Couch to 5K
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I'm low tech... How does it work?

I have an old Polar HRM bat have stopped using it - just 2 weeks into the program I found that I did not need it to know if I was able to run and talk....

But sometimes I'd like to use the apps everybody is talking about, tracking route and so on... the only thing is: I do not have a clue on where to start.

My main question is :

Do I need to be in an area that has phone coverage to use positioning apps (GPS and so on) ?

I live - and run in one of the few areas with no coverage (I reckon is probably the only one left in the whole world! Even in the remotest place in the Himalayas my phone worked...)

6 Replies

For a phone app, you would need coverage I think! the gps is picked up from satellites but I think the actual app bit might need the phone signal - that wasnt very helpful was it.

I gps watch would be fine it just needs to find satellites


Just checked for a phone app you would need data coverage (signal) for the gps to work.


Thank you! ... I guess I will remain low tech since I don't want to take the car to go for a run!


Hi Pigivi,

I am a bit of a geek aka nerd when it comes to technology, and I work in the field of gadget electronics. You have 3 main techie things when it comes to running:

1) Pedometers - these simply count the number of steps that you take (walking or running) and calculate the distance that you've travelled. These vary in price from about £20 for a simple one, up to £100 for a fancy-pants one that can link up to your phone so you can see all the data as graphs etc. The link between the pedometer and phone is 'BlueTooth'. The pedometer does it's counting, and then links to the phone when you get back home to transfer the data. Whilst the phone will assume that it has a mobile-phone signal to send all the data from the pedometer to the web, it is not essential. Brands to look for are JawBone, Withings, FitBit etc. Whilst they will count steps, they may not tell you how fast you run.

2) Mobile Phone Apps - obviously these are very low cost (or free) when you already have the phone. I agree with SpoonieRunning that they will need a mobile phone signal to work properly. Most modern smartphones have an inbuilt GPS chip and so, they can get a very accurate location of where you are. This helps the apps record where you have been, how fast you have run etc. But, they'll assume you have a phone signal when running :-(

3) Running Watches - these are watches with inbuilt GPS chips, and will record your position when running. They start at about £75, and will tell you pace, distance, time elapses, average pace, heart-rate (on more expensive watches) whilst you are running. All the data is stored on the watch, and when you get home, you can transfer all the data to your phone (again by bluetooth) or plug the watch into a computer where the data is uploaded to a website. On the website, you can see all your runs and data, and even share it with your friends if you want to!

Given your lack of phone signal, you'll needs either option 1, or options 3. But I recognise that there is quite a cost in these gadgets.

Member Blessingway just bought a pedometer, so maybe she'll tell you how its going. And I think Spoonierunning just bought a Garmin???


Thanks for the details! ... The 3rd option is tempting :) And to think that when I was 16 I used to run with a pair of very flat trainers, a heavy cotton grey tracksuit (you know, the one that Warren Beatty wore in Heaven can wait) - 45 minutes every single morning before going to school... not a stopwatch in sight! Times are a-changing indeed ;)))


Very useful as I'm toying with the idea of getting an app for my iPhone 5s or a Garmin watch.


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