Tech Magazine

App of the Week - Runkeeper

Posted on the 18 September 2011 by Nerdywerds @NerdyWerds
RunKeeper is a great training partner

If you've been following the articles this week, you might have noticed a bit of a pattern developing. If you haven't been following, first of all, shame on you, and second, we've been covering running a good deal this week. Check the links after the article to get caught up. So I thought to myself, "Mr. Nerdy Werds, how should we put the bow on this week's articles?" Naturally, the answer is an App of the Week about running. So if you've gotten full blown barefoot fever, we have the perfect app you. It's called RunKeeper, and I personally don't go running without it.

This, like many of the apps I have on my phone today, was recommended to me by my brother. Around the time I started getting into barefoot running, or more accurately, barefoot walking, he suggested I try this app out to track my progress. I've got to say, I'm quite glad he shared this little number with me. Before I go and get everyone's hope up, you must have an iPhone, Android or Windows Phone 7 to enjoy this app. Once you have gotten your app downloaded and isntalled, it's time to get started. I recommend starting by setting up your profile online. Go to Runkeeper's site and log in. If you didn't create a profile on your phone, do so now. Once successfully logged in, on the lefthand side of the page you should see the "profile" tab. Click it and then you can set up your name, goals, athlete type and more. You can also set a profile picture. The reason for all of this is that you can connect with other Runkeeper's as part of a "Street Team" Your Street Team is a social group on Runkeeper that let's you connect with friends and other runners. The idea is that if you're keeping tabs on yor friends, and them on you, you'll be more motivated to get out and pound the pavement. If you're the competitive type, this is great for having proof of your blazing fast run, or your new longest distance. Nothing is worse than being one upped by someone that is clearly lying. With Runkeeper, your results are verified by the app and posted for your Street Team to see, so no more guys telling fish stories.

If you're not so much into the whole competition thing, Runkeeper still has a lot to offer. I personally just run or walk for the health benefits; I'll never be confused for an elite runner. But I do enjoy just being able to track my performance. It is nice to have a computer keeping me honest. It's so easy to cut a run 500 yards short. We've all been there. The end of a long run, legs are aching and you can see the finish line. But you can also see where you could stop at and call it a day. Unless you're the very dedicated type, I'm not, you may succomb to the temptation of ending the run earlier and just saying it didn't. Runkeeper is not going to go along with the lie. For me, this keeping me honest is the best thing an app could possibly do.

After you've finished your run, or walk or any of the other activities Runkeeper can track, you'll be able to look back at your workout. Runkeeper will show you your route, elevation, total time and more. But, to me, the coolest part is that you can mouse over a certain section of your route and it will show you your speed at that moment and the elevation. This is really good for deciding if you're mailing it in at any point. It is understandable that you slow down a bit going uphill, but if you notice several place on flat land that you slow down, you may need to re-evaluate your route or pace. Personally, I found out that on the second half of my walks I kind of took it easy. Once I fixed this, I began gaining much more from my worouts than I'd expected. It may seem like a pain, but it is important to review your workouts if you want to maximize your gains.

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