Thursday, March 3, 2011

Heaven For A Runnerd

I am in Runnerd heaven.

Recently, blog/Twitter buddy Blanda (who lives/runs in Guam, how awesome is that?!?) recommended the best thing any runnerd could possibly ask for - a free app that tracks all of the statistics you could want for your runs.

Does it keep track of mileage? Check. Pace? Check. Time? Check. Routes? Check. Total miles for weeks/months/etc.? Check. Elevation? Check, check and check again.

The app is from miCoach and I've now got it on my BlackBerry but it's also available on the iPhone (not sure if it's free there). Seriously, who needs a Garmin when you have this handy?

Let me show you what's got me so over-the-moon with this.

Here's my Mt. Rubidoux run on Tuesday:

Notice: It keeps track of time, calories (although I take that with a grain of salt), distance, speed and elevation. It even keeps track of your freakin' playlist!! Check out part of what blared in my ears for that run (it's off the left). Amazing. Also, you can rate each run and log what shoes you wore during your runs under the notes section. But that's not all. See the little runner at the bottom there? If you move the icon, it will show you how much time had elapsed, how far you'd run, the elevation AND your pace at any point during the run. For instance...

... there I'd run a little more than a mile. I went up the steep side so I was huffing and puffing there near the top of Mt. Rubidoux, with a blazing 11:06 pace. Later...

... I was clocking in at an 8:16 pace. Hills, what goes up must come down.

But that's not all.

You want to know elevation during your runs? Done.

Hey now! Um... nice representation there of something. Anyway... that's my Mt. Rubidoux run in all its glory. This shows me that it's a little under 900 feet at the start, and around 1,300 feet at the top, which means an elevation change of 400 feet. That's in one mile if you go the steep side and over two miles the other way. Nice!

But that's not all. You want to see your pace in action?

Done. The gray line is how fast I was running, and on the right-hand side is where it tells you the pace by minute, faster paces are higher and slower paces are slower. So you can see how I don't hold any pace consistently. Well, you'd expect that when running hills. But look at this workout from Wednesday.

It's relatively flat, right. A few peaks and valleys... okay, one peak and one valley and that's about a 30-foot peak and 30-foot valley. This is the bike trail I've been taking my girls to ride on and I ran it on Wednesday. My pace is all over the place! I knew I sped up and slowed down throughout my runs but damn!

So you're probably wondering, well, if it's on my phone, am I holding the phone? And if not, how do I know how long I've been running? No, I'm not holding my phone. It's on my arm, but you can set it to tell you how far you've run. If you want to know every mile that you've run a mile, it can tell you that. Every .5 miles, every 1.5 or 2 miles, or you can customize it. If you want to know when you've run .25 miles, it will tell you at .25, .5, .75 and 1 and so on and so on. A voice will come on and tell you your distance, calories, time and pace every whatever. And I think you can set it for the voice to be that of Ryan Hall or one other star runner, or just a random male or female voice as I have.

I told you, Runnerd heaven here.

There are other things I have yet to explore, such as customizable training plans, that are part of this.

Now, maybe this is ho-hum if you have a Garmin 305 or the newer models, or another similar GPS tracking devise. But if you don't, like me who has an older 105, this is great. I've always thought it would be nice to have stats available at the ready online, and now I do.

Seriously, this makes me want to run just to have something to analyze!

*Again, neither miCoach nor Adidas paid me to do this or anything but dammit, I will be happy to receive some gear to test out if either sees fit :) *


Kerrie T. said...

That is awesome! My 205 has some state like this, but not in a very easy to read form like this one.

Willoughby said...

Very cool!

Jake said...

How do you run with your phone? I haven't found a good way to do it.

L.B. said...

@ Jake - I've run before holding my phone and it was okay, not as bad as I thought. I have a plastic covering that helps me keep a better grip, it's a BB accessory.

Another way is in the pocket of a jacket. It's a running jacket so it fits kinda snug and the pocket zips up so it doesn't move around.

Another thing might be to get a waist pack. I saw that at an expo once and it looked cool, just a little pack that straps on your waist and the pocket was big enough to hold a phone/music player. I haven't tried that yet so can't say for sure.

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Great tip, I think I'm getting a new phone next week, I'll check it out for sure!

Laurie said...

That's way cool. I just got a new phone, I wonder if I can find something like that for mine. Anything would beat the dumb Nike+ sensor I've been using.

tahoegirl said...

way too runnerd for me... no it actually sounds cool.

Michael said...

This is cool. I have a Garmin, but this is still really cool. Thanks for the tip!