For all my friends that run with a smart phone, you no doubt lean on a good GPS signal to track your running. Whether you’re an urban, suburban, or rural runner (am I missing any others?) getting the best GPS signal for your running is critical. I’ve been duped by a bad GPS signal before. I ran the Soldier Field 10 Mile two years ago and tracked along the way. I had a poor signal from the beginning and my time on my app versus my chip time was almost ten minutes off. It was annoying but not the end of the world – there are worse things in life. However, there are a few best practices to consider to get the best GPS signal for your running app. Let’s take a look.
Maintain a Clear Path to Satellites
If you’re a trail runner and use a running app, you might already know this. The trees could potentially block or interfere with any signal to a satellite. The clearest path to the sky will get you the best signal.
This probably hits the urban runners more than most. Buildings can block or downgrade your GPS signal and as a result compromise your running data. When I lived in Chicago, running along the lakefront was a sure bet of a good GPS signal. The race I mentioned above, started in Soldier Field and went through Chicago’s South Loop. This area had a number of high rise condo and office buildings. I’m sure this contributed to some of my inaccurate data.
Make Sure Your Smart Phone is Fully Charged
Using a running app will drain your smart phone battery and not having it fully charged is risk for weak GPS signal. I’m always trying to keep my phone charge at the office and certainly at home. Especially be diligent about charging if you’re listening to music or podcast while running with an app. You’ll find your batter depleted pretty quickly.
Turn Off Your WiFi Signal
I usually have my WiFi signal turned on so my phone immediately detects my home and work connection. When I’m running, I turn it off because it’s possible that my phone might try to connect to other WiFi signals. A consistent GPS connection and signal ensures the most accurate running data.
Score Some Alien Technology
If you’re lucky enough to get abducted by aliens, you know they must have some pretty decent communication tools that are great at picking up signals. Of course, you run the risk of encountering hostile life forms. Try the other best practices first before seeking out extraterrestrials.
Final Thoughts on Receiving the Best GPS Signal for Your Running App
If you run with tech, a solid GPS signal certainly becomes a risk factor in collecting the most accurate data. Try some of the steps mentioned above to ensure you’re receiving the right data at the right time.
I want hear from you. How do you get the best GPS signal for your running app? Do you select routes that give the best signal?
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