

I received an Adidas Armband for my birthday and I was a bit weary to try it out. I’ve always carried my iPhone with me in my hand while running. This gives me the freedom to switch it to the other hand if I needed to. I also frequently change my music mid-song and I knew it would be more difficult to do this while wearing an armband. I also check my progress in the WalkJogRun iPhone app in the middle of my runs. Another positive of running armband-free was that I could text message all I wanted during a run. I realize not everyone does this but it helps me to pass the time during longer runs. I like to make plans, or text friends back and forth while I’m running.

Since I’ve been doing longer runs lately, I got tired of holding the phone in my hand and asked for an armband for my birthday.

Running with an armband

I had to take the protective case off of my iPhone in order for it to fit in the armband. I didn’t mind very much because I’d rather have the case fit snugly around the phone than not.

When I first went out with my armband I put it on my right arm and after a mile my arm started to feel numb. I took it off and realized I had a burning sensation in my arm. I was cutting off my circulation! I think this setback was due to the particular armband I had. I switched the armband to my other arm and loosened the strap. I was able to continue on my run and it felt great not always looking at the phone. I think this was the first run I’ve had in a while where I wasn’t worried about anything except running!

From this photo I took of my GPS app, it’s clear that this run with the armband was a bit slower than one where I’m constantly checking my progress on my WalkJogRun app. I think this was perfectly fine because I listened to my body and ran at the pace it was comfortable doing that day.

My opinion of the Adidas Micoach Armband

This is my first armband so I don’t have much to compare it to. However, the armband material does not stretch- making it easy to cut off your circulation, especially if you fasten the band too tight. I made this mistake during the first mile of my run, and then I was able to fix it.

I liked that there is a flap that covers the top of your phone, which essentially makes it waterproof. Before getting this armband, I would wrap my phone in a Ziploc baggie!

The armband has a slot for one key in the front. I wish there was a credit card slot or room for my bus pass. I can’t tell you how many times I had to cut a run short because I just wasn’t feeling it that day. In those situations- it’s nice to be able to take the bus back home without walking too far.

Although there are a few changes that could be made to the Adidas Micoach armband, but it’s overall a great fit for anyone new to running with an armband!

Adam’s (CEO of WalkJogRun) armband recommendations

I asked Adam for his recommendations to share with you in this post. He’s been running with an armband for years!

For the iPhone 4 model I used the XtremeMac Sportwrap but since I’ve upgraded to the iPhone 5 I use the InCase armband. XtremeMac probably has one too but they didn’t when I ordered the InCase one.

The keys for me:

  1. Easy to take out and put in
  2. Screen cover doesn’t fog up
  3. Armband offers a large velcro area for varying number of layers of running shirts/jackets etc.

Other people may like the options for wrapping up excess headphone cable on the XtremeMac. The Belkin Sportwrap fogged up a lot and others I’ve tried were hard to get out when the screen cover got a little foggy making it stick to the iPhone screen.

If you run with an armband, check out the WalkJogRun app. The app will show you your exact route and you can compare your workouts week to week!

Do you have a favorite running armband? Tell us about it in the comments below!