A bit deflated,my runs are not what I thought they were :(

I have been running for 2 years now (can't believe it) I have a 5K, 7.5K and a 10K route. Until recently I thought I was running 5K comfortably in 34 mins or speedily in 32mins. 7.5K in 55 mins and 10K in 1hr 8mins all tracked through Sports Tracker. I have always been a little disappointed that I am a slow runner but have to remind myself at least I am a runner. In February I treated myself to a new android phone. I have now noticed even though using the same Sports Tracker app my 5K route now appears to be only 4.3K so my 5k time is really 37 mins. My 7.5K run was really 6.6k so my new 7.5K time is really 59mins.I can't help feeling disappointed but can only presume my new phone has a more accurate GPS signal. I have now had to add loops onto each route to cover the correct distances.

13 Replies

  • It's a bit of a bummer to discover what you have, but I agree with what kittykat has said. Fantastic achievement and one you should be very proud of.

  • What makes you think that the GPS in your new phone is more accurate than that in your old phone???

    I usually plan routes using Google Maps - but often find slight discrepancies between point-to-point distances that Google quotes and that which my phone plus Runkeeper App comes up with. At any instance of time, a GPS only comes up with a Lat/Long point. It is the phones computer and App that calculates the distance/time between two GPS points.

    Whilst it is good to get accurate info to base future training around, once you have run a route and timed the run, then you have something concrete to work with. If every route is different, then the figures quoted by the Phone/App/GPS can only be used as a "guide". The ONLY true way to find out your pace is to run on a measured track ( eg with Parkrun or around a marked athletics track)

  • I agree with Bazza, plot your route on Google Maps. I had a similar problem with my Runkeeper/Android combo and found that the GPS on the Android phone was not accurate.

    Either way, you are out there doing it - be proud!

  • The best bit is the 'running for 2 years' That's real.

    That said, it *is* disconcerting when something like this happens. The technology can be so motivating sometimes but other times....

  • As Bazza and caj say, these things are not particularly accurate, more of a way to measure progress along a certain route, so if you see yourself doing the same route in less time you know you're getting faster.

    Try plotting your routes on mapmyrun and see what that comes out with, or you could go down the 'old fashioned' route and get an OS map and a piece of thin string, plot your route as closely as possible on the map using the string then measure it, 1:50,000 is an inch per mile, 1:25,000 is 2" per mile.

  • The same 5k route can vary by +- 200 metres on my phone GPS, regardless of the app used. Garmins, Nike Plus etc and the other dedicated GPS systems are more accurate. Parkrun's accurately measured 5k is the only distance and time that I trust.

  • I agree with what others have said - firstly, the positives are that you run distances with ease (wow!) or speedily (double wow!), and secondly, I'm not sure any GPS system ever agrees with any other, in my experience. Certainly MapMyRun, Endomondo and Garmin all log the same run I do differently. I agree, it must feel like a bit of a blow, but hey, you are a runner - enjoy and be proud :)

  • I wouldn't rely too heavily on GPS for distance tracking, at the best of times it can be out buy 200 meters or so, to put it into perspective, I ran in the Port Sunlight 10K last sunday, my Garmin told me it was 9.85km!

    Another thing to remember is that the GPS in smart phones isnt great, its more suited for Navigation in cars, stuff like the Garmin Forerunner watches are a bit better.


  • I plot my runs on goodrunguide once I've done them. I run off-road, so that means I can get a decent idea of how far I've gone without having to play with annoying electronics on my run. I'm not fast either, but I shall be very pleased if I'm still a regular runner 2 yrs from now.

  • That's a bummer isn't it. I had that too when my ipod told me I had done 7.5k when really it was 5k. I thought I was on a roll that day :) I know others have suggested this, but this is a good site for mapping routes: gb.mapometer.com/

  • Wow,thank you so much for all your motivating replies! For those of you who have recommended other ways to measure my route- I run different routes in my local arboretum,would I be able to measure these online if within a park? They do do a Park Run there I'll have to get up early one Sat and give it a try if they are a true 5K it will help.Thanks everyone

  • I would definitely recommend the park run, you know it's definitely 5k and your time is logged each time so you can compare easily how you are doing, but you sound like you are doing great x

  • I ran a parkrun on saturday. My garmin correctly timed my run whilst another runner with the same garmin watch model also had his run timed correctly. However the 1k split showed him to be 2 seconds ahead when he was a good 10 seconds. At the 4k point he was about 30 metres ahead physically however the garmins showed me to be quicker by 14 seconds(about 60 metres) a discrepancy of 90 metres. During the last 1k the garmins compensated for their inaccuracies his recording that he ran the last 1k well under 4 minutes.

    Whenever i play back my route i notice that the garmin often records me running over peoples gardens.

    Modern technology - best to use a tape measure.

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