Tools of the Trade: RunKeeper

I love this app.

It is not perfect, but there are so many things I do like about it, I’m willing to wait for the stuff I want.

What it is missing

First, let me discuss what is missing, which isn’t much in my opinion, to make it a fully integrated running/fitness app:

  1. A Shoe Tracker integrated. This is my number one request of Runkeeper and I plan to log it. They can track the climb. they can track the distance. the pace. the speed. the splits… but I can’t associate my shoes with a run (sigh). Important stuff, considering the shoes are – in my opinion – the single most important piece of equipment I own and can cause me injuries if I don’t replace them in time.
  2. A training schedule integrated. My number two request – I’d like to be able to set up a training plan and then log against it in a singular application so I can fully measure where I am in the training plan. I know, I know – there are tons of other apps out there that do it – Training Peaks is probably the best – but I don’t have a Garmin and I can’t afford one now. This is the best I can do with an iPhone that I’ve tried so far.

The Best Parts

Those two being the shortfalls, here is what I love about this app:

  1. GPS mapping – soooo… yes, it is a battery hog, but it is very nice to have it logged for me so I don’t have to come home, remember which turns I took and add it myself. I also know as soon as my run is finished (and, when I have it set up right, during the run) how far I’ve gone without having to guess. I know a Garmin is probably better, but without one, I think this is a good option.
  2. The User Interface is easy to read on a run – The numbers are huge and well placed so it is easy to see while on a run if you have the iPhone positioned correctly.
  3. Elevation Climb Stats – so many times I thought I was dragging on hills. Turns out, going up hills are actually my strong area and running flat I slow down. Who knew? I do now! And, my pace has evened out a little more since I made that discovery.
  4. Split times – Also something that has been helpful to me. So many times I thought I was even paced only to find out I started off way too fast and was dragging it in at the end. The split times have helped me focus more on feeling my pace.
  5. It is free – that means a lot to a cash strapped runner like me. I don’t have a lot of money to throw around on gear and since I already had an iPhone, this made more sense to me.

I plan to add more updates to this as they add more features and once I can afford the subscription service.

Gotta run…