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5 Phone Apps That Keep Runners Safe

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Find new & more safety phone apps: Safety APPs for Runners - 2020 Update - Free or Low-Cost

Safety for runners, particularly women, is a growing concern. Many women who enjoy running off the beaten path or during the dark hours of the night or early morning might find themselves worrying about the risks associated with being alone while out running. However, there are many things runners can do to help protect themselves and reduce the risk of danger while running, including choosing different routes, running with a group of people, staying focused on their surroundings, running in high-traffic areas, and taking advantage of running apps.

A few years ago, runners were limited to bulky tools or difficult to handle or manage devices, but technology has since evolved, allowing us to carry lightweight, handy smart phones that we can easily port in our sportswear or sports bras with built-in pockets. Here are five highly rated phone apps for both iOS and Android phone users that can help to ensure a safer run for those who enjoy pounding the pavement on their own.

5 Phone Apps That Keep Runners Safe

1. ROAD iD

The ROAD iD app gives a nod to the story of Hansel and Gretel as it allows you to leave “eCrumbs” for up to five chosen friend or family contacts. These contacts can track your running route via text or email, and they receive an alert when you stop moving. The app refreshes itself every 30 seconds, so it communicates your location in real-time. Not only is the alert fantastic for motivation since it ultimately means you can’t take a long rest break, but it’s also a good way to keep friends and family in the loop should something happen to you.

Available for iOS and Android Phones

 

2. StaySafe

StaySafe is another app centered around location-based tracking. If you fail to check in when the timer goes off, the app automatically notifies your contacts and sends your location via SMS or email — even if your phone is damaged, turned off, or if the battery dies. The app also features an auto-inform service, which lets your contacts know when you manually stop your run, as well as two PIN numbers: one for canceling alerts and alarms and another for duress or life-threatening situations. For instance, if someone is forcing you to enter a PIN to cancel the alert, the app will appear to shut down, but using the duress PIN will still allow your emergency contacts to receive a message with your GPS location.

Available for iOS and Android Phones

 

3. RunRaegis

Similar to Bugle, RunRaegis notifies your contacts when you set out on your run, and it tracks you as you go. If you don’t come back in the pre-set time, the app will set up smart alerts to notify your contacts. Female runners may also appreciate the panic button feature which, when activated, alerts your contacts, connects them to 911, and sends a blast to all runners on the RunRaegis network who are at or near your last known location.

Available for iOS and Android Phones

 

4. bSafe

Think of bSafe as an Uber tracking system for runners. It not only follows you as you go, but it also features an alarm that, when activated, triggers your network and sends a message with your location and a 10-second video that starts to record as soon as you activated the alarm. Thanks to the app’s GPS tracking feature, friends and family can also follow you — virtually, of course — as you go.

Available for iOS and Android Phones

 

5. Glympse

Similar to bSafe, friends and family do not need the Glympse app in order to view your location in real-time. Although Glympse can be used for a variety of situations such as driving home from work, finding out when a late colleague will arrive, and letting friends and family know you’re on your way, it is becoming increasingly popular among runners. With Glympse, you can share your location for up to four hours. Simply select a contact, set the expected duration of your run, and hit the pavement.

Available for iOS and Android Phones

 

 

These days, many women runners are turning to technology to help improve their sense of security. However, in addition to these technology advancements, it’s also important that you remain aware of your surroundings, let people know where you’re going, stay in high-traffic areas, and know your routes. Combining common sense with the latest phone safety apps will hopefully allow you to enjoy your run with as little worry as possible.

Safety APPs for Runners – 2020 Update – Free or Low-Cost

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With tons of running apps to help you get started or find a good path or trail, we like focusing on the apps that are either designed for safety or include an added safety option for you. Here are some of our favorite free or low-cost runner’s APPs that bring a safety feature for you on your run. Of course all of these can be used to track or trace you wherever you go and not just for running, jogging or exercising.

SportPort activewear features a patent protected phone pocket that shields your body from EMF and designed into many of its sports bras and sport tops for you to safely and securely carry your cell phone while you exercise or on a run.

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5+ Phone Apps That Help Keep Runners Safe

1) Road iD

Remains on our list of top safety apps for runners.  You can allow friends and family to track you in real time using the eCrumb feature which follows you much like Hansel & Gretel used in their story to help trace and find their way home. The app creates an "electronic breadcrumb" trail for your designated friends and family to follow along via a map link sent through email or SMS.

If you prefer, Road iD also uses physical wearables, bracelets and tags, that have been helping keep runners (and pets) safe for years.

In addition, the app can also set up an In Case of Emergency card with your emergency contacts, as well as health information like blood type and allergies that you can use as a lock-screen wallpaper.

Free, extra for accessories and wearables:  https://www.roadid.com/

roadid runners app Available for iOS and Android Phones

 

2) Strava Beacon

The free Strava app is a running tracker and has a variety of training features. The app can record your running speed, distance traveled, time and course taken for metrics and tracking, but can also combine all that with leaderboards, achievements and challenges as you race against your friends.

You’ll have to upgrade to a paid monthly subscription to get access to advanced safety features like Beacon. Strava Beacon allows you to share your location and route details in real time with three designated friends or family safety contacts.

Strava supports a variety of smartwatches and fitness devices such as the Apple Watch and Wear OS devices.

Free, or $5 per month for the Beacon extras: https://www.strava.com/

strava runners phone app Available for iOS and Android Phones

 

3) Runkeeper Go

This is another app that you’ll need to upgrade to get the premium safety Runkeeper Go option. The upgraded option will give you live tracking, premium training plans, weather insights, and more. But the main safety option allows you to select friends and family who will be able to see your races or runs in real time from their phone or desktop.

Runkeeper basic allows you to use your phone's GPS to track your running, cycling, hiking and other distance activities. The app records your pace, distance, total exercise time, calories burned and other useful metrics, while delivering a variety of training plans, complete with reminders and gamified challenges. Users can go freeform or download and follow popular running routes. You can measure your progress and workout history, as well as sync with numerous other apps and services and receive detailed reports of your tracked activity.

Runkeeper supports a variety of smartwatches and fitness devices such as the Apple Watch and Wear OS devices.

Free, or $10 per month or $40 per year for the premium Go options: https://runkeeper.com

runkeeper runners phone app Available for iOS and Android Phones

 

4) Kitestring

Kitestring is an online service, and technically not an APP. The service allows you to activate a safety plan for the times when you’re headed into a potentially unsafe situation like a late night run or a just out late or alone.

Visit the Kitestring site to enter your emergency contacts. Then, when you’re ready to go out or on your nighttime run, let Kitestring know, and ask the service to check in with you via text in 15 minutes, 45 minutes, 2 hours, 5 hours or even 12 hours. If you don’t respond to their text message within a specific window of time (for example in five minutes), Kitestring will automatically notify your emergency contacts.

Free, or $3 per month for unlimited trips: https://www.kitestring.io/

kitestring runners phone app Available on any device.

 

5) RunGo

RunGo, a run tracker and navigation aid, allows users to discover new running, jogging or walking routes, complete with voice navigation to help guide them through unfamiliar locales. So if you are new to a neighborhood or you are just starting out as a runner, this can help you past the tough task to find a good and safe jogging route in an unfamiliar or new area.

You can download routes for offline use, start routes halfway or create their own within the app. Coolest of all, premium subscribers can access "guided tours" — verified routes created by local runners through safe and scenic areas, with the app announcing points of interest and other information.

Free, or $1.99 per month for the subscription extras: https://www.rungoapp.com/

rungo runners phone app Available for iOS and Android Phones

 

+1) Extra Stay-Safe-At-Home App: Zwift

While the Zwift APP doesn’t hold a specific safety feature, staying at home in itself can! So… If you find yourself doing a lot of exercising at home these days, Zwift can help you change up your surroundings while you shelter in place. And the mobile app even adds a little gamification to your runs as part of the bargain.

With Zwift, you can take your runs through virtual courses, while staying on your treadmill. Along with the different courses, you can run alongside other people, using their times for encouragement or competition.

You'll need a compatible treadmill and footpod, supported watch, smart shoes or treadmill sensor to make Zwift work. But the run aspect of Zwift is free to use. (Zwift also works with cycling, but after a 7-day trial, rides require a $15 monthly membership.) If you've got the right equipment, Zwift offers a unique way to get more out of your at-home runs.

Free for Runners: https://www.zwift.com/

zwift runners phone app Available for iOS and Android Phones

 

Additional Safety Phone APP Resources:

Other safety APPs to check out from our 2018 list of 5 Phone Apps that Keep Runners Safe:

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What Do Female Runners Carry to Stay Safe

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Water bottle, sun glasses, keys, ID… check! What about safety items? Being women and runners, most of us don’t leave the house without thinking about safety. Many tell us that we shouldn’t consider running alone either. It is true that there can be safety in numbers. No matter how you plan your run, being smart and prepared is always a good thing!

How do you prepare? What do you carry with you on a run to stay safe?

A Runner’s World survey decided to ask. What came to light was that from 2,542 female runners surveyed, 43% women reported being harassed at some point during a run, while 3% reported being assaulted. The most commonly carried safety items these women carried included; pepper spray, whistles, knives and, most of all, women carried their cell phones. Perhaps feeling that being a dial or APP away from help is the safest option – we definitely agree!

The statistics reported the following on what women carried to stay safe on a run:

 

  • 85% sometimes or always carry a Cell Phone
  • 21% sometimes or always carry Pepper Spray
  • 7% sometimes or always carry a Whistle
  • 5% sometimes or always carry a Knife

How are women carrying these safety items? Snuggly placed in a pocket or sports bra sound familiar? Or the waistband of your sport shorts or leggings to keep things in place? Even handheld, these items can become a dropping hazard or safety risk. When the stored item is a cell phone, there is even the concern of having it too close to the body, due to the potentially harmful electromagnetic frequency radiation (EMF) the cell phone can let pass through to the body.

SportPort™ addresses this health risk along with offering a secure place to store all sorts of safety gear. The exclusive Sports Bras and Bra-Tank Tops include the first ever cell phone pocket with added EMF protection to keep the cell phone secure and easily accessible, or offer a secure space for carrying other safety gear, making it a smart and safe choice for female runners everywhere. The 4-way stretch netting of the pocket is spacious enough for additional personal items, such as a house key, credit card or tissues, as an example. Further activewear storage pockets are an option with our Workout Pants with Cargo Pockets. At SportPort, we know that safe, secure storage for personal items is a smart choice for women runners!

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What is PB in Running? A New Runner’s Guide to Abbreviations & Acronyms

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Runners have their own way of speaking, which not only includes running-specific words and phrases but also includes many acronyms for these terms. If your running friends toss around BQ and PB like everyone knows what they mean, leaving you feeling out-of-touch and clueless, you’re not alone. The good news is that you can get up to speed quickly — without putting on your running shoes. Here are a few translations for some of the most commonly used running abbreviations and acronyms we use with our runners at SportPort™.

What is AIMS for runners? Association of International Marathons and Road Races – This member-based organization consists of more than 350 of the world’s leading distance races representing more than 100 countries.

What is BPM in running? Beats Per Minute – The heart rate, measured in beats per minute, is the number of heartbeats during one minute. Runners typically have a target BPM in order to get the most out of each workout.

What does BQ mean in running? Boston Qualify – If a runner says he or she “BQ’d,” it means that this person ran a Boston marathon qualifying time. The Boston Marathon, the oldest consecutively-run marathon, is known for its difficult qualifying time standards, and running a BQ means that the runner met this requirement.

What does C25K mean in running? Couch to 5K – Found online or on an app, the Couch to 5K running program is structured to allow non-runners to learn how to run. It uses an alternating walk/run method that builds upon the previous week until participants are eventually prepared to run a 5K (3.1 miles).

What is a CR in running? Course Record – A course record is the best time a runner has completed a particular course or race. Although a CR might not be a runner’s personal best overall, it could be his or her course record for that particular route.

What does DNF stand for in running? Did Not Finish – This acronym is found in race results in which a runner began the race but did not complete it due to an emergency or injury. Runners feeling badly about not finishing can take consolation that DNF happens often enough to earn its own acronym.

What does DNS mean for runners? Did Not Start – The acronym DNS is sometimes listed when a racer was registered to complete a race but failed to start. This helps to make the distinction between those who tried the race but were unable to complete and those who did not attempt the race in the first place.

What is DOMS? Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – Runners may talk about DOMS, the pains and aches they feel 24 to 36 hours after exercise. Although experiencing DOMS can make a flight of stairs feel like Mount Everest, DOMS is generally nothing to worry about and will pass in a few days.

What does GHP mean in running? Goal Half-Pace – Whereas MGP is marathon goal pace and HMP is half-marathon pace, a goal half-pace is a combination of the two terms. It refers to the goal runners set for completing a half-pace marathon.

What is an HMP in running? Half-Marathon Pace – This acronym refers to the effort or pace you anticipate for your half-marathon race. The pace should be challenging but sustainable for 75-120 minutes.

What does LSD mean in a race? Long Slow Distance – No, we’re not talking about the hallucinogen. Long slow distance runs involve running longer distances at an “easy” pace rather than shorter ones that involve running to exhaustion. They are a critical part of training, especially for marathons or half-marathons, and are typically performed on weekends when runners have more time to dedicate to the run.

What does MPW mean in running? Miles Per Week – The amount of miles a runner runs each week, typically seen in training schedules. Miles per month (MPM) and miles per day (MPD) are also occasionally used.

What is OCR in running? Obstacle Course Racing – More than just a run in the mud, obstacle course racing combines running in the mud with a number of obstacles designed to test runners’ physical and mental strength in varying situations. Running is hard by itself. Climbing over 10-foot walls and climbing up ropes mid-half marathon is even harder.

What is PB for a runner? Personal Best – A runner generally keeps track of the distance covered and the time it took them to run it. That establishes your personal best from which you can work on to do better…and better.

What is PR in running? Personal Record – A personal record is really the same as your personal best (PB), except some might consider their PR for a competition race time as opposed to a training run PB time.

What does PW mean for runners? Personal Worst – Some runners do not keep track of their PWs, which refer to their worst time at a specific distance. For consolation, PW is better than DNF, which is better than DNS.

What is RICE? Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation – When runners are injured, the first thing they turn to is RICE. It is important to stop training and rest, apply ice if there is swelling in the injured area, apply compression socks or a compression bandage, and elevate the affected body part.

What is the RRCA in running? Road Runners Club of America – The RRCA is the largest and oldest American association of runners, running events, and running clubs dedicated to promoting running as healthy exercise as well as a competitive sport.

What is SRD for runners? Scheduled Rest Day – These are recovery days included in a runner’s training schedule to prevent over-training and allow the body to repair and recover.

What is a WB in running? World Best – A recorded best-time for an event in which formal world records are not kept. Similar distinctions are made for road races that do not meet certain standards, including races with excessive amounts of downhill.

What is a WR in running? World Record – The fastest recorded time in the world that is officially verified at any given distance.

What does XT mean in running? Cross-Training (or X Training) – Cross-training refers to any activity other than running included in a runner’s training such as strength-training, yoga, swimming, and biking. Cross-training gives runners better all-around fitness and enhances their running performance.

Want to walk the walk or, in this case, run it? It’s time to learn how to talk the talk! It’s no surprise that runners have a language all their own, and we hope that this guide to the most common running abbreviations helps you to understand the runner’s world just a little bit better.

If we missed any you’d like to see here, please let us know and we’ll add them right in! Contact Us.

How to Fix Your Love/Hate Relationship with Running

SURE, it started out like a great run, in your head, before you left the house. The walk down the driveway was okay too. But then, there it was, the first footfall came off the pavement like lead and you knew you were destined for at least thirty minutes of “I don’t want to do this,” a motto that starts to shape your running relationship for the worse.

Find Your Running Relationship Issue. You Can Fix it.

Maybe you did a mental pep talk, but it fell flat and you forced a promise to yourself: at least three miles, because running anything under for you is just not acceptable. Under three means you will count today as a “no exercise day,” because you just didn’t do enough to warrant that type of positive reinforcement. So, you slogged away, finishing at least three miles with heavy legs, no energy, and the dark cloud of disappointment shadowing your morning. Threatening thoughts clouded your cool down. Are you suddenly completely out of shape? Has your love for running disappeared? The mental list goes on and on and it sours your day, making you feel less than adequate and you go through the motions, letting one bad run, spoil your day and your running relationship.

running sports bra

Yesterday you loved running, but today, not so much, what gives? We’ve all had those “bad” runs that make us question our sport of choice, but don’t allow them to become a burden. Find the issue, fix it. Go through this list to troubleshoot for your answer and give yourself peace of mind so you can feel good about getting back on the road again!

  • LACK OF SLEEP. If you had a restless night or stayed up too late watching “just one more episode,” you may not have given your body enough time to recover from the day’s activities. Our bodies are like computers; they need to recharge, refresh, and update systems to protect against potentially harmful invaders or malfunctions. If you don’t give your body the opportunity to reboot properly, then you put yourself at risk, including lowering your immune system, making you feel weak and moody. Make yourself a sleep schedule and try to stick to it, a straight 7 to 9 hours of solid sleep is recommended.
  • WHAT YOU EAT OR DON'T EAT can play a huge role in your athletic performance. As a runner, you’ve probably made a joke or two about carb-loading as you reach for that third slice of pizza, but in reality this is what could be weighing you down. Studies show that a regular, balanced diet of clean, non-processed foods will optimize your health, so it makes sense that eating whole grains, vegetables, and fruits will give you the energy you need for a long, happy run. Eat a healthy dinner the night before. Pre-fuel in the morning with an energizing banana and a scoop of almond butter (check out our Healthy Recipes and Meals Swaps for various ideas).
  • MUSCLE STRENGTH & RECOVERY. Sometimes, as everyday athletes, we put pressure on ourselves to work out regularly and if we take a day off we feel like we’re slacking, but this should not be the case. We need to give our bodies the respect they deserve which includes listening to them. If you wake up feeling stiff, then there it is: your body is talking to you. Listen to it. You cannot expect to run your usual nine-minute-mile pace if your quads and joints are screaming at you from yesterday’s HIIT workout. Recovery days don’t mean you can’t work out at all, in fact moderate exercise is recommended for mild muscle soreness, such as a long walk outside, purposeful stretching exercises or thirty minutes of low resistance on the elliptical. This will encourage re-growth and strengthening of muscle fibers. Make a workout schedule for the week with built-in recovery days, but allow yourself flexibility if you need more time to recover.
  • IGNORING AN INJURY is an unnecessary risk that threatens your active lifestyle. If you have a constant, aching pain or something that flares up repeatedly, pay attention to it and seek medical advice if there are no signs of improvement. Injury will slow you down and alter the way you feel during running. Pushing through the pain may make you feel committed to your fitness, but it could end up setting you back. Take the time off needed until you are properly healed.
  • IF YOU HAVE THINGS WEIGHING ON YOUR MIND, they can bring down your mood, energy, and concentration. When we let these stressors overwhelm us, they can infiltrate every aspect of our life, including our activities. Exercise is said to be a stress reliever, so help yourself by making sure you can utilize it as one. Negative thoughts can be consuming, even if you tell yourself to ignore it. Make a plan when the stress sneaks up on you. A mantra is helpful to re-focus on the present moment, even something as simple as “running time is my time” will remind you that negativity has no place in your run.
  • IF YOU'RE LIKE A LOT OF BUSY WOMEN, you try to rush your run because you feel bad that you’ve taken this time for yourself, worrying that someone might need you while you are off on your own. This guilt is common for women, especially if we feel like we need to be available to others at all times. Whether this comes as a by-product of being a mother, wife, student, or employee, we feel like taking care of ourselves is second to everything else. If being more accessible will put your mind at ease, make sure to take your phone with you in one of SportPort™ Sports Bras, where your phone will stay snug, safe and right there with you.

Does following this running relationship guide mean you will never have a bad run again? Probably not, but implementing these strategies will help reduce the chance of one creeping up on you. Regardless, if one does, just remind yourself that you have a reason for running and whatever that is, it’s helping you live an active, healthy, lifestyle. Don’t let a “bad” run stop all that good.

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