This Phone Was Made for Running: Runkeeper Pro

Posted: June 16, 2010 in Gear, Software
Tags: ,

While I wait for the Kool-Aid sipping iPhone faithful to get offa my daggum internets so that I can pre-order the new iPhone, I thought I’d give a quick rundown of the app I mentioned in my previous post: Runkeeper.

I hadn’t been planning on buying the Pro version, but it turns out the Free version doesn’t work with iOS 4 (I have an early copy of the OS, so it’s my own fault). One click later, I had the $10 app up and running (har). While $10 is a lot for an iPhone app, it’s cheap for a running computer, which is what this is meant to replace. It uses your iPhone’s GPS to determine route, pace, and distance. Heart rate can get on there as well…but since I don’t have a heart rate monitor, I’m not sure how.

Simply put, it works. I told it how long I wanted to run for (you can also use mileage as the workout setting), what music I wanted to use (hence my request for playlist suggestions), then I clicked the green button and ran! The only issue I encountered during the run was that my music was too loud and I ended up drowning out the time notations (which are every 5 minutes…I’d prefer less frequent updates, but apparently that’s not an option, pity) so I had to wrench the phone out and check to see how long I’d been out for.

It’s when I got home that the oooh-ahh factor kicked in. My wife eagerly looked over my shoulder as I flipped through minute-by-minute stats on my pace, showed my route on in-app Google Maps, and pulled up a nicely rendered display of my overall pace, time, and distance. All of this is uploaded to the Runkeeper website automatically where you can keep track of your runs, set up routes, and do all kinds of automated sharing via Twitter and Facebook (which I won’t bombard y’all with…yet).

I’m looking forward to using it on a regular basis, as it clears up one of my biggest issues with outdoor running – knowing how far I’ve gone. The pacing calculation is great too and I see that helping me as I mature and try to even out those peaks and valleys. If you have an iPhone and you carry it with you on your runs, grab the Free version of Runkeeper and try it out (they’re virtually the same except on the Pro version the GPS is a little more refined and there are no ads). I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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Comments
  1. Adam says:

    Yea, I checked this out awhile back, not compatible with the Touch (which makes sense, unfortunately). It is easily one of the cooler running things I’ve seen. has faaaaaar more functionality (and coolness) than my Garmin.

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