Running = Geek Heaven. Who Knew?

I never thought of myself as a geek back in the day.  But that’s probably because the day that I was back in was a day before personal computers.  We didn’t have PC’s when I was in high school.  Or college.  We had to use these nasty things called typewriters.

Yes, I’m old.  You don’t need to remind me, considering that every word I’ve typed so far has been a pretty painful reminder.  Or I guess it’s every word I’ve keyboarded, typing is the thing I did back in the day.

Fast forward more years than I care to count (or have time to count for that matter).  I have discovered I love technology.  If I grew up one generation later I’d probably be a big time gamer and probably still living in my parents’ basement.  It’s probably a lucky thing for me (and for my parents) that I already had a job when I first decided to rent a Nintendo game, stayed up playing until 5 AM, and realized that if I did this too often I would no longer have a job.  The fact that 1) I was not living in my parents’ basement, and 2) I had family to take care of, was enough for me to realize that buying my own game system was not a good idea at that time.

Anyway, one thing I would not have expected was that this renewed active lifestyle would be so heavenly for the geek in me.  One of the greatest things for keeping me motivated is the wonderful new world of smart phone apps.  It’s like each time I find a great new fitness or running app my heart races a bit.  Which makes me think, this is so cool!

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Who would have thought your phone could be a heart rate monitor!  You stick your finger over the camera lense and it measures your heart rate.  Now I wouldn’t recommend this while running because you’re bouncing all over and probably at a risk too for dropping the phone, which is not a good thing, but still…  I’m pretty amazed how consistent it is with my little wrist heart rate monitor watch.

Eat your heart out Dick Tracy!

Which by the way, I love being able to do screen shots on my phone.  That was one of the deciding factors when I picked it out.

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Then you can select it, and treat it like any other picture.  Cool stuff.  Oh, and ignore the 0 calories burned thing above that.  That’s from my Cardio Trainer app, which I haven’t been using lately.  Here back a couple years ago whenever I’d go out for a walk or bike ride (wasn’t up to running yet) I’d run 4 or 5 GPS apps simultaneously just to see what seemed to work the best.  There was Cardio Trainer, Sportypal, Runkeeper, Endomondo and Map My Run.  (I know what you’re thinking…  5 at once?  That inner geek isn’t so inner, that geek part is pretty outer as well)  But I did narrow it down to two I liked best, Cardio Trainer and Endomondo.  There are some really cool things with Cardio Trainer and at the time that was my winner.  But Endomondo does a lot better now integrating with programs like My Fitness Pal and Every Move and other pretty cool sites, so I’ve been using that primarily now.

Of course I feel a temptation to get into all those programs and others, but this is supposed to be a post, not a doctoral thesis, so I will leave this at being a really long post for now, instead of an uber long post.  I’m sure I’ll get into some of these other things later.  But if you have not heard of the GPS apps like Endomondo, they are pretty awesome if you ask me.  It’s like the lazy man’s training journal.  If you go out on a run, it will log where you’ve run, how long it took, it will give you split times, graph your speed, elevation and heart rate, all that cool stuff.  I use that almost any time I go walking very far at all, riding my bike and of course running.  Screenshot_2013-07-10-11-46-41

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Like I said, it will integrate into some other websites and apps as well.  It probably isn’t as accurate as some of the pure GPS watches and devices, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper (try FREE), so I’m good with it being maybe a tenth of a mile off after a 3 mile run, if that.

So you see what I mean about geek heaven?  I’m amazed all the stuff you can do on a phone (and I’m pretty firmly in the camp of Android is superior over iPhone – hope that doesn’t make you not want to read any more of my posts).  I have a level app.  In fact, this is nothing to do with running but since I’m on apps, I have to show off my all time favorite. (which I’m sure part of it has to do with that age thing I mentioned) – what’s cool is, it actually WORKS!)

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I mean seriously, isn’t that the most awesome app EVER?  Try to do that on your iPhone!

And of course I have my little runner’s screen with almost everything you could want, at least everything that isn’t a chocolate dipped ice cream cone.  Not sure they can get that into an app, but then again, never thought you could do any of this stuff on a phone before, so…. who knows?

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There wasn’t a space for the metronome app…  kinda cool for working on pacing.

Anyway, I’ll stop there.  See what I mean about Geek heaven?

So, what apps have you found helpful for running?

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About Ron Walter

I'm just a guy who was so out of shape he couldn't run to get out of the rain. I'm taking my life back. It's not always perfect, not always successful. The victories though are greater than the defeats. I plan to keep it that way.
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2 Responses to Running = Geek Heaven. Who Knew?

  1. Carol Ann S says:

    I am a total tech geek!! I seem to have a lot of the same apps, although they are on my iPhone :).
    I have Endomondo, RunKeeper, Charity Miles, a couple of different training programs (C25K, 10K, HM) and the Heart rate monitor! I primarily use the RunKeeper and Charity Miles and since I don’t have a HR monitor, I do use the app at the end of a run just to get an idea!

  2. Back when I was running all those apps at once, one of the reasons I was doing it was to see if one was more accurate than the others. They all reported exactly the same mileage, and if there was a glitch (such as it showing me running across a lake – last I checked I cannot walk on water) it glitched on all of them, so accuracy issues are tied to the GPS on the phone, not the app.

    Because I’m a big guy, just as a precaution I did pick up a Polar HR monitor. I found that Endomondo has a tougher time picking that up, so when it’s not connecting I’ll run Runkeeper at the same time just so I can track heart rate.

    I did use the C25K app from Active. The Endomondo pro version has an option where you can put in the intervals so it beeped at me when to run or walk. I do like the drill sergeant on the C25K app though, it added a bit of spice.

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