I recently signed up for the Bern Frauenlauf, a women’s-only run here in town. There are various distances and challenges, but I decided to register for the 10k. The last 10k I ran was Rock the Parkway in Kansas City back in 2011 so training for this should be a fun task.
I realized that I needed to start timing myself and tracking my distances, but that proved difficult with my old-school iPod, which I got in 2010 by the way (according to Apple that is considered vintage. So : / ) Last week, however, my iPod died. Right in the middle of my cardio-cleaning, it just fizzled out and died. What sadness!
So, now I’m running with my iPhone (like everyone else–join us! they say) and can actually keep track of my progress with an app. My friend Nicole told me about an app she really likes, Strava. I’ve been using it for the last two weeks and I have to say I love it.
I understand I am so far behind the times on this. “You mean, you can use a device to determine how far you ran? And for how long? And the calories you burned? And the elevation you traversed? What newfangled technology is this?!” Fitbits, Jawbones, chips in sneakers that connect to your computer, I know people have been tracking their fitness for a long time before I ever caught on. But, better late than never, no?
What I like about Strava is that the design is clean and easy to use. When one opens the app it goes straight to the race page, meaning all one must do is press the start button and set off. No signing in or trying to find the right page. Then, once you complete your run the diagnostics show up immediately, including a map, total time and distance, average pace, calories burned, and your splits. It’s all very functional and easy to use and see.
Of course there are competitive and social angles to it as well. You can upload your runs and share them with friends. You can post to social media and get feedback on your progress, none of which I am interested in. There are also options for a premium experience wherein your health stats can be tracked and monitored through an online platform. Again, this isn’t really necessary for me, but I could see it being useful for more experienced and serious athletes.
I should also mention that this app is specifically for runners and cyclists. You have the option to choose which type of fitness you’d prefer to track and I imagine this would be just as helpful for cyclists as it is for a novice runner like myself.
Anyway, I thought it was worth sharing considering I’m getting so much enjoyment out of it. Maybe there’s another person out there who hasn’t been fervently tracking her every step… Maybe?
My run is in mid-June so I have some time to get ready for it. Ten kilometers, or 6.2 miles for those in the US, isn’t too terribly far but it is the farthest I’ve ever run and I haven’t done it for over four years so it’s worth it to me to monitor my progress and safely work my way up in mileage. I’m also looking forward to this run specifically because it’s only for women and my upstairs neighbor told me it’s a great atmosphere, what with all that girl power. I’ll also be cross-training on my days off from running: yoga, Ellen Barrett DVDs, and a weight-lifting plyometric workout that I sort of made up with a little help from Pinterest. We shall see!
Do you have any favorite running apps? Or fitness apps? Are you exercising at all? I know the allergies are killer this time of year so it can be tough to get out and run.