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How To Safely Play Pokémon GO On The Run

Matthew Corley / Shutterstock.com
Matthew Corley / Shutterstock.com

If you’re a fan of Pokémon GO, you’re probably wondering how you can better maximize the time you already spend running also catching them all.

We won’t tell you the basics of the game as there are tons of articles out there that spell out how to get started. We’ll assume you’ve tried it, you like it, and you’ve at least considered how to take advantage of all those miles you already cover on foot

Personally I had just started playing Pokémon GO and was on a group run that unexpectedly became a walk. I thought I might as well take advantage of my current situation—walking in an urban area, phone in hand, and needing to be nowhere urgently.

Just as I expected, Pokémon were everywhere. But as I clumsily threw out Pokéballs, there were also several instances of cars slowing because it looked as though I was videotaping them. Also with the constant stops, starts and direction changes, I couldn’t imagine trying to play on a ‘real ‘ run. Fortunately, I have a Pokémon GO expert who also happens to be an avid runner in my network.

Christopher Octa has been involved with the Pokémon franchise since the beginning. He’s also always played video games and works as a user experience designer and with mobile apps as his day job. Also, he’s an avid runner, triathlete and IRONMAN—so he is seriously trying to train while playing. Below he shared some of his top tips for playing while running.

How to Run Continuously

My main question centered around the experience of constantly needing to stop to collect Pokémon. Octa offered this important advice: “ One of the things about how the system works is that when a wild Pokémon shows up, once you engage to try and catch it doesn’t matter where you are or how far away you’ve gotten. You will still be engaged with it. “

Octa says he simply taps to engage then proceeds to catch the creature while simultaneously running. He advises, “if he’s going at an easy pace it’s not hard to do.”

Run Intervals While Hatching Eggs

Per the GO support site, “When gathering items at PokéStops, you may find a Pokémon Egg. Place the Egg in an incubator, and the Egg will hatch into a Pokémon as you walk.” Octa says, “People randomly get Pokémon Eggs that have varying distances to hatch them (2km, 5km, and 10km). He outlined an interval workout last week where he ran intervals of 2km to allow his eggs to hatch. Per the site, “In general, the more kilometers required, the rarer the Pokémon that will hatch.”

Run Longer Distances

As another reward for all your hard efforts running and catching the game has awards for total distance accumulated, “10k, 100k, and one more distance that I’m not aware of as of yet,” says Octa.

Run Fartlek Workouts Between PokéStops

For those of us who see PokéStops but don’t know what to do next he offers, “if they are blue they have stuff, it it’s purple it means you’ve already visited it and will have to revisit later.”

But how to minimize break time? To save time once you reach a PokéStop, Octa says “you spin the token to make items appear, you actually don’t have to pop the bubbles for the items that show up. You can hit “X” and the game will register that you collected all those items from the Pokémon stop. As my muscle memory improves, the amount of time I need to actually be looking at the screen shrinks more.”

Turn Off AR Mode

This will keep you from literally turning in circles while capturing these creatures. The most important tip related to running while catching is to turn off AR mode (augmented reality i.e. your phone camera). “With AR turned off, the Pokémon will always be facing you when you try to catch it so you don’t have to turn around to keep them in view, very important.” The setting for this feature is in the top right corner when the camera is turned on.

Pokémon GO Plus

Finally there is a product set to launch soon that will potentially allow you to catch Pokémon without taking your phone from your pocket. Octa predicts this product will certainly make running and catching much easier!