RunMeter App, Santa and more

Posted: January 2, 2010 in Marathon

So… we all know that Santa is pretty generous, jolly fat man. But in order to get what you want from him, you have to be on his nice list. Well, I must have been on his naughty list this year. Or, more likely, Santa’s budget didn’t match my budget this year.

I was selfishly hoping that Santa would bring me a Garmin Forerunner 305 watch. It costs about $200, but considering Santa’s first priority is making sure he brings all the toys for the girls and boys, dad will just have to make do with what he has.

Therefore, I took the other route and did some research on running apps for my iPhone. I usually never run with my phone, but if I could find a worthy app, I would make an exception. After reading many reviews and downloading a variety of free apps, including Runkeeper and rubiTrack, I decided to go with Runmeter . It costs $4.99, which is the most expensive app I have ever bought, but that sure is a lot cheaper than a $200 watch.

As you can see from this comparison, Runmeter has many more options. (Keep in mind, this comparison was done by the makers of Runmeter. Read into that what you will.) The biggest thing I liked about it was that it is battery friendly and can run when in sleep mode. Those who have an iPhone, know how important those two features can be. It also allows you to control it using Apple’s earphones with remote and mic. You can pause the stopwatch, answer a call, or skip from one song to another without taking the phone out of its holder, simply by using the headphone remote. It’s a very slick app.

Oh, and it also has a Twitter function that “translates” Tweets from text-to-voice. Essentially, you can select whose Tweets you want to receive while running — if you have a coach, for instance — and you will hear what he/she writes to you. This might be a bit over the top, but it’s an option.

The best feature I have found is the audio pace updates while running. Every mile, the app cuts into the music you are listening to and tells you the following things: 1.) What the pace of your most recent mile was. 2.)  Your average pace. 3.) your overall run time, and 4.) your overall mileage. I never used to know what my pace was (I just ran on “feel”), so this is a much-welcomed feature.

Here is a screen grab from the 6-mile mark of a recent 12-mile run.

And here is a map of my run at the 6-mile mark. The start of the run was a 3-mile out-and-back.

You can also export the route and all of its stats to a Google map and share it online. This is my favorite feature because you can see all of your splits.

In the cold months, such as now, I simply keep the iPhone in the back zipper pocket on my running tights. When the weather warms up I plan to get a running belt with a small pocket to keep the phone in. If you have an iPhone, I highly recommend this app.

As I said, it was a bit chilly at 7:11 this morning at the start of my run.

The other good part of running with your phone is that you can take pictures of various things along the route to keep yourself from getting too bored. Here are a few examples:

A historical marker in Piedmont Park in midtown Atlanta.

Oh look, Mariah Carey is coming to the Fox Theater!

Oh look, Rudolph is suffering from an unfortunate medical condition! Where’s Vixen to help relieve him of his pain when he needs her?

And on that note… happy running!


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