My Running Apps Ecosystem

I’ve been running for just less than three months, but as the name on the blog says, I’m an IT guy who likes gadgets. My gadget is my iPhone, and I have tried close to a dozen iPhone apps, and probably a half-dozen websites.

I had initially settled on RunMeter on my iPhone uploading to the dailymile website due to its mostly uncluttered interface, and the fact that my lap swimming could -gasp- actually be manually entered in yards on dailymile. There are a whole bunch of sites that wanted my laps entered in either miles or metric, and most US pools are in yards.

Dailymile has lasted several months now, but I have decided I want to get a chest strap heart rate monitor (Christmas is just around the corner), and dailymile doesn’t have the ability to let me really see the amount of data that a heart rate monitor can produce. I have spent a lot of time reading extensive product reviews on the DCrainmaker website – thank you so much, Ray. He got me looking at the TrainingPeaks website (I wish the entire site worked on an iPad, but they are still totally Adobe Flash based) because it can track my workouts AND my calorie intake. The DCrainmaker site also helped me decide to get the Wahoo Blue HR monitor which will pair with my iPhone (4s or 5) using the new BlueTooth LE specification instead of an ANT dongle.

On Saturday I ran across an iPhone app I had not looked at before, and after reading the reviews I paid for it. iSmoothRun is in the Apple App Store ($4.99 US) and has just helped me to create my own “running app ecosystem”.

Running App Ecosystem picture

How BRILLIANT is this? iSmoothRun can use either a GPS signal or (because it learns your cadence when it can get GPS) it will also work indoors. It somehow takes your GPS coordinates and adds temperature, wind speed, and humidity to every run. It can upload to eight different websites, plus send an email, plus Twitter and FaceBook. And it tracks your cadence and can coach you on how to learn to use cadence more effectively.

So I am now uploading to dailymile, TrainingPeaks, and Garmin Connect, all at the same time, and can do a side-by-side comparison of my real data (I found out that you do not have to have a Garmin device to creat an account an upload data). This will be fun. Also, since I can upload to the RunKeeper website (which I find really cluttered, and their iPhone app won’t work inside) I do, just so it also downloads back to my Tactio Health app that I wrote about in September.

I ran my weekend long run (10k) using iSmoothRun this morning, hit finish, and my run showed up everywhere. I am impressed. I’m also happy that my 10k time today was 4 minutes faster than last week, but it’s only my second time running this distance, so who knows.

Updated 11/6/12:  One thing I have found so far is that iSmoothrun sends the weather data correctly to dailymile, but this info does not seem to transfer to Garmin Connect or TrainingPeaks.

Also, the more I try to use TrainingPeaks, the more I don’t like it. The Adobe Flash thing makes it both slow and buggy. Trying to track food is so slow it is painful. And then I can’t see it on my iPad anyway. I was hoping to replace manual calorie intake entries in my MyFitnessPal iPhone app, but I don’t see it happening.


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