Quick question.What does everyone use to track... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Quick question.What does everyone use to track their runs?


As I normally run indoors on a treadmill, I am looking to start including more outdoor runs. I was just wondering what everyone uses to track their runs. Do you use activity watches or phone apps?

I would be grateful for any suggestions


EDIT: Thank you all for your advice, I am going to give a couple of apps a try on my phone see which one I prefer. Maybe when I graduate I'll treat myself to a GPS watch :)

37 Replies

I use MapMyFitness on my phone. I used to use runtastic but it was terribly inaccurate. It said I did a mile in just under 4 minutes once. MapMyFitness seems much more accurate.


Garmin ForeRunner 235.


I use Strava.

WhatsappGraduate in reply to Dal45



I totally adore strava :) strava.com/dashboard

I love following people on here too... its a great way to encourage etc too :)

I use MapMyRun from my phone. Works really well. Doesn't track my heart rate but then I am not too sure I really want to know that!

Hidden in reply to Greenback-Boogie

I bought a Bluetooth heart monitor thingy once. It's basically a chest strap and it talks to phone apps via Bluetooth to say what you're heart is up to. One time I watch the graph as I had the most pain free heart attack known to mankind. For about 2 seconds, it just went crazy. Well in excess of 220bpm and totally abnormal wave shape. I thought oh, that's odd, and then just carried on exercising.

I had reason to be at the doctors (totally unrelated reason) a week or so later, and I thought I'd mention it. I did say I suspected it was just the device playing up but just wanted to check. Doc replied that even the ECG devices in ambulances are a bit error prone, and they are expensive pieces of kit, operated by professionals. There's no way a sub 30 quid Bluetooth device is ever going to be reliable. That was a couple of years ago. I don't even know where said device is now. I dismissed it as pointless rubbish.

LaurenS91Graduate in reply to Hidden

I used to look at the HR monitor on the treadmill but after mine went way over 200 I questioned it's accuracy. Glad to see it's a common issue and not my heart

I use this too! It saves your runs so you can see progress too!


Strava here as well. Fitbit on the treadmill.


Strava ( although one time it was completely wrong) and I always wear my fitbit And use NHS couch to 5k app with Sarah Millican

LaurenS91Graduate in reply to KimLoulou

I've just switched from the podcasts to the app as I could no longer stand the music!

KimLoulouGraduate in reply to LaurenS91

I listened to the start of the podcast last night and the words are the same I think.


MapmyRun here! Just the free version, does everything I need except doing the run for me 🤔🏃🏼‍♀️

LaurenS91Graduate in reply to Millsie-J

Thank you, I'm going to give a couple of things a go and see which one I prefer :)

Millsie-JGraduate in reply to Millsie-J

I also add into my MMR log other exercise too so i have a complete record eg yoga, palaitis, walking, swimming 👍🏼


Hi Lauren I use Garmin forerunner 25. It maps all my runs outside aswell as step,distance,speed,pace etc. When I'm using my treadmill I a just it to indoor use. I also have a fit bit .

Happy running 😄😄

LaurenS91Graduate in reply to Hidden

That looks amazing. May have to ask nicely for one at Christmas if I manage to keep this running thing up!

Hidden in reply to LaurenS91

Yes you must. I highly recommend it. Before I had my Fitbit and a stopwatch. So it was so confusing . I had to take my fit bit off my bra to see the km's before I started my run which was a lot of fumbling. Then it was a case of starting my stopwatch blah ! blah! So my fab hubby bought this for me and I've never looked back. And a cool colour !

Good luck and Happy running 😄😄


I use Strava on my phone and a very cheap wristband called Mi fit. I may treat myself to an upgrade once I complete week 9!

LaurenS91Graduate in reply to lardofale

Sounds like a good plan! Strava seems to be quite popular, I will have to have a look at it

KimLoulouGraduate in reply to LaurenS91

I just have the free strava app


Garmin Connect

Suunto Ambit 3. Or endomondo on phone if have forgotten watch.


I started using strava for W1R2 (having remembered I signed up for an account almost immediately before I stopped cycling regularly so never used it). If you're a bit of a data driven geek like me then it can give you some useful (not gospel) facts to look at, to check if you're going at a steady pace, or if you're starting out quick and then going much more slowly at the end etc.

Depending on your model of phone (I've got a Pixel) you may have an inbuilt cadence monitor, which again while not necessarily 100% reliable, should be internally consistent and could help you to compare a slow down in pace to a slow down in cadence. (i.e., cadence steady but pace down = shorter strides).

I would never instruct anyone to go through all of that though :) personally I want to aim for consistency with the runs through the program, to get myself used to starting out at a pace I know I can maintain for a certain amount of time, and so on. But everybody approaches this in their own way and will only look to change if they feel it isn't working for them 👍🏻

If anybody does want to follow me, I'm at this link strava.com/athletes/917179


MapMyFitness, the free version is good, but I do now use the paid for one. I have tried Strava, but I don't actually like the interface.


Basically I don't. I just do what Laura says and when I get to the end, then that is that run done and then I do the next one. Nothing fancy but.....

Garmin 220 and before that, MapMyRun.


Garmin 235 :-)


I use Strava


Phone apps are fine and the accuracy will probably have more to do with the phone than the app, so take your choice. Plenty of free ones available.

Fitbits, I am afraid, have a poor reputation for accuracy, although I am sure they will improve as the technology moves on.

Running watches are the way to go for accuracy, but even these have their off days.

I run most of the time with Runkeeper on my phone, because I carry my phone for music and emergencies, although recently I suspect the GPS in my phone is dodgy, but also use a GPS watch. Mine is a Crane brand, from ALDI.

iain-strachanGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

I sent back my Fitbit because it hopelessly underestimated the heart rate during exercise. After a fast cycle ride back from work when I pushed myself really hard, it reported that the average heart rate was 85, which was ludicrous - should have been more link 120. I thought it might be a temporary glitch, or maybe having the watch on too tight, or something, but having tried it in several different positions, the results were the same - it could dramatically underestimate heart rate. Once I tried it by placing it on the tip of my finger which should be ideal. I had used my Samsung S7 to measure heart rate (the Samsung has a Pulse Oximeter), and it was 113 (recovering from another bike ride). The Fitbit said the heart rate was 66. The Samsung was the correct one as it displays the waveform on the screen.

A shame, really, as I liked the Fitbit website and the detailed graphs of heart rate during the day. But if you can't trust the heart rate, you also can't trust the calories burned.

Like many others, I use Strava to track the runs. The only trouble is that the progress reports every 1/2 km often coincide with the trainer on the BBC Couch 2 5 K app making an announcement. I alternate between Jo Wiley and Michael Johnson as the chosen "trainer". For music, most often I use Steve Reich "Music for 18 Musicians" - modern classical, with an absolutely constant rhythm, and an uplifting feel that gives the impression of motion and makes me want to keep chugging along!

I was wanting to see what the other trainers are like, I'm using the app. Is it easy to alternate? I didn't want to risk wiping my progress. Thanks! Also I have Fitbit and it often underestimated my distance so if I did 3.6km on Fitbit Strava will say 4.1km but I think need to connect it to gps via phone and that might help but also might not already be connected! Using it as a guide but wish it was more accurate!

iain-strachanGraduate in reply to Abergrad

Very easy to change trainer. Just click the settings (cog) icon on the left of the main screen, and the first item on the page is "Your Trainer". You can change it there any time you like.


Garmin 235 watch. I started off with the free version of Runkeeper on my phone and only invested in a watch after a year of running. Now I use both, runkeeper pipes up every 5 mins and every km. My watch vibrates at me every 10 mins and every km.


I use mobile app, as I use my mobile for music / podcast as well. I'm using Endomondo, as I can connect it to MyFitnessPal where I track my food.


I use Endomondo linked to Samsung S-health. S-health will now work and is supported on non-Samsung phones.

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