As you may or may not know, I am a big fan of exercising. My “go to” form of physical activity is walking. It’s easy to get up and do, I can listen to my iPod while doing it, and I put my phone away so no one bothers me. Some Sundays, I walk 11 miles for fun. <Shrugs.>
Towards the end of the summer, I was busy training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll 10k that Jay, Dad, Katelyn, Christie, a bunch of our podcasting friends, and I ran in Brooklyn last month. Midway through, I was starting to get a little frustrated. The amount of time I was running should have reflected that I was running between 5-6 miles each time, but my UP Band was reporting that I only ran 4 miles. I know I wasn’t running 12+ minute miles, so I began to look at iPhone apps to help me determine how far I walk and run for. I tried Map My Run first and didn’t like it at all. I have a stretch of road that I know is definitely 2 miles, start to finish. Map My Run tried to tell me that I had only gone .75 miles in 17 minutes. Be gone with you, Map My Run! So, I decided to try WalkTracker, which tracks either running, cycling, or walking based off of GPS.
WalkTracker is simple and easy to use, which worked for me. I like the interface for the dashboard, which simply shows you the length of time you’ve been active for, the distance you’ve gone, how many calories burned (which I always taken with a grain of salt), and your average pace. There are also other features of it that you can utilize, including interval training where you can set up different workouts, keeping track of personal bests, and playing music. You can even set up audio prompts during your workout, that will update you at the distance or time of your choice.
My favorite feature of the app is the map of your route (see screencap below). It not only shows you where you walked/ran/cycled by mile, but it will tell you the length of time it took to complete that mile. It’s really helpful. I was aiming to just keep my times to under 9 miles per mile and was able to see patterns – I start off slower, run the next two miles much quicker because I’m warmed up, settle in for the next mile, slow down when I get tired, etc. That’s the kind of data that I really love seeing about my workouts. And since I tend to wander a lot when I walk, it’s great to see just how far I’m walking when I’m trying to catch up on podcasts!
There are some downsides to this app, however. I believe it’s $2.99 in the app store, which I think is pricey. However, my UP Band cost $130, so $2.99 sure beats $130, haha. As with pretty much all GPS tracking apps, it drains your phone’s battery fairly quickly. I think the voice feature (“You have completed 2.0 miles in 15:37 minutes…”) is kinda annoying, so I turned it off and I’ve never even tried using the music part. Other than that, it’s a great little app to use. If you’re willing to spend some money, then it’s worth it. Otherwise, I’m sure there are other free apps out there that are just as good. If you have any suggestions for fitness apps, please let me know in the comments so I can check them out. Otherwise, happy exercising!
- Distance is very accurate; it’s more accurate than my UP band, which tracks my mileage based on my steps.
- Very easy to use.
- Tells you the pace you completed each mile at.
- Shows you your route.
- Drains the battery of your phone
- App can sometimes crash if you use any other app with it, although recent updates have really improved this bug A LOT.
- You can’t switch between modes in the same workout. For instance, if I start off running 4 miles, then walk the last 2 miles, it all counts as a part of either “running” or “walking.” Not a big deal unless you’re super anal about these things. It doesn’t bother me.
- It’s $2.99.
Some screencaps. This map reflects a “there and back” route:
Here’s a route I ran with an example of it tracking your pace per mile: