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Monday, October 8, 2012

runtastic PRO App Review

Ok, so I was on the track & field team in high school back in the day but long distance running was never my cup of tea. I started off running cross-country simply because it was the first event of the year when I was a freshman and I turned out to become a sprint hurdler. Fast forward to now, where I am starting to run again, although the motivational effort is gargantuan. I'm a numbers guy so I want to see progression and I started off by just timing my runs and figuring out the distance with Google Maps.

Then came along the Google Play 25 Billion Download Sale where the runtastic PRO app was available for $0.25. Not much risk at that price so I gave it a shot.

The first you need to do is have a smartphone with GPS and data capabilities. Next, you should have an armband to hold the device on your arm so that you can hear the motivational voice. I set the voice to talk every 500m in my 5k run and it tells me the time, pace, and speed. It's funny because I'm notorious for slowing down, breathing really loudly and bobbling my head at a 45 degree angle as I run, and the voice reminds me of my pace (which inevitably drops).

When you're done, you click the "unlock button" (between "Basic workout" and "Running" button) and then "Stop Workout". You have the option of sharing your results with the usual social networks.


What's really cool is that at the end of the run, you input how you feel via emoticons, the type of running surface and the weather (usually automatic). I really like the charts that show you your speed/pace/elevation vs. time and as you can see mine drops a lot as time goes by. It also shows you split times by various distance and when you ran your best 1km, 2km etc.

You can also use Google Earth for a 3D view of you path or just Google Maps and it's color coded to distinguish the pace throughout your run.

Overall I think it's a great app. I really wanted to know where I slow down (I knew it was the second half but now I know for sure) and where I can improve. It's actually exactly what I hoped it would be.

It also seems that my 5km trail was really 5.36km all along. I've been trying to beat the 30min mark and to my surprise I did and I wasn't even done the trail. The huge drop in speed you see at the end of the pace vs. time graph was after I heard the voice say "5km in 29:47" and I just kinda let up. Does that mean the app actually took away some motivation?

A friend sent me this awesome meme :)

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