Android Running Tracker

I have been running since 1978 (or was it 1977?).  Some years I run more than others, some years (especially the last 10) I battle injuries that keep me on the sidelines.

Way back when I started (1977, or was it 1978?), running was not something people did, but, my hero, Jim Fixx did. One year he wrote a Running Log Book, which I bought.

30 plus years later, we still buy that log book (Tidbit: two of the authors passed away, the current author is the second authors son).

But something strange happened this year. I am not using the book like I used to.  It sits on my bookshelf while I forget to write in it…arrrghh.

A friend on Facebook posts his running accomplishments, so I thought to myself “Hmmmm, is there an app for that?”  Turns out….there is!  A ton of them.  I randomly picked the one at the top of the list: endomondo, and figured I would test it.

Testing endomondo

On day 1, I tested endomondo with a walk around my shortest (when I am most out of shape…like now)
running route around the neighborhood.

I turned on the GPS on my phone (the red arrow points to the area where the app tells you that your GPS is on, it was off when I snapped this picture), then fired up the endomondo app and hit the Start button. Then…..I started walking.

Truthfully, I did not expect it to work, so I decided just to walk and look at the app when I stopped.  Fifteen or so minutes later, I “Stopped” the app and was surprised to see that the mileage was close to what I expected. Then I was even more surprised to see the map of my route, and even more surprised to see that it was stored in my history!

Wow!

 

Looking at the route map I noticed that the blue line ran around the inside of the course, exactly the way I walked it.  Being an engineer, I wondered what would happen if I went on the outside part of my course for a little while?  Is the GPS capability good enough to see that slight change?

The next day (as I write this…today) I changed the sport to “Running” and fired up the app.  This time, when I rounded the first corner, I went across the street and stayed there until the next block, then crossed the road to the inside track.

When I finished, I stopped the app and looked at the route.  Much to my surprise, I saw the outside track (red arrow) AND then the transistion back to the inside (yellow arrow).

Wow, Wow!  Gotta love GPS!

This is terrific.  I think to myself:  “I can see the day very very soon when the book will be collecting dust and I will just use this app”.

But wait!  I will leave the book alone when I know my history is backed up just in case my phone dies (or when I get a new one).

Web Site

Well….there is a web site where all my information is saved.  Very cool.

Hint to the endomondo developers:  I really want to be able to “Export” my information to a spreadsheet compatible file.  At the current time it looks like I can only export a Garmin type file.  Arrghh.  I will keep looking, maybe I missed it.

Here is my workout web site…

Very cool.  I now can see the days that I ran in any month, and, on any particular day I can see the route that I ran (with all sorts of additional info pertaining to that particular run).  Gee….I always had to write in my book which route I took and over time I forgot exactly where any particular route took me.

If the above was not enough….the next picture shows more detail about my run like my pace (in yellow) and elevation (in gray).  You can see when I slowed down before stopping the app, and that the course is flat.

Wow, Wow, Wow!   Gotta love GPS (have I said that already?) !!!

But (I say to myself) I always track my running by the week, and at the end of the year, I add up all the weekly mileages to get a yearly total.

No problem…using the endomondo app and web site, all those calculations are done automatically!   This page allows me to see how many miles I have run in a week, month, or year.  Sweeeet!  Not only that, if you tracked your walks, bike rides, rowing…they show up too!  (Hmmm, I wonder if I can separate them?)

More Stuff

The app includes a bunch of other features, most of which I will not use.

You can log in via your Facebook account (I assume Google+ is on the horizon??) and share your run with your FB friends automatically (I think my running FB friend does this with his app).

While you are running there is a “Coach” who can talk to you, and your FB friends can give you a “Pep talk” as you run.  OK, those are two features I will NEVER use.  I run for the enjoyment and isolation from the real world.  The last thing I need is Lori telling me to run faster!  Yikes!  I don’t need pep talks…geezz…

No matter what I think….I just wanted to let you know that those features are there if you want them.

Summary

OK….I am convinced.

From now on my phone comes with me when I run.  I will use the endomondo app for the rest of this year and probably longer.  BUT…I will still enter the info in my 2011 Running Log just in case, and for old times sake.  Oh yeah….they (endomondo) have an app for the iPhone too.

The big question is…..will I buy a 2012 Running Log?????

Probably.

Hey….old habits are hard to break!

+++

Drive Safe!  Never Forget.

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