My husband started before I did.
Suddenly he wanted to take the kids on walks all the time. Fantastic! I was way on board. But he kept “needing” to direct our walks onto odd, winding routes, past churches and monuments and plaques. He rarely looked up from his phone, stopped erratically, and wandered off while the kids played on the playground. He suggested that maybe, when I go running, I could take his phone with me?
His behavior (and that request) seemed bizarre until I downloaded the Pokémon Go app for myself. I guess I was a bit of a late adopter, somehow having managed to avoid the Pokémon craze as a child/teenager, which made me a little less excited than others with stronger nostalgia for the game. I picked up on the concept quickly: walk around, visit stops to collect items, catch the Pokémon that appear randomly, hatch eggs by walking. Eventually they added the “buddy” feature which let me pick a Pokémon to walk around with me who would find a “candy” every 3km that I could use to make him stronger or evolve him into something else. Lots of walking. And stopping. Walk. Stop. Walk. Stop. We spent hours and hours over the summer this way.
Now that the temperatures are dropping, going for long, slow walks with the kids is a lot less appealing, but I’m running more. I’ve gotten pretty good at maximizing my running/Pokémon-ing technique, I think. Here are my tips for doing the same:
1. Don’t Stop
I know, those wild Pokémon appearing are tempting. And that gym you’re pretty sure you could take if you just stopped and battled for a few minutes…
But obviously, this is not conducive to a good run. Get the app running and then stop looking at it. Your main focus when running should be, well, running. Use your run as a way to maximize the candy earned from your buddy and to hatch any eggs. If you can easily check in to a stop without having to literally stop, then awesome. Otherwise, just don’t worry about it. You don’t literally have to catch ’em all. If you really need to stock up and hit some stops, then see number 2.
2. Choose an area you’re familiar with
When planning your route, try to pick somewhere where you’ve played Pokémon Go before a fair bit and know the stops well. This will help you get all your check-ins without having to spend too much time staring at your phone, which can slow you down or even be dangerous if you’re not paying attention to where you’re going.
3. Skip it on important training runs or races
Don’t plan to get a PR while playing games on your phone. While it can be great motivation to get out the door and go for a run every day, Pokémon hunting should mostly be reserved for easy, laid-back runs without major goals.
4. Make sure you have a buddy
If you haven’t assigned a Pokémon as your buddy, what are you waiting for? You’ll get occasional XP bonuses and regular candy bonuses. Choose a Pokémon that is not terribly common in your area, for which it is normally hard to acquire enough candy to evolve or level up, and then rake in that delicious candy by doing the running you were doing anyway.
Don’t expect, however, that it will accurately track your distance. Sometimes I go for a 5km run and don’t receive a candy even though I supposedly should be getting one every 3km. I’ve heard it speculated that it’s because your pace when running is too fast, but I’m not sure that’s accurate – I think a lot of it is just wonky GPS (speed definitely matters to some degree as the game will not count driving towards your totals, but personally, my running pace does not approach the speed that I drive). Regardless, it’s better than not travelling the distance, and you will still acquire candy way faster than most.
5. Have an egg in the incubator
This should be obvious, but make sure any incubators you have available to you have eggs in them, as eggs are hatched by walking (or running). If you really want to maximize your egg hatching ability, you can spend a few bucks to buy more incubators.
Do you play Pokémon Go and use it while running? Let me know what your system is in the comments below!