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Keeping Records to Break Records

Easy to read, easy to input.

It’s no secret that I’m a list-making, note-taking fool. For someone who doesn’t, like, do math, I really like data. A lot. I honestly love wearing my GPS watch while running so I can look at exactly how far I went and how fast (or slow) I ran during each mile. One of the redeeming qualities of the treadmill is the fact that I can look at all that information in real time and factor whether I need to go faster (which is pretty much always the case) or slower to hit my goals.

But then, after the fact, what do you do with all that glorious data?

Right now, I’m using a couple of different sites/apps to track my workouts. I’m working with a coach (hi, Patrick!) to get back into my racing groove, and we use TrainingPeaks. He puts my workouts on there, along with any notes I need to keep in mind (i.e. effort level, target heart rate, focus of the workout, etc.), and then, once the workout is over, I put my notes in. It’s super handy because, for one thing, he can then base my future workouts on how prior workouts went. Plus, I can look back and, based on my notes and times, get a great feel for how much I’ve improved. And you know I love that.

I’ve also been using Daily Mile, which, now that I’m also on TrainingPeaks, seems maybe a little excessive, but I have good reason. While TrainingPeaks allows you to track a ton of awesome stuff (equipment, heart rate and more), Daily Mile has a bunch of super user-friendly options for tracking things like weather and temperature, effort level, and equipment (which I’ve been using to accurately track mileage on my newest running shoes). Plus, there’s a community aspect to it that I’m not super involved in, but I like seeing what other people are doing. I just can’t quit you, Daily Mile.

I have lots of friends who use a bunch of other cool programs to track workouts, and now I’m curious about two things. First, what do you use, and why? And second, are you able to use just one? —Kristen

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  1. Noel says:

    I recently started running again. I love my Garmin and I also use Nike+ running, which is great. I look like a dork running with my watch and my arm band with my iphone, but I love comparing the two.

  2. I’m so glad you covered this topic! I’ve been trying to figure out a good way to track my runs (I previously used Endomondo but it went way off with the mileage recently). My problem is that I run on the treadmill and outdoors, and it’s hard finding a program that can keep track of both types of workouts. Any suggestions for a multitasking app?

  3. Deanna says:

    I have fallen in love with RunningAhead.com
    I love that I can keep all my workouts in one spot. Running, Weights, Biking, Swimming… All right there.
    I love that it keeps totals in a really motivating chart format for the year and the month and the week.
    I REALLY love that for runs and bike rides when I use my GPS watch I can load directly from the GPS to the training log. No extra data to add myself.
    I love that I can put in equipment like shoes and it will keep a running total of how many miles are on them.
    I love that I can use the charts to create the chart I want.

  4. Cat says:

    I use mapmyrun.com for my outdoor routes and love it. I have a friend who swears by FitBit, she wears it everywhere.

  5. Nicole says:

    I use moteevate.com because they have a wide range of actionplans in regards to fitness. Any activity you want, they have it. They even have actionplans if you want to train for a marathon. It’s great!

  6. I use Daily Mile as well! I don’t wear a watch or any tracking device on my actual run, so it’s nice to be able to input a time and still see my pace splits. I also like their map GPS feature. Other than that, I like the Sparkpeople Diet & Fitness Tracking app. It’s a great compliment to their website and it’s easy to log my daily workouts. I wish I could find just one sole app but I haven’t been able to find one that compiles all my favorite features into one just yet!

  7. Mindy says:

    RunKeeper is a great app offered on both Droid and Apple platforms. It’s free, for starters, incredibly accurate GPS most days, allowing you to track GPS and mileage for several sports, including not only the ever popular running and cycling, but also hiking, skiing, skating, (more which I’m forgetting) and an option to create a custom sport. (I create a custom run when I’m tracking mileage with my kiddos.) You can set alerts while you’re running and it will pace you and update you as you’re running on your progress. (Very helpful in my half marathon earlier this year.)It can track as a background app, so you’re still free to listen to your own music and such. There is a new option to set goals and take pictures during your run. (Also very cool with my half marathon.) There corresponding webpage (also free)which tracks these for you, allows you to interface with other users from Facebook and Twitter, creating a Street Team or the Facebook of fitness, if you will… You can use the website to create and save routes, edit routes that your GPS might have error-ed on… and you can find interesting things like the elevations you experienced during your routes. RunKeeper will send you encouraging email alerts when you have broken your mileage records for the individual run, week of runs, month of runs, or any other sport. There is an option to buy an elite membership for $20 a year that will give a multitude of tracking options, but I get so much out of it for free that I cannot justify spending the money yet on that. It generates fitness reports that you can reflect on to determine when you are most likely to run, both day of the week and time of day, which has helped me determine when to plan for when I’ll truly be motivated. (Turns out I’m a night runner!) Finally, RunKeeper is also allowing other great running apps and fitness apps to integrate with it’s reporting. SO, if you use the Lose-it app, (by far the best calorie tracking app in my opinion, given it’s community and ease of use) you can pay to have your Lose-it reports drop right to RunKeeper. Sadly I use a droid… but there are several other fitness apps, including many strength training apps that are offered on the iPhone which will integrate into the program as well. Most recently, I found Zombies, Run app, which is currently working on integrating to RunKeeper. (And if you haven’t found Zombies, Run yet, do so! It’s a great app to motivate you like nothing I’ve tried before. Super interesting. It could get a review here all on it’s own.)

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