2014 December

16
Dec
This news was posted on Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
tagged: Fitness, Technology, Tips, Wellness | tags :

Exercise Smart Phone App Review Series; RunKeeper

Welcome to the second installment of the Exercise Software App Review Series. This time we review the pros and cons of RunKeeper by FitnessKeeper, Inc.
Just as with the last exercise tracking software I reviewed last month, Walk Tracker Pro, RunKeeper tracks distance using the phone’s Global Positioning System (GPS). It must be turned on in the Settings of the phone, IPhone or Android (not on Kindle Fire, sorry; this requires Google Play to run). There is a free version of RunKeeper which is a great starting point. If you are the type that wants more than just some basics, the price points vary from $9.99 up to $39.99 for the Elite version with several price points in between. You will need one of these upgrades is you want to compare from one workout to another.

It is very easy to use, just click on start and let it record where you go, how fast you travel, and the calories you burn. Unfortunately, their web site is just as simple and does not contain much useful information such as the operating system versions it needs to run or what options you get with the various price points. I had to get some of this information off reviewer web sites instead. Inside the phone app, you may start the music you previously downloaded to the phone but it keeps playing if you pause, stop, or even close the app. To stop the music, you must enter the music app on the phone and stop it there. During the exercise you can see your route, bar graphs and statistics. You can save this information to track your progress as well. Again, I turn off the voice reminders that break into my music to inform me of my progress, but you can adjust this yourself in the settings of RunKeeper. Also in the settings you are able to set the items you would like to see on the screen such as time, distance, pace, etc.
If you forget your phone and workout without it, you can add this information by hand by selecting the Log button. This is also helpful if you are staying in one place on a treadmill or elipticle. Walk Tracker Pro did not have this option. RunKeeper also has an area to set goals that, Walk Tracker Pro did not have, such as losing weight or running a marathon 6 months from now. An odd quirk of the program is that you must set the future date starting with the year. If you start by changing the month or the day without changing the year first, the program can see the date as in the past and the dial will bounce back to today’s date every time. Like Walk Tracker Pro, RunKeeper delivers the option of uploading your workout information to your friends via Facebook, Google, or by email. You may also set a reminder to exercise at a certain time of the day which is helpful for those of us who get engrossed in our work and lose track of time. Unfortunately, this did not work when I set it.
I was also surprised to see a screen of splits so that you can compare your pace from the first mile to the last mile and see where you may need to push yourself. At the end of my 2 mile walk on flat ground (not very challenging but enough to get data into the app for the screenshots) I was rewarded;

I just put in my email but as of yet did not receive my reward coupon. Perhaps I typed my address wrong?
It is no wonder this app is very popular among runners. It is very easy to use and seems to have all the necessary items anyone would need to track, and improve their workouts.