Fitness apps obsess over running, but is it really good for you?

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To run, or not to run? That is the question.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Millions of people go running with their iPhone or Apple Watch every day. Logging runs is one of the main features of just about every fitness gadget on the market.

So should you join the sweaty masses and start using a running app? Not so fast. Not everyone is suited to running, and it won’t develop all aspects of your fitness. Plus, there are loads of other kinds of exercise you could be doing instead. What makes running so special?

Apple Watch is getting better at fitness tracking, but it still sucks for running

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Activity app rocks. Workout app sucks.
Activity app rocks. Workout app sucks.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

At WWDC this week, Apple all but confirmed that Apple Watch is really just a health gadget. Tim Cook described it offhandedly as a “device for a healthy life,” and most of the watchOS 3 segment of the keynote was devoted to health and fitness.

This focus on health makes sense. As an activity tracker, Apple Watch is arguably the best on the market, and watchOS 3 will make it even better. Apple’s wearable is ideal if you are simply looking to live a healthier day. But, despite some minor improvements, Apple Watch still sucks if you are into running.

Adidas wants you to 3D-print your own running shoes

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Print out your own specialized sneakers with Adidas' new tech.
Print out your own specialized sneakers with Adidas' new tech.
Photo: Adidas/Futurecraft 3D

Imagine a day when you can turn on your 3D printer and just print out running shoes that match your feet perfectly.

That day may be sooner than you think: sportswear company Adidas let loose a new proof of concept it wants to bring to market soon: 3D-printed running shoes.

Called Futurecraft 3D, this lightweight, high-performance footwear boasts a running shoe midsole that you can tailor to your foot’s own cushioning needs, a clear advantage over buying off the shelf.

Check out the amazing reveal video below.

Training for a marathon? Apple Watch can help

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You Apple Watch can't assess the efficiency of your running style
Apple Watch can help improve your race time (but watch where you're going!)
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

With Autumn rapidly approaching, marathon season is almost upon us. So if you’re planning on running a race, now’s the time to ramp up your training.

Whether you are doing a full marathon, a half-marathon or a 10K race, here are my top 10 tips for using your Apple Watch to achieve a new personal best.

Handy running accessory charges your iPhone (and could save your life)

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Keep yourself and your iPhone alive with the BSEEN Boost Pack.
Keep yourself and your iPhone alive with the BSEEN Boost Pack.
Photo: Trident Design

You can charge your smartphone while cycling or running with an accessory also designed to keep you alive on the road.

Sounds like a lot to ask of a battery pack, but the Boost Pack by BSEEN does both with a rather simple design.

The Boost is a belt pack with an LED light panel that stays lit or flashes. It also holds your smartphone and a lightweight 4000 mAH rechargeable travel battery pack to keep your phone charged.

Cult of Mac Magazine: Cool tricks for Apple Music, running with Apple Watch, and more

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More tips for Apple Music headed your way this week.
More tips for Apple Music headed your way this week.
Cover: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

This week, we’ve got a ton of even more great stuff for you all in one place. Check out our guide to getting Apple Music on your iPhone so you can listen without burning up all your data on streaming, our beginner’s guide on running with the Apple Watch, a profile on one of the best sports photographers out there who also happens to use an iPhone, a hilariously true interview with the developers behind, yes, the Farty Troll game, and the straight skinny on iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan public betas.

Get all that (and more!) in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine. Download and subscribe right here, too.

Running with Apple Watch, a beginner’s guide

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For your first run, select an “open” goal
For your first run, select an “open” goal
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

If you bought an Apple Watch hoping it would help you get fit, but you haven’t been on your first run yet, maybe you need of a little more encouragement. So here’s some advice from a reformed couch potato.

The first workout is the hardest. It gets progressively easier and more rewarding from there. You just need to know how to get started.

Can Apple Watch really help you get fit?

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Swatch has an answer for Apple Watch. Photo: Apple
Swatch has an answer for Apple Watch. Photo: Apple

With Apple Watch about to become a reality, recent reports have questioned the benefits of fitness trackers, highlighting their inaccuracy and even claiming they make you fat.

So can wearables like Apple Watch really help you get fit? From my experience, what’s in your heart is more important than what’s on your wrist — but gadgets still have a role to play.

Sensor-laden smart socks will turn you into a better runner

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Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
These smart socks will fix your heel-striking woes. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
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LAS VEGAS — Tons of wearables at International CES promise to help you get better at everything from brushing your teeth to perfecting your golf swing, but the last place we expected someone to toss a sensor was into our socks.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 Sensoria’s Fitness Socks are aimed at transforming you into a better, injury-free runner by embedding three sensor pads into the bottom of the sock that track your stride, cadence and speed while you’re running. Coupled with the Sensoria mobile app, runners can now get direct feedback on their running style to correct things like heel striking to help them dominate their next 10k.