This is a guest post by Jane Johnson who is writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone related news, commentary, reviews on providers and popular devices like latest T-Mobile HTC phones. She was kind enough to write an exclusive post for the MyRun.com.au community.
Running Apps are cheaper than a personal trainer; especially when it’s free
Smartphone apps are the easiest way to get scientific with your running. These are the cream of the crop—cheap, complete, and bug-free.
1. Endomondo Sports Tracker (Android, iPhone)
If you’re the competitive sort, Endomondo is easily the best jogging app on the market for you. Get a couple friends together on Endomondo, and you can program in all your favorite jogging routes in the neighborhood. Then, run with the app to record personal best times, and try to beat one another’s times on each route. The winner becomes “Champion” of that route, like the Mayor of a location on Foursquare, and then must defend her title with a competitive time. Endomondo has everything you’d expect from a basic jogging app, including miles traveled, calories burned, speed, and duration; but the competitive social aspect is what sets Endomondo apart.(Cost: Free)
2. Instant Heart Rate (Android, iPhone)
If you like a scientific approach to perfecting your running, use Instant Heart Rate to keep yourself within an optimal range to strengthen your heart. The app is just fun, first of all—using your cell phone camera, it actually monitors imperceptible fluctuations in the color of your fingertips to precisely detect your heart rate, just the same as the little finger-clip heart rate monitor at the doctor’s office. The accuracy of the results depends somewhat on the quality of the camera, but it’s accurate enough for quick and dirty assessments in any case. Use it to ensure that you’re keeping your heart rate high enough during your workout. This app is the only tablet-friendly app you can use to take readings at rest to get an idea of your overall cardio health. (Cost: Free, $0.99 for Pro)
3. adidasmiCoach (Android, iPhone)
If you like Endomondo’s basic functions but aren’t quite as hardcore or competitive in your approach, miCoach may be the better option. This app provides daily, structured workouts and detailed feedback—which is great if you need structure and routine to keep motivated. miCoach can track your heartbeat and pace, providing real-time, personalized feedback tailored to your fitness level and goals. Really, the only drawback to this app is the presence of cleverly-disguised sales pitches, like a “shoe usage” meter that lets you know when you need to buy another pair of adidas (which is surprisingly often, it turns out), as well as “feedback” that tells you which adidas shoes would be best for your particular running style. Still, the rest of the app is solid, and the pitches are easy to overlook as long as you remember where they are. (Cost: free)
4. RunMeter GPS (iPhone)
This is a great app for runners who like to keep meticulous track of their running history. Just about any stat that might improve over time—your average speed, your total distance, your heart rate, and the time between resting periods—is tracked between your running sessions so that you can watch graphically as you grow stronger, faster, and tougher. The app posts your route and your progress in real time online, so friends and loved ones can cheer you on from home. You can also build your own training plans in exact detail, and RunMeter will keep you on task in every particular. This app is relatively pricey (i.e. not free), but if you want a comprehensive running app, this is the one. (Cost: $2.99)
5. MapMyRun (Android, iPhone)
If you want a basic, bare-bones running app to track all the relevant statistics, MapMyRun is a solid free option. If you don’t like the social elements of Endomondo or RunMeter, and don’t want the constant sales pitches from miCoach, MapMyRun will deliver accurate, detailed feedback on your run. (Cost: Free)
This is a guest post by Jane Johnson who is a writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone related news, commentary, reviews on providers and popular devices like latest T-Mobile HTC phones.