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Do you need your cellphone to go on a run?

The running community is torn on the topic

Sally Bergesen, the co-founder of women’s running apparel company Oiselle, put out a tweet on September 8 asking the running community if they run with a cellphone and if so, why?

Hundreds of people quickly responded with their thoughts on the topic, and their reasons for running with or without a cellphone were diverse. Ultimately the decision to run with or without your phone depends on what you’re looking to get from your run. It’s now become rare that people have different devices for music and cellular, so leaving the cellphone at home usually means choosing between running with no entertainment or running connected.

RELATED: Malcolm Gladwell says running with music is “soft”

Here at the Canadian Running head office, we are divided on the topic. Some people believe that phones have a place in their run. Reasons Canadian Running staff brought cellphones on their runs included: mid-run selfies, emergencies, calling for a pickup, music, podcasts, tracking stats and Instagram (which kind of felt the same as a selfie, but I’m told it isn’t).

Runners who don’t bring their phones with them cite owning the Apple relic (an iPod shuffle), or not running with music at all, and looking to detach a little while they log their miles.

Is running without a phone a safety concern?

Based on the Twitter responses, safety felt like a main concern for most runners and their primary reason for bringing a phone. If running with a phone allows you to relax and focus on your run, then please continue to do so, but if you’re looking to run phoneless without compromising safety, here are a few suggestions.

  1. Tell the people or person you live with how long you plan to be gone.
  2. Run on well-traveled paths and trails, or at least on trails you’re familiar with.
  3. Go with a buddy–a run is more fun with company anyway.
  4. Many watches now have cellular functions. You can leave your watch on do not disturb and only use it in an emergency scenario.
  5. Take care of each other. If you see something distressing or suspicious, ask if the runner needs help.