Addendum - GPS Accuracy
Question: What do you get when you cross a runner with a gadget geek?
Answer: You get an individual who feels compelled to try out every running app on his Android phone.
Hopefully my compulsion can help some of you out.
My foray into the runnings began when a coworker found out that I was a runner and told me that RunKeeper Pro was now free. Being a very thrifty person, I jumped when I found out something that once cost money is available for free.
At the time of download, I had a Motorola Droid. On my Droid, RunKeeper ran perfectly and I had no issues. I used it for all my runs. When I decided to switch to the Jeff Galloway method of running (look for that post in the near future) I was super excited because RunKeeper handles interval running as well as the straight runs.
However, I soon discovered that Motorola has a hardware issue with the headphone jack that kept from being able to use my phone to play my music without the whole world discovering that I listen to Imagination Movers and Sesame Street songs when I run. This forced me to get another phone, and I got the Samsung Galaxy S.
Once I loaded RunKeeper Pro on my Galaxy, I could never get it to keep a GPS lock, which became extremely frustrating since I don't have planned routes when I run on some days. I just run until I reach my half way point then turn around. I was out for an 8 mile run when I realized that RunKeeper had stopped giving me my distance. Since I was jamming to 'Elmo sings the Beatles' I didn't realize I had run 6 miles before turning around. As soon as I got home I removed RunKeeper Pro.
Cardio Trainer - Free
For my next run I downloaded the free version of Cardio Trainer. It was only a short 4 mile run so I had no need for intervals. I had absolutely no GPS issues with the app and returned home on time. The cool thing about Cardio Trainer is it integrates with your music so that you can have a playlist start when your workout starts and you don't have to manage two apps.
Cardio Trainer has some really cool features and is a great app for tracking calories burned and scheduling workouts. However I discovered before my next long run that it did not have any options for interval runs in the free version.
Cardio Trainer - Pro
When I read the features of Cardio Trainer Pro I saw that it had interval options. The $10 for the app is very pricey but they state that they have a 30 money back guarantee so I figured I'd give it a shot.
After paying for the app, I tried to set up a 5 min run/1 min walk interval, but discovered that they did not allow you to set up your own interval schedule, you were stuck with their predetermined interval training programs. Damn it! Okay now to get my $10 back. Umm how exactly do I do that? Do I just uninstall it? Do I have to email somebody? Do I have to get an old priest and a young priest? I still haven't figured that one out yet.
Record Beater - Free
Okay, maybe I can use the free version of Cardio Trainer if I can just find some sort of interval time to run along side it. I do a search in the Android Market for "interval timer" and something catches my eye. An application called "RecordBreaker". I read the description and I am intrigued so I download the free version.
In my opinion this app is so extra awesome that I've come up with a new word for it, Extrawesome! Record Beater analyzes the BPM of all the music on your phone then does one of two things with it. You can determine what BPM you want to run to and it will play the songs that match that BPM. Or you can start your run then have the app determine your BPM for you and match music to your cadence. How fricken cool is that? You can't call yourself a runner until you're sprinting down the road at 185 BPM to a techno version of "C is for Cookie"
Record Beater also handles interval training, allowing you to not only set the BPM for your fast intervals but a secondary BPM for the slow intervals. Unfortunately this is where the app is lacking. As I have mentioned, I use the interval method for my long runs, however this app doesn't store these runs in the history, so there is no way to gage how fast or slow I did my run.
Another feature I'd like to see in this app is the voice notifications that can be found in the other running apps to inform you of predetermined points (every mile, every 10 minutes, current pace, etc)
After my experience with the above apps I have been able to come up with a wish list of options I would like to see in my ideal running app.
1. Able to create, store, and share interval runs.
2. Voice notification to tell me when I've run a mile as well as my current pace
3. Ability to sync my music with my cadence by playing music with the same BPM as my stride.
That's it. Three simple requests. If you really want to impress me, have The Count counting my miles. "You have run three miles, ah ha ha ha (insert thunder here)
Since I have developed my wish list I have searched for my Holy Grail app.
Runtastic - No interval, no bpm
Time Runner Lite - No custom notification, no bpm
Sports Tracker - Interval set up is a pain, no bpm
Endomondo - No interval, no bpm
Rhythm Runner - I can never get it to complete "Training My Music" so I can't test it.
Until I find my elusive dream app I will use RecordBeater on my interval and non-interval runs. But I will have to add Cardio Trainer to the interval runs to track my history.
I hope this has helped some of you and for those of you interested:
Must have running music