I’ve gotten a few questions lately about how I track my runs. Here’s the details:
I use a variation of three different ways to track my runs. First and almost always, I use a HRM. I have the Garmin Forerunner 305 that I wear for every run (unless I forget it or I run on a treadmill—both rarely happen). I also have a Polar HRM but invested in the Garmin 2 years ago when I began training for races. I wanted the convenience and knowledge of the GPS capabilities that came with the Garmin without having to tediously plug in my route via mapmyrun.com. I love it and haven’t used my Polar since. It’s wonderful at tracking distance, pace, time and calories burned. It has the ability to track various workouts: running, biking, swimming, etc. The only draw back to the Garmin is that it sometimes loses signal (such as running through a tunnel or on cloudy days it’s often difficult to find satellites). However, I’ve found that the more I use it, the better it works. I charge it after all my runs, especially before long runs since they generally take me about 2 hours to complete. There’s nothing quite as disappointing as starting a run and your HRM beeping that it’s low on batteries.
Attempt 1: Interrupted by grabby baby hands wanting to eat it
I also use Dailymile. Dailymile is a free website and smartphone app (I have an android and use the android version). I use both the website and the app. I have the app downloaded on my phone and easily enter in my run information as soon as I complete it. It’s linked with my fb account and automatically publishes on my wall. You do have to enter the information yourself, it doesn’t track it for you. But it allows you to enter your time, distance, how you felt, where you ran and even a notes section of additional information (I use this to indicate whether I ran with the jogging stroller and if so what percentage of my run I was pushing it, the weather, the course details, fuel types and when I took them, etc.) It keeps a running total of your weekly, monthly and yearly training and is very easy to navigate. It’ll even tell you your top 5 farthest runs, fastest runs and total time spent exercising and calculates your pace for you.
Another great app that you can download on your smartphone for free is Runkeeper. I use this about 50% of the time (whereas I use my Garmin and dailymile close to 100%) Runkeeper DOES track your distance, pace, time, etc. for you so you don’t have to manually enter any information. You just press “start activity” at the beginning of your run and “end” at the end of it. It’s great if you don’t have a HRM (or mama brain makes you forget it). If you use the volume on your phone it’ll even tell you when you’ve run every quarter mile (I turn it off because I really don’t WANT to know how much I have left to do). It, like Dailymile, has a corresponding website that you can manually enter information into. Sometimes I use both my garmin and the runkeeper app and sometimes if I forget my garmin I’ll just use the app. It’s a great tool! On the website when you log in you can even see exactly where you ran and the details of the course such as elevation, decline, pace breakdown at each mile, etc.
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies above. I simply enjoy their products. I have gotten zero compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are completely my own.