I’ve started running a lot more often to try to keep my girlish figure from exploding thanks to the massive amount of delicious food I eat. My goal is not to be stick-thin, but just to fit comfortably into my jeans. ALL my jeans. I never was much of a runner before. I hated running in highschool, never was that fast, and never really got the fabled ‘runners high’ that everyone talked about. After running about 1-3 miles each time I jog these past few months, I think I finally got it!
I’m sure my enjoyment of running now is attributed to a lot of different things, but one of them is definitely an iPhone app called RunKeeper. I used the free version for a long time before feeling guilty and finally buying the Pro version of the application. The only difference between the two that matters to me is that RunKeeper Pro has audio cues that tell you when you’ve run a certain distance and what your pace is. Not really a big deal. The Pro version is $10, which may seem like a lot for an iPhone App, but it’s worth it if it keeps me running.
At the beginning of my run, I just start the app and it loads my location. Then, I strap the phone onto my arm or hold it and just run. The app keeps track of time and does GPS voo-doo to calculate my pace, elevation, as well as map out where I ran. Later, I can log onto the RunKeeper site which keeps a history of all my runs. It’s pretty neat to see a google map of my run each time. It helps me plan out what paths to take to extend my distance. RunKeeper also has the option to share particular runs, so when a co-worker asked me what path I took on my jog, I could just link them to the map.
The only other feature I’d like is some sort of ‘achievement’ setting. Maybe I’m playing way too many video games, but it’d be neat to have a goal to work towards and then getting a pop-up in the app that says, “Achievement Unlocked! Ran 5k under 25 minutes!” or something.
There’s another program on the market called Nike+ that does the same thing, but I’d rather not have to buy another gadget or attach some dongle to my shoe. Since I already have a phone, it’s pretty convenient to just fire the app up for my jog. Don’t let the name deter you either. The app could also be used for biking, which I haven’t tried yet.