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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 93223 16-Nov-2011 15:29 Send private message

Hi there I'm a keen runner and have been using Nike+ with my ipod, the problem with it is that its very inaccurate with its distance even after I've carefully calibrated it. I'm also in need of a new phone - so I'm after some advice in regards to mobile phones GPS ability and running.

What i would love to be able to do, is have a function that mapped your run but also could accurately tell you your current and average pace, distance covered etc. Nike + claims to do this but the distance and therefore your pace can be well off if you happen to change surfaces or run a few hills. Could a mobile phone with GPS ability do this? There are GPS running watches out there but they are very expensive, and if there was a phone that could provide a GPS map and pace information, music and of course be a phone then it would be great for running.

Two other points --- what would the satelite link be like if I went running in the bush, would the GPS still work?
and are there any other ways of getting GPS that would be useful for running for someone very much on a budget. It seems mobile phones are the cheapest option.

Any advice or comments from runners that use their mobile phones would be appreciated.

Thanks

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  Reply # 546091 16-Nov-2011 15:46 Send private message

I think most smartphones will do this for you, i know that any android with a GPS will do it no problem, I use a free app from Google called 'MyTracks'. It shows you your route, you can export it, it gives pace and other measurements, it can also announce your pace through the built in speaker every few minutes if you wish.

Personally, I do short runs on a regular route so dont care too much about this stuff, but i did track it with my phone once or twice. I use it a lot more with mountain biking, as i can protect it in my backpack, and it gives elevation gained figures.

I would recommend that you get a filthy cheap android that you use for running, e.g. the Vodafone 845 (can be had for <$100 2nd hand), and look at having a nicer phone for everyday use.

I cant comment on the accuracy under bush cover, but do know that the distance measurement corroborated with the speedo on my bike which is generally quite accurate

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  Reply # 546146 16-Nov-2011 18:31 Send private message

I would recommend that you get a filthy cheap ...


Have a look at Sports Tracker http://www.sports-tracker.com/ This is free software, very popular, and available for iphone, android and Nokia (S60) smartphones. I installed it on my S60 Nokia X6, and often play around with it when strolling about.

I can't vouch for its accuracy, but seems to work fine for me.

Maybe you could get a friend to loan you their smartphone and install it to try first, before buying a smartphone.

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  Reply # 546150 16-Nov-2011 18:49 Send private message

Either an iPhone or Android phone will do this for you. I use an android app called cardiotrainer and it does everything you mention and a lot more, and its free. You can also set it to play your music if required and read off distance per 1k marker etc.

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  Reply # 546152 16-Nov-2011 18:53 Send private message

I would recommend Endomondo, from the website it runs on nearly all mobile platforms and can be linked to Twitter and Facebook

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  Reply # 546157 16-Nov-2011 19:08 Send private message

for this purposes, i highly recommend

defy+

xperia active

galaxy xcover





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  Reply # 546159 16-Nov-2011 19:15 Send private message

Another vote for sports tracker - any smart phone will run it. Its free and works.
Find a phone with good GPS accuracy and you are away :)

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  Reply # 546179 16-Nov-2011 20:07 Send private message

I use an iPhone with an armband and the New Balance Totalfit app. As I understand it this app is just a branded front end to the MapMyRun service. Overall I'm very happy with it, although when using an armband I find it pretty much impossible to see the display while the armband is attached. A watch would be much better if you need to track your progress as you go.

In terms of accuracy I did a half marathon in June and the Rimutaka incline event (17km) last weekend, and in both events my measured distance was about right. It obviously loses signal in tunnels, but it assumes that you ran a straight line throughout the distance where the signal was lost which is usually pretty accurate. I certainly haven't ever noticed any signal loss due to trees or foliage.

You shouldn't rely on it for anything mission critical because there has been the odd occasion where strange glitches have occurred with the GPS signal, but this is very rare. 

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  Reply # 546183 16-Nov-2011 20:11 Send private message

I started doing this first on a nokia 6210 navigator with the sports tracker software. The software was fine, but it didn't have any integration (at the time) so any (IMO) decent web sites.

With a move to an iphone I(I think there are adroind and blackberry versions) switched to the mapmyxxxxx.com (mapmyride/mapmyfitness/mapmyrun) apps and site.

Runkeeper also on most platforms was also ok, but it's website againI found a little limiting.





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  Reply # 546287 17-Nov-2011 08:50 Send private message

Another vote for Sports Tracker here. There a version coming for Windows Phone shortly also.

k14

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  Reply # 546311 17-Nov-2011 09:31 Send private message

Yeah I use iMapMyRun on my iphone. It's free and uploads all your data to the website where you can look at everything. Use it for running and mountain biking. It was the first one I tried and worked well so didn't really look into any other options.

gzt

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  Reply # 546330 17-Nov-2011 09:56 Send private message

Any of these phone/map combinations work when out of cell coverage or in shaky cell coverage?

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  Reply # 546334 17-Nov-2011 10:00 Send private message

They should all work as cell coverage is not GPS coverage....

The only thing that would be affected is the upload to the site. Which some can do live updates, most of it is done at the end of the run.




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  Reply # 546336 17-Nov-2011 10:03 Send private message

I honestly can't understand people that run with their phones on an armband. Seems really cumbersome and not what I'd want to do with my expensive phone. Same goes for the big iPods.

I use a Garmin Forerunner and it also monitors my heart rate (great for interval training etc) and cadence, plus has a good display that will show me whatever info I need/want. If you're into running, I'd recommend it totally. The software that comes with it is rubbish but there are other options.

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  Reply # 546364 17-Nov-2011 10:35 Send private message

bazzer: I honestly can't understand people that run with their phones on an armband. Seems really cumbersome and not what I'd want to do with my expensive phone. Same goes for the big iPods.

I use a Garmin Forerunner and it also monitors my heart rate (great for interval training etc) and cadence, plus has a good display that will show me whatever info I need/want. If you're into running, I'd recommend it totally. The software that comes with it is rubbish but there are other options.


I have a Galaxy S2 which is a larger screened phone and dont even notice it on an armband.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 546367 17-Nov-2011 10:40 Send private message

bazzer: I honestly can't understand people that run with their phones on an armband. Seems really cumbersome and not what I'd want to do with my expensive phone. Same goes for the big iPods.


Reasons I use my phone (HTC Desire) on an armband whilst running:
  • It has GPS
  • It has apps to record where I've been, the pace I ran at etc (I was training for a charity run and was given an incentive to beat a certain time)
  • The app gave me pace notes
  • The app kept a history of my runs so I could see if I was improving (I found I would have a "bad" run every 3rd or 4th run for some reason)
  • It can upload the details direct to websites as you're running so my sponsors could watch/track my progress
  • It has music loaded onto it (I find running boring and like the distraction - but watch out for traffic!)
  • Its insured under my contents insurance so if it broke/was stolen it was covered
But if you don't want any of that - then no, there's no need to run with your phone.

For the record: I used RunKeeper - but you'll find they all offer similar features.  If I had a bluetooth enabled heart monitor RunKeeper can track that too.

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