As we get close to the first of the year, runners start thinking about our running goals for the next year. Do you want to reach a new mileage goal? Run a longer race? Run a little quicker? Even without a specific goal, do you want to try a new way to track your miles?
Strava is a tracker that works well for runners that have a competitive streak. It offers goal setting, pace zone analysis, and leaderboards separated by age and gender. You can join challenges and see the activity of your friends. If you prefer to keep your data more private, you can choose only approved people to see your statistics and activities. You can also track the mileage on different shoes. Your run information is set to public by default, so if you have privacy concerns be sure to spend the time disabling the sharing options. You can download Strava here.
MapMyRun tracks time, pace, distance, and calories burned. You can see your previous routes and view Nerby Routes if you want to try a new route or are out of town. You can choose to activate the auto-pause option to pause tracking when you stop running or the delayed start option to use on race day. You can get audio feedback to speak your stats to you at various points in your run. You can play your music and post your stats to Facebook and Twitter from within the app. It has a food diary and can be used as an activity tracker. On the desktop version, you can see other routes in your area or create routes and see approximate measurements before a run. You can download the MapMyRun app here.
RunKeeper records pace, distance, time on your phone. You can also take pictures inside the app. The app allows you to download and follow routes if you do not have a route of your own in mind. It syncs with other apps and provides reports of your activities. Your Spotify account can be played within the app to have your favorite music at your fingertips. The app supports transferring your training plan to iCal, tagging friends on your run, and setting the privacy level of each social media post. You can download RunKeeper here.
Nike+ is a very social running app. You can share stats and photographs from each run directly to social media platforms. You can connect with friends and invite them to compete in challenges and then see how you stack up against each other. The Cheer Option notices when someone comments or likes your activity on social media and then sends an audio cheering alert through your phone’s speakers. Nike+ records a map, pace, time, and calories burned in each run. It tracks both outdoor and treadmill runs. Nike+ provides access to free coaching programs. You can find Nike+ here.
Garmin Connect is a way to both plan and track your running. Depending on which Garmin device you use, you can create workouts and then upload them to your device to follow while you run. You can join virtual running groups for support, encouragement, and accountability. The map options allow you to create your own routes and see heat maps of local areas to get an idea of popular routes. You can choose a goal distance and the preferred training cycle length and it will provide a training plan. Although it requires both a watch and an app, most watches will sync automatically via BlueTooth (check your specific model). You must have a Garmin device to utilize this app. You can download the Garmin Connect app here.
Old School Pen-and-Paper
Some of us just like to track the old way – with pen and paper. You may want to just go buy a $1.00 spiral notebook and keep it by your front door or in your car to record any stats you choose. You can find a wide variety of options for running journals. The Complete Runner’s Day by Day Calendar is specific to 2016. It allows you to track distance, where/when, and any running notes. The Believe Training Journal not only allows you to track each run, but also presents useful information such as goal setting, mental toughness, finding community, body image, and race day tactics. The Runner’s World Training Journal is a standard running log. It has a weekly running log, shoe tracker, race results, and a place to list best runs.
Happy Running in 2016 and beyond!