Couch to 5K


I am now the proud owner of a transformer netbook thingy. I am also getting a new phone = Samsung MiniS5, so am very excited about that. I did like the idea of a Garmin, BUT too much spending over Christmas and my other new gadgets have put paid to that. So what are my options for a low cost distance tracker or even a free one. Is the Fitbit any good? Would I be able to do something on my phone and use it as a GPS?

I do have a 12 year old son who is good with technology but he certainly doesn't get that from his mum, so it needs to be easy for me to use, or easy for him to explain to his technophobe mum.

I'm trying to get back into it following Christmas flu, but now have a stinker of a cold so not sure I'm up to it yet. My boys and are going to train for the Race for Life in July - it is the last year that my eldest can run with me and I'm hoping having the boys along for the ride and having an aim will give me the kick I need to get out again.

Thanks for any advice.

5 Replies

Hi, there are a couple of freebie apps that I know of...Map my run and endomondo..might be endermondo come to think of it.I don't know if they will work on your phone but probably will.I wouldn't recommend fitbit or vivofit for tracking your runs.They won't show you your route. I have the cheapest Garmin and it does a good job but the apps are cheaper still lol


I'm assuming that the Samsung phone is an Android phone. If so, you can use Endomondo, MapMyRun, Runkeeper or Google Tracks to map your run. My preference is for Endomondo. I use it to log my times, pace, distance and route. If you want a step counter on your phone I would suggest Google Fit. Remember that for the run trackers (Endomondp you have to turn GPS on under Location. This will flatten the battery in 4 or 5 hours if left on. I turn GPS on just before I run and then off again as soon as I finish. Google Fit Will work as a step counter without needing GPS. In general, your phone will give you everything a basic GPS watch will as long as you have the right apps installed. It's just rather more fiddly (can't wear it on your wrist but have to keep taking a phone out of your pocket to start, stop and check...)


MapMyRun app on my phone has always worked well for me and it is very easy to use.


I use MapMyRun -,you can use it for free ( there is an option to upgrade to get extra functionality for a price, but I have never felt the need to do that). It's simple and pretty accurate.


Fitbit is fantastic, it is simple, easy to use and keeps you motivated. Had mine for nearly 2 years now - it goes everywhere with me. It links to smartphone to provide more info if you need it.

Apps for smartphones are ok, but often the GPS is not as good as a dedicated sports watch.

In particular my iPhone takes a lot longer to work out where I am starting from, and sometimes the route looks very ragged on the map. However it is 'free.' Suggest trying MapmyFitness or MapmyRun, but there are several others that are good. Most apps will sync with a sports watch if you decide to buy one later.


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