Bringing your smartphone on a run has become just as essential as strapping on your water bottle. And like your water bottle, if you don’t control your phone use, it could wind up depleted when you need it the most.
Wathana Prak, owner of irepairMD in Richmond, Va., shares his knowledge on why phones tend to run out of juice during your run and what you should do.
Feeling hot, hot, hot
Your phone can overheat, but not necessarily because it’s in direct sunlight. (Although that is bad for your phone too.)
If you have apps, wi-fi and the cell signal activated, these can all cause the phone’s data processor to work hard. If you are also listening to music and using a GPS system, your phone is under even more stress, Prak says. Not to mention that most people keep their phones in a sealed case.
“You have all these things working together in one small place with no ventilation—eventually it gets overheated,” Prak says.
As a result, the battery gets drained.
Understand proper phone care
Prak says if you are taking your phone on a run, close the apps that you are not using. Also shut off your wi-fi so the phone isn’t wasting battery power searching for a signal.
If you ditch your phone in your car while you run, you also need to be careful. Apple says iPhones can endure temperatures between -4 degrees and 113 degrees Fahrenheit. However, a temperature of about 95 degrees can damage the battery. The interior of your car is likely going to be way hotter than that, unless you shield it. Prak also notes that extreme heat can expand the phone’s battery, which can then push out the touch screen.
Many smartphones have temperature alerts and the ability to shut down if they get too hot, Prak says. But you may still be able to use it for an emergency call, according to Apple.
If your phone is too hot to touch, turn it off and move it to a cooler environment, experts say.
Sweat can also get into a phone’s charging port, Prak says. The salt in sweat can damage it, so runners should protect the port with a plug.