Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tech Tuesday: Digital Runner

So Legs and I are excited to have finished our first half marathon. It was a lot of hard work and a lot of time. Being such a tech-junkie, a good gadget always gets me excited to do something. Running turned out to be no exception! Since starting to run I've already been playing with several mobile applications for runners.

When Legs and I first started I still had my iPhone. A company called Map My Fitness (www.mapmyfitness.com) has a great site for sharing runs, bike rides, hikes, etc through their social networking system. Being a cyclist originally, I had been to the site to look up bike routes when I first got to Arlington. I later discovered that they have apps for the iPhone! MapMyRide, MapMyRun, MapMyFitness (They all do the same things with different color schemes and graphics). This app features sharing the map of your ride or run online as well as all your pace, time, incline information for personal records or sharing/challenging your friends. It also features Live Tracking. This is so in a race you're friends and family can track you real time! This app is free on the iPhone and it also supports interval voice announcements. It will chime in over your headphones with your current and/or average speed, pace or distance. I was always excited to see how I did and compare it to all my previous runs. Recently they released an Android and Blackberry version. I have not used either yet but hear they don't support Live Tracking at this time.

From the MapMyFitness website. Anyone notice what's wrong with this picture?

Now that I've moved to Android I've been bouncing between two different apps. Cardio Trainer and RunStar are both fun apps to use.

Cardio trainer does everything MapMyFitness did on the iPhone, but it also lets you schedule your workout routing to keep you motivated as well as track your calories burned and auto pause workouts when you stop and auto start them when you start moving again. All that is for free. If you pay $2.99 dollars you get the Race feature as well. I haven't tried this yet (it comes with a demo) but it says it pits you against your previous times to see how far below your previous paces you are and tells you how you're doing as you run. They also have a Pro version ($9.99) that includes additional features like setting target paces and choosing training programs to run/bike/walk to. Cardio Trainer even has a website that lets you view all your maps and stats just like MapMyFitness does, but without the social networking aspect. Instead, the app and website let you share workouts with your friends via Facebook.

From the Cardio Trainer website

RunStar is just a beautiful app. It's got a bunch of great features but it's also missing a lot. It's not nearly as detailed as MapMyFitness or Cardio Trainer, but it has a fantastic interface as well as a "Power Song" feature, much like Nike+ does on iPods. It's pretty new and seems to be developed by a small team, so I keep it on my phone just in case they implement some of the new suggested features. Like voice feedback, online maps, and racing yourself like Cardio Trainer.

From the RunStar website

Lastly, there's one other app I just read about. Endomondo. I have not used this yet or even seen much more than their home page but I can see it supports both the iPhone and Android. Anyone use this one yet?

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the 1/2 that's awesome! BTW, we have an android app. No need to switch apps if you are happy with MapMyFITNESS.


    Cheers, Carter @mapmyfitness