Carissa and I are both training for a triathlon in mid-September. All the swimming and biking has taken a toll on our running. We both feel slow...slow...slow. I needed a little confidence boost that I still have some speed left in me. Today I chose a hilly 10k route through the country by my house and decided that my purpose would be to "race" this route. And then I remembered...
My trusty Garmin Forerunner 305 that I have used consistently in all types of weather since 2008 just broke - literally into two pieces as I was taking it off - this week. No amount of duct tape or praying would revive it. It is officially in the Garmin Graveyard. May it rest in peace.
|poor Garmin... May it rest in peace.|
|on my run today - I just love living on the perimeter between town and the country.|
Now that I've had time to review the app I'm really impressed. Runkeeper has most of the features I love about my Garmin, plus some really cool features that my Garmin doesn't have.
Runkeeper has audio cues, something I've never used before, although I know many runners rely on this for their training. The first time The Lady talked it startled me. Every five minutes she told me how long I'd been running, how much distance I'd covered, and what my average pace was. Today I appreciated her verbal cues because I was doing a speed workout and she spurred me to pick up the pace when I was climbing the hills. If my intent for a run was meditative I would definitely turn the audio cues off.
Runkeeper kept track of my splits per mile and recorded them in this handy dandy chart complete with the slowest mile highlighted in RED and the fastest mile highlighted in GREEN.
Runkeeper kept track of my elevation gain/loss, something I always enjoy looking at after a hilly route. It also included a really awesome pace chart. I often come back from a run and am surprised - in good and bad ways - at the overall average pace. This chart is the bomb because it shows exactly where I was struggling and where I was running well below the average pace.
One thing that bothered me about using Runkeeper versus my Garmin was the accessibility. If I wanted to see my pace I had to dig out my phone, enter my password, and open the app. This was not at all convenient and something I only did when I was approaching traffic lights or forced stopping points.
I have gotten spoiled with my Garmin because it has an auto pause/resume feature. When I stop moving the Garmin stops. When I start running again it resumes timing. Runkeeper does not have this option. When I stop I have to dig out my phone, open the app and physically hit the pause button. When I start running again, I have to hit the resume button. I found this to be cumbersome and annoying. <<< Our Sole Sister Kathleen pointed out in her comment below that Runkeeper actually has an auto pause feature that needs to be manually turned on through the settings function. I've adjusted my settings and am looking forward to trying it out on my next run. Thanks Kathleen for the tip! <<<<
Carissa questioned the accuracy of the GPS on a phone app versus a running-specific GPS watch. She found this article that makes a case for Runkeeper being inaccurate in recording distances. With that said, I've run this 10k route a bazillion times. I know it's exactly 6.2 miles from my driveway back to the entrance of our neighborhood. Runkeeper tracked it at 6.23 miles. That seems pretty accurate to me.
Runkeeper also has planning (goal setting) and connecting (Facebook/Twitter) options available as part of the basic app. I don't plan to use either of those features but can appreciate why they would be helpful and motivational to other runners.
Runkeeper is user friendly without a huge learning curve. It has helpful information and really cool charts. Plus it bailed me out of a jam today. I'm really grateful for this new resource and will use it until I replace my Garmin. I've only used Runkeeper once, but I really liked what I discovered so far. I'd give it an initial five out of five stars.
Sole Sisters what do you use to track your runs? I'd love any input you have as I begin the process of researching my options.