How to Optimize Your Battery on Race Day: When Using RaceJoy’s GPS Tracking

RaceJoy does a lot to optimize your phone’s battery when using its advanced GPS tracking feature. Our testing has shown that you can expect an average of eight (8) hours of battery life for endurance events when using the RaceJoy’s tracking feature based on average cell conditions and phone battery condition. With newer phones, like Apple 6 Plus and Android phones, our testing has shown RaceJoy’s GPS tracking being used for 18+ hours without a battery backup.

Picture1

Each phone, cell provider and the cell conditions of the area play a factor. Your cell provider may not have the same strength of service at the race site as you do at home, and this will deplete your battery at a faster pace. However, there are things you can do to get the most from your battery on race day.

Battery Optimizers

1. Fully charge your phone’s battery prior to the race start

This is an obvious one, but needs to be reminded! Tip: Use car chargers or portable battery charging devices right up to the race start. Wait to turn the tracking on until about 10 minutes before the race starts.

2. Do NOT use Wi-Fi

Most people will connect to Wi-Fi to save on data and to overcome their provider’s limited service for a given area. This is fine when you are stationary, but it doesn’t work well with GPS tracking across race courses. Using Wi-Fi can cause your tracking to turn off as you move away from the Wi-Fi area. Plus, your battery will drain more as you move along the course and your phone attempts to make new Wi-Fi connections. GPS tracking and Wi-Fi technologies don’t mix well right now– so, please make sure you are using your cell provider with RaceJoy’s GPS tracking.

3. Consider a new phone, or a replacement battery

Clearly, this wouldn’t just be for RaceJoy, but it is something we recommend when people are experiencing difficulties with battery life in general. We consistently see that older phones have less battery life than newer phones. The constant recharges over multiple years will deteriorate the battery. In addition, the new phones and software are designed to make more optimal use of the phone’s battery. So, if you are one of those out there with a tiny phone from prehistoric times (as in 3-4 years ago), consider getting a newer phone.

Picture2

4. Turn phone off in poor cell zones

Some race courses have poor to no cell service due to the geographic terrain. Your phone will continue trying to get a connection in poor cell areas and this will drain your battery at a much faster rate. We suggest you temporarily turn your phone off in known trouble areas. When races let us know of poor cell zones on the course, RaceJoy will show a red poor cell zone graphic overlay on the map image.

Picture3
Ogden Marathon course – runners waited to turn tracking on at Mile 5.

5. Use a portable battery charger

These can be purchased online and are ideal for both participants and spectators. They are lightweight and a good option for those who expect to be out on the course for a longer period of time or who wish to keep other apps running during the event. We’ve tested many different portable battery chargers and prefer the Anker Mini.

Picture4

6. Avoid or limit phone camera and video taking when using Live Tracking  

Participants and spectators should avoid using the device’s camera and, especially, video functions. These significantly utilize the device’s battery and should be avoided unless you have a battery backup plan.

7. Turn off other tracking apps.

Some tracking apps have come a long way with optimizing your phone’s battery. However, if you are using a training app that you know drains your battery, it will drain your phone battery that much faster on race day. We suggest you either use RaceJoy or your preferred tracking app.

8. Turn off non-essential applications.

RaceJoy works well with other mobile apps. However, many applications continually pull on your phone’s resources behind the scenes and should be temporarily shut down to prolong your phone’s battery life.

  • Examples: Facebook, Twitter, Email and games. Playing music does not appear to have any significant impact on the phone’s battery during our testing.
  • Apple users: double click your home button and swipe to close applications.
  • Android users: select the Menu button, then Applications, and Running to select those you wish to close.

Battery Drainers

  1. Poor Cell Provider Coverage – Each cell data provider’s coverage is different for a given region and race – some provide strong coverage while others have weaker coverage. We see this change from race to race (AT&T is stronger than Verizon or vice versa). If you are at a race and your cell provider’s service is weak as shown with the number of bars on the top of your screen, then this is going to drain your battery at a much faster rate as the phone re-attempts to make connections. There really isn’t anything you can do to get around this other than be aware and maybe turn off your phone or tracking temporarily if you see the battery is depleting fast.

Picture5

2. Poor weather conditions – When there are significantly poor weather conditions this can affect GPS technology and will cause your phone to attempt to make connections with GPS satellites – further depleting your battery. Though, for most weather conditions, this isn’t an issue as GPS technology has improved over the years.

3. Viewing the screen – The more you view your screen, the more your battery will get used. Participants don’t have this issue as much as spectators tracking runners/cyclists. We suggest supporting family and friends have a backup battery plan if they are going to be at the race site.

4. Shorter Distances Drain Faster – RaceJoy is programmed to provide highly accurate positioning for shorter distance events, such as 10Ks and 5Ks. For these events, frequent location updates are transmitted, which will drain the battery at a faster rate.

What’s Using Your Battery?

You can check to see how much each app is pulling on your battery by looking at your phone’s settings area (For both Android and Apple devices, you can find this under Settings > Battery).

Picture6

Share any of your battery saving tips by sending them to rockstar@racejoy.com. For more information about RaceJoy, please visit www.racejoy.com.

Picture7

Author: RunSignUp

RunSignUp is the leading innovator of online tools for race registration, race day solutions, and running clubs. Services include RunSignUp for registration, RunSignUp Go for Race Day, RunSignUp RD Go for Timers, RunSignUp Clubs to enable membership management, and RaceJoy for mobile experiences. More than 10,000 race directors, timers, running club officers and running stores use these services today, including leading organizations like the Boilermaker Road Race, Crim Festival of Races, Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., Fifth Third River Bank Run, Blacklight Run, Bubble Run, Night Nation, Mercedes Marathon, Kentucky Derby Festival, Leone Timing, KC Running Company, Compuscore Timing, Knoxville Track Club, Pikes Peak Road Runners, Gulf Coast Runners, Columbus Running Company, Playmakers Running Store and many more. In 2015, over 10,000 races used the system to register more than 2.7 million participants. In 2016 over 14,000 races will use the system to process over 4.3 million paid registrations. Services are free except for processing fees when conducting monetary transactions such as race registration or club membership renewal. RunSignUp is founded by runners for runners, using technical capabilities to bring the power of cloud computing to benefit the running community. For more information, visit www.RunSignUp.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s