Tracking runs (speed & distance etc)

What's the best way? I've got an iPhone so I know there's a multitude of apps on there that can do this but the thought of running around with this thing strapped to my arm doesn't fill me with confidence nor do I want it jangling around in my pocket.

I've looked at some Garmin watches (forerunners) but they're best part of £100 each which is a little out of my budget.

So how does everyone track their runs? What's the best way (and most accurate) to do it?

25 Replies

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  • My HTC sits comfortably on my arm, bluetoothed to a Motorola headset that's similarly comfortable. Wires used to drive me mad, as did earphones falling out. I really like the endomondo app, but there are tons of them out there.

    I also wear a Polar HRM. I've promised myself a Garmin when I reach my target weight. It may never happen...

  • I might try taking my phone next time and see how I get on with it strapped to my arm.

  • I have endomondo but prefer runkeeper, even though the endomondo interface (I think) is a lot better - this is because runkeeper seems more accurate from the calories point of view (if you use it for this at all) as it takes account of your speed, whereas endomondo just says you're walking (for example) therefore you're burning this many calories, if this makes sense.

  • I listen to my own music on my Ipod, I plan and measure my route through Good Run Guide and I have a Speedo wrist stop watch. I'm like you and would quite like a Garmin but I just can't afford one.

  • Thanks! I'll have to give that GoodRunGuide a go.

  • I can't afford a garmin right now either :( I suggest the NHS give us one each for graduating ;)

  • My "tracking" is done retrospectively - so granted you don't get quite as much data. I run with my iphone anyway, but don't put many apps on it.

    For my retrospective tracking I use mapmyrun online, and then you can "draw" in the route you did. It does require a memory of the route, but I like the way it solidifies the route for me (I've been using the running programme to get to know my area better too!). Until you get a gadget it might be a good way to start getting some data :)

  • I already do a similar thing. I do my run, walk home and then jump on Google Maps and track it that way. It kinda gives me a rough idea of my distance travelled.

    I guess it's more to track my speed more than anything.

  • I too map my routesmanually on the pc- too technophobic to have a smart phone but it would drive me nuts to take it with me anyway.

    I use mapmyrun because unlike google maps it has the option to tell it how fast you did the route in and it then tells you your speed. You don't get splits without using the app but at least you can see your average time getting better.

    It also gives you the chance to log your workouts so you can look back and see if you are running more or less kms per week as well as seeing your average times improve over the weeks.

    Old- fashioned but it has become a part of my cool down routine and I look forward to seeing if I'm better or worse every time"

  • I'm intrigued because people keep talking about what their running pace is. I've got a smartphone, which I run with, but the apps I've found (endomondo and runkeeper) track my average pace, so this includes all the walking sections so doesn't reflect my running pace. It would be useful to have something ideally that can tell when you're running or walking, but something that at least records the fastest and slowest pace as well as average - any ideas?

  • Endomondo tracks your pace as you go, have a look at the graphs online, assuming you upload the data?

  • Ah...that'll be why then - I've not uploaded it anywhere as I didnt feel like sharing it with the whole world. How does that work then, it gives me the option to sign in with facebook, or with email - do i need to give it my email password and it links the account with my email?

  • Sign in either way. You can tell it not to share, I have.

  • Got it, much better, thanks :)

  • MotionX GPS app give you a bar chart log of your run as well as your averages etc

  • map o meter, is a brilliant way to plan or track your run and tells you calories burned etc xx

  • I use Runkeeper on my HTC Wildfire, which I strap to my arm with a Y-Fumble. What annoys me about Runkeeper though is that you can programme it to do a 5 min warm-up and warm-down but it then includes that as your first 5 minutes, so 5 minutes into the run, it says you've done 10 minutes. It also includes the distance from your walks, so I was having to take approx 0.8K off to allow for the 10 minutes of walking, and could never work out going round how much distance I had covered. So yesterday I just walked to my usual setting off point in that direction and then turned Runkeeper on without the warm-up, and it was much much better. I ran my furthest yet as well - 4.95K in 30 minutes. I do really like Runkeeper, apart from that little niggle with the warm-ups.

  • I have found this annoying with runkeeper however I just switch it on when I leave the house and have it on the walking setting as I have to walk for about 20 minutes to get to somewhere where i can run flat for 25 + minutes so when I get to the starting point of my run I switch it to running - I quite like the fact that all the walking to and from is tracked too as I have found since starting running I am more active all round and do a lot more walking - its all good exercise. But by restarting it when you get to the running point you can keep a better tab on your running stats. Hope this helps :-)

  • And I have a Nike+ Sportband! At about £40 it does all I need - you wear the watch on your wrist and a 'pod' in a pouch on your shoe - it will tell you your pace, distance etc while running, then when you're home you upload your run data and get all glorious about it!

  • How would that work if you are the kind of runner who keeps finding herself ankle (and higher) deep in water and mud or with brambles running after her?

  • I use the mapmyrun app on the iphone. I find it's absolutely perfect. You can set it to tell you (in your ear) each time you do 1km, or 5 minutes, or whatever you want really. It keeps a track of your average pace over the whole journey and also, if you set it to, can track the average pace and speed of each split (every 1km, 5 minutes etc etc). It maps your route as you run and then when you upload it at the end of the run (just over your connection, you don't have to plug it in or anything) you can view your splits, elevation, run times etc. I don't think I could want more from it. It's also just recently upgraded and now you can sync all sorts of things with mapmyrun, like a nike+ sensor, garmin, polar etc. I realise this sounds like I work for them, but I just really like the app!

  • I use runkeeper but I don't "start activity" until the end of the 5 min warm up and I stop it as soon as I stop running.

  • I like mapometer I found it easire than mapmyrun although you do it in advance/aferwards

  • runkeeper is great although have to say this was the first app i have tried and i have stuck with it. You can buy a cheap armband from ebay and I hardly notice my phone on my arm once in place. I like runkeeper because its easy to use and its very motivating to be able to see how far/fast you have run and its got a get section for creating routes. I use this when I go out on my bike so I don't get lost as you can view the map. You can play music at the same time and set runkeeper to do announcements at intervals. Also its easy to share with facebook ect to compare with friends.....I might give endomondo a try though as that looks good too.

  • If you have an iphone then motionX gps from the app store is 69 pence it give you speed distance and logs your route and overlays it on a google map. You can play music/c25k podcast through the app if you add it as a playlist. It speaks to you every 5 mins and tells you your progress and if you wish you can take a pic and geotag it as you run...then once your complete you can share the entire route on FB or twitter with your route shown on google maps.

    Oh and BTW I lost my C25K virginity this morning :-) first run since high school and i actually really enjoyed it.

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