Posted on Jul 27, 2015
Posted in: Running Tips
Coming off of my last college track season, I struggled with what to do to fill all my extra time. I had people tell me to try marathons and that never seemed like something that would interest me. There was no way I was going to transition from being a hurdler to a distance runner. I thought I would spare the world from seeing me try to run awkwardly for about .50 miles and be done.
Eventually, I caved in. I was having some serious running withdrawal and needed something to do. After a couple weeks of running my usual routes around Eau Claire and Appleton I started to check out some of the cool new GPS watches. From Fitbit to Garmin, these new watches were slick, but did not come with a college friendly price tag. I even tried one out and found that they were pretty cool. However, I found myself constantly looking at my time and mileage anxious to see where I was. So even though it was nice finally being able to see my pace and mileage, it was very distracting for my wandering eye.
I started to check out some free apps on my iPhone and was recommended to use Run Keeper. Usually I’m not a person for having apps on my phone, but right away I fell in love with this app. Not only is it FREE, but it does almost everything a running watch can do! My favorite feature is that it can talk to you while you run. This is perfect for me because I can have my phone strapped to my arm with an armband and it tells me when I’ve hit .50 miles, 1.0 mile etc. The coolest part is that you can customize it to whatever you want. If you want it to tell your time every minute, it can do that too. It also tells you pace and if you’re using your location services on your phone it shows you your run summary. Seriously, this is awesome. Even if you’re not a runner, it can map anything from walking to cycling to mountain biking. This app has ultimately inspired me to try out this whole “distance running thing” with its great features.
I’ll let you try it for yourself, what can it hurt? Here is my list of Pros and Cons for this particular app. Enjoy!
-GPS route mapping
-Tells you pace, time and distance
-Doesn’t drain your battery
-Gives you splits of your summarized workout
-Allows you to play music while the app is open (Pandora, Spotify etc.)
-Can connect to your personal heart rate monitor
-Allows you to share workouts with friends
-Super user friendly
-Have to carry your phone with you when you run, bike, walk
-Can’t look at it while you run
-Can’t compare workouts unless you buy an upgraded package
-No heart rate monitor
Clearly, nothing can really replace a running watch, but this is a good starter without committing a couple hundred dollars to a watch.