Keeping tracks

I’m even more obsessed with running than normal at the moment so that’s generally what my brain wants to write about.

Runkeeper screen shot 1

That obsession also means that I want to know how far I’ve fun, at what speed and also how many miles I’ve run in the last week/month/year. For one thing it helps you understand how you’re training is going and whether you truly are getting fitter and faster. But it’s also quite nice to truly know how many miles you’ve covered each week rather than guessing at it. I may also have set myself the target of running 1000 miles this year but we’ll keep that one quiet.

This is where smartphone app’s come in so useful, yes I would love to buy myself a Garmin GPS watch but that’s £130 and doesn’t do that much more than the free app I’ve downloaded onto my iPhone.

So here are my favourite running apps, would love to know if you agree or if there are others that you think are better

Runkeeper screenshot 2

RunKeeper is now firmly my go to app for tracking my runs, I’ve played with quite a few others but this just seems to be the easiest to use and is packed full of features. Remember that 1000 mile goal? You can set that up in the app and it’ll track your progress towards it, plus the goals don’t have to just be distance they can also be a particular race, longest distance or weight based.

It of course does the basic functions of measuring the distance you run, the time it takes, average speed and pace, plus it plots the run on a map so you can see where the mile markers are etc. If you want you can get the app to give you audio cues as you run e.g. as you complete each mile it can tell you the time it took to run and total time. Lots of options for what exactly you want to hear and when. I also discovered this week that if you want to do an interval run for example you can program that in and it will tell you when to speed up and slow down. Very useful.

All very good and easy to use, but the icing on the cake for me is the RunKeeper website where you can view all your activities, plot them on graphs (if you’re a geek like me) and add friends who also use the app so you can see the runs they are doing. There is also the option to search for running routes that other users have done as inspiration.

Interval Timer

I could go on but I think you get the picture.

The other app I use regularly is a lot simpler. Interval Timer is the app I use when I’m doing my core workouts at the gym. I’m a big believer in short, intense workouts for core exercises and this is invaluable for doing them. You program in the work and rest periods and it gives you audio and visual indications of when to change. Very customisable to exactly the workout you are doing and easy to use. No fancy functions etc but to be honest that’s exactly what I want from it.

Both apps are free and RunKeeper is available on both Android and iOS from the respective app stores.


4 thoughts on “Keeping tracks

  • Sounds like Runkeeper provides all the same features as the app I use, Endomondo. I believe it’s got a better reputation on Android than it does on iPhone, where the music controls aren’t as well integrated (historically anyway) and the GPS can be a bit flakey.

    Runkeeper was next on my hitlist to try, but I liked Endomondo and stuck with it, and have even forked out 29p for the PRO version (in a sale!). I could be tempted to switch though, because I might have more friends using Runkeeper. Maybe I’ll give it a go at the weekend.

    I’m a sucker for graphs and charts and stats and things too btw 🙂

  • I use Nike+ for running, but I am going to download Runkeeper for my dog walking (no smart chip in my wellies!) Signed up for the Moonwalk this year, so it will be really useful to keep track!

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