Which app do you use when running to track your runs?

I treated myself to a new smartphone yesterday and I am now loading stuff onto it. I'm a bit of a Luddite and a technophobe, so this is challenging :D

I've seen Endomondo, Runkeeper, MapMyRun, Nike+ all quoted as good to use. I know some apps seem to find it harder to keep the satellites in view, as it were. Some of my routes are quite tree-lined - nice in the summer heat, but perhaps not ideal for GPS? Others are very rural and have spotty mobile coverage.

Any suggestions? What's your experience? Recommendations? Lessons learned?

Any help would be much appreciated, thanks.

39 Replies

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  • I use RunKeeper - it's free and does everything I want (and more). It occasionally has a mad moment where it thinks I've run a mile in about 2 minutes (hah!), but although that shows in the minute-by-minute bits, it doesn't seem to have an effect on the overall pace records... Not quite sure how that happens, but since I want the stats out of curiosity rather than for any serious reason, I'm not too fussed at an occasional glitch anyway. :)

  • Hee - a mile in two minutes - I like it! :D I only want the stats out of curiosity as well, as at the moment I have to go to Mapometer to work out the distance and then CoolRunning to work out my pace. It looks like this might be one to try then. Thanks for the help :)

  • I'm using mapmyrun. I set it going before I launch the podcast. I have it set to tell me when 5 minutes has passed - I find this quite useful to judge how far through the podcast I am, how long I have left to go etc. I can look at the stats on my laptop when I get home (although also viewable on the iphone) and it tells me stuff like splits between each mile (it hasn't got very many of those to worry about!), elevation, pace etc. And it plots out the route I took and stores it so I can always check back. Not that I vary my route much. Creature of habit, me! Have fun playing and experimenting. I'm tempted to try some of the programmes in Runkeeper when I'm done with Laura. :)

  • Thanks for this :) It looks like I will have to try several runs with different apps and see which one I like best! Splits between each mile sounds very advanced :O I'm only curious about the stats because sometimes the same run feels faster or slower, and yet with my primitive stopwatch, Mapometer and CoolRunning I'm never very confident that I've recorded the right thing in the right place :D

  • I use Mapmyrun too, I love being able to see the elevation profile of the run - and it has a hill grading system which is cool

  • I use Mapmyrun too, I love being able to see the elevation profile of the run - and it has a hill grading system which is cool

  • I use both RunKeeper and MapMyRun - but have now bought a Garmin Forerunner 10. :)

    The smartphone apps are excellent for routes, pace, distance, etc and storing all the data from your run, and even sharing it with friends, but I like to leave the phone securely in place as a touchscreen is difficult to use when running and an iPhone easy to drop. So I don't normally try to see the data during the run (hence the Garmin).

    You can run both apps at the same time of course! :)

  • Thank you. I can't think that I would want to look at it while running, but I am interested in the data afterwards, so the idea is that my phone will sit securely in the armband while I'm out. Not sure about sharing my info...! :D

  • That's what I thought. But then when I looked a the data I found my pace varied quite significantly from run to run, and I realised that it may help me to run for longer if I ran at a constant pre-determined pace (which you can monitor while running).

    It's also nice to know if you re close to achieving a specific distance.

    As for sharing the data, only my daughters have access to mine - and they haven't become too patronising yet. ;-)

  • I hadn't thought about the distance - good point. At the moment I have three 5k routes mapped out but I suppose that if I go off piste it will be good to know roughly how far i've come. I need to start saving my pennies again then :)

  • Landesman - why would you use both RunKeeper and MapMyrun? Do they each have some individual functionality you like from both? Just curious. :)

  • I was curious too... :) Just to see which I preferred really - and I sort of favoured RunKeeper, but there's not much in it.

    I used RunKeeper for the whole run (including the warm-up/warm-down walks) and tried using MapMyRun for just the running part (but it was still too fraught trying to use a smartphone screen while running).

  • Good question indeed. I currently use Runtastic and I'm pretty pleased with it but no one here seem to use it so I'm curious to know what are the differences with the other apps? Thank you! :-)

  • The choices are just increasing :D What is it you like about Runtastic? I hadn't heard of that one before.

  • I use Runtastic. I like it. Paid alot for the upgrade though!

  • I use Runkeeper! Question though. Is is my rubbish smartphone or does runkeeper not work when its dark?

  • It should work when dark (though I've not tried it). After all it uses the phone's inbuilt GPS to track the run so whether dark or light shouldn't affect a GPS based app.

  • It works in the dark :), I did my runs during the winter about 9pm and it worked spot-on.

  • I might switch to Runkeeper then. I'm trying out Endomondo but the free version has ads. It's not the ads I object to as such, but the content- not pleased at being re-directed to a porn site right before my run!

  • Yuk! I know a lot of people seem to use Endomondo but this is the first time I've seen this feedback. I still might try it to see what the data is like from the run, but I don't like the sound of this 'advertising' at all. Thanks for the warning.

  • Hmmm... well I have been using Endomondo for six months and don't think I've ever had a porn site advert. Mainly upgrade suggestions and online gaming ones but you know when they will appear - within a few seconds of starting the app and never while it's tracking. I love endomondo because it's easy to record loads of different activities - running, walking, hiking, cycling for pleasure, cycle commuting and on and on. It has never let me down - only twice did I forget to turn the GPS on the phone on beforehand as I find it drains the battery otherwise.

    And this is free too!

    Cheers

    Graham

  • Thanks, Graham - it's always interesting to see what experience others have had with the different apps. I can see that I will be trying all of them! Unfortunately my lovely shiny new phone doesn't seem to hang onto its charge for long already, so turning the GPS on may cause more issues, but I'll test that out as I go along. Fingers crossed :)

  • The ad isn't for a porn site (think it was something to do with cars), but when I clicked on it I was redirected to one. Not a very nice one either! I did tweet Endomondo about it but they never replied.

  • Steve and I used endmondo because so many others at that time on this site was using it. It worked out okay for us. We gifted ourselves with Garmins when we Graduated. So much better then carrying a smartphone if you don't need to. Me thinks you just may need one of those little Garmin thingies! ;-) Gayle

  • I needed a new mobile and a new mp3 player, and my stopwatch is a bit dodgy! I will save up for a Garmin but that might be next year :) Something to look forward to :)

  • I use Sports Tracker on my iPhone. Not had many problems with it and it's usually quite accurate.

  • Thanks - that's one I hadn't heard of before! I'm going to be busy trying them all :D

  • RunKeeper provides mile splits at the end of the run, and I have mine set to tell me every 5 mins how far I've run and my average pace. The website bit of it also has various graphs available, including an elevation one so you can see just how horrible that big scary hill is - and see how your speed each minute relates to the elevation climb... I quite like that :)

    Best plan is probably what you say - download several, give them a try, and see what you like best.

  • Thanks. I like the idea of setting it to give me 5 minute updates in the run - that might be very useful. And I love the thought of the stats and the graphs afterwards - how sad am I? :D I can see some fun times ahead trying them all and comparing :)

  • I use runkeeper and find it very useful. I often use the bridge 2 10k podcast and my runkeeper is set to tell me how I am doing every 10 mins. I like the graphs and progress reports and you can set yourself goals. It will also send you a reminder to do some exercise if you are slacking a bit :-)

  • Runkeeper is the one I downloaded today so it's first in my trials! I think the reminder to exercise is a good thing... :D

  • one warning about runkeeper-if you dont have it silenced, it shouts out every 5 minutes how fast you are going.....and everyone can hear. However, if you have headphones in and a playlist going then of course noone can hear it. I use it on a quiet version of 'shouty'mode when I do parkrun because I prefer to do parkrun 'sans headphones' but I still like the 5 minute updates. I have noticed others doing that too, and of course it then ends up that our runkeepers are speaking simultaneously-a weird sort of stereo effect. I also have a Garmin Forerunner, and the one downside is that mine is a nightmare to charge-the little contacts on the charger just dont seem very good at making contact. Otherwise its a really nice gadget.

  • :D thanks for telling me! Luckily there aren't many people around when and where I run, but I can see that would be embarassing 'cos I'm slow! Interesting about the Forefunner too. I'm sure I'll post again when I've saved up my pennies to buy a Garmin because I'll be in another dither about which one to buy!

  • I like Runtastic - free on itunes. Gives you maps, times, routes afterwards and you can say what the weather was like, what surface you ran on, how you felt after each run for when you want to look back on your progress.

    It isso links directly into another app I am using, MyFitnessPal, as I am also calorie counting and updates that with my run, and calories burned, automatically. Always a bonus when you get more calories in a day lol!!!!! ;)

  • Thank you - I hadn't realised it linked directly into MyfitnessPal, which I use intermittently. Perhaps if I use both I will be more motivated to get back on the diet track! A great tip - thanks :)

  • Endomondo automatically links to MFP as well. Love endomondo and the non-ad version was only 2.99 so didn't break the bank!

  • Thanks - I haven't even looked at Endomondo yet, so that's possibly next. I like the idea of no ads, as well. Oh, the possibilities in this running lark... :D

  • I use Strava. It's free, gives you pace, elevation, keeps a log and maps of your runs and is compatible with HR monitors if you have/want one. Have just downloaded the audio fuel app too try out their training runs/music. It does very similar things, I'm planning to do a few runs where I use audio fuel and Strava at the same time so I can compare distances/pace etc. Will do a blog post once I have done this... keep us posted on what you find/like.

  • That's one I hadn't heard of at all, so I will add it to the list to try out! I've just fallen out big-time with Mr. Mapmyrun, because he's lost me twice now. He's not good to me if he can't keep his attention focused on me for 35 minutes :D

    Thanks for the tip - I'll let you know how it all goes, but also I shall look out for your post about audio fuel and Strava. Haopy running!

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