Kartik Chaudhari Kartik Chaudhari

Quantified Self for Runners: 3 Products to track your run

Runners are definitely a big segment of all lifeloggers. Many professional runners & athletes who run for daily fitness or even marathons really like to log their run- with not only the distance but the route plotted on the map, heart rate data and more. Self-tracking sensors in smartphones and wearables are really useful to track all this running data.

We studied interesting technology and apps that runners can incorporate into their daily running routine.

Pebble Core 

Pebble Core was just announced yesterday! A great wearable that can be your key chain. The Pebble Core has a really different form for an activity tracker. This device will be able to give fitness reports like distance walked/ran, number of steps, calories burn, shows the route taken while running. It will also allow to connect to a wide variety of fitness apps. The built-in GPS tracker comes into play here. But, it packs in so much more and has such a wide use case. It has some non conventional features like :

– It is powered by android and is like a minicomputer without a screen. This device can be used without a phone in its proximity . It can be connected to smartwatch. The core basically has all the stuff lacking in the pebble smartwatch. The smartwatch and the core paired make an amazing combo offering everything without need of carrying something as bulky as a phone (which proves to be an inconvenience almost every time we run). This actually makes it very runner friendly.

– Vast scope of connectivity through a micro SIM or WiFi to communicate with the Internet. There’s Bluetooth too that enables us to connect with Bluetooth headphones, smartwatch and pebble health. All this in such a small device gives it high utility.

– A head phone jack for music. It can be used for listening to music services like Spotify with the help of its vast scope of connectivity. Bluetooth allows us to connect to Bluetooth headphones. It has 4 GB internal storage too for storing music. The lack of a screen does comes out here as it’s not simple to operate your playlist but, there is audio feedback that helps. The ability to connect to a pebble smart watch helps us quite a bit here. Once connected, you can use the smart watch’s screen for music, viewing running info. It has a voice assistant too.

– It has an SOS button which can be used in emergency situations for sending our location to a person of choice (with the help of the sim). This is a very important feature in the absence of a phone.

– It has 2 programmable buttons that can be used for applications like, to switch lights on/off at home, to unlock the door, etc. The overall hackability of the Pebble Core is great combined with the other features.

-It is splash proof (not to be confused with water proof) meaning that it can be used when its raining , snowing or some other wet conditions.

The core will be available for $69 but, still has some time to come along as, it wont be available before January 2017. Overall, this does a great job as a fitness tracker catering to runners and beyond.

 

Strava

strava

Strava is a social network for athletes. Strava connects with many fitness devices(the Pebble Core too! ) so, it becomes very simple for us to log on our data. It is available on Android and iOS making it more easier to access our data. Strava is available for free and for $6 / month or$59 annually for Strava premium. The free version of Strava itself packs in a bunch of features.

– Keeping record of our walking, running and cycling using with the help of the trackers.

– Displaying clear info of performance and displaying the data in a very organised manner which encourages us to follow our data. Viewing this data puts us in a competition against ourselves and hence pushes us forward to do more.

– Challenges are available to keep pushing us forward to complete them and hence we perform better.

– Keeping track of friends easily. It is very easy to follow friends and, this makes us put in extra efforts as we compete with them.
The premium version of Strava gives us some really good additional features
– Setting personalised goals over periods of time and then using customisable training plans made by the some of the best cycling and running coaches to help you achieve the goals.

– It provides live feedback which is very useful for improving our performance while training. This is actually very useful because getting feedback during the workout means we do not forget to inculcate any of the feedback.

– It includes advanced analysis which gives you really good results based on your data. I found many interesting features such as suffer score which tells how hard we have tried in the work out using our heart rate and post activity data. This feature makes great use of the HR data.

Nike+ Running

nike-running

Nike+ Running is a great app to track your runs. It has a simple and smooth user experience. The application is really good if we are sticking only to running and want basic data like distance, steps, calories, route, etc. This application has been out there for quite some time now and has managed to maintain its position. It enables us to use our phones as fitness trackers.  It is also compatible with fitness trackers like fitness trackers by Garmin, tomtom, etc. Nike+ Running enables us to compete with our friends whose stats we can see on the app. It gives us real-time audio feedback too allowing us to run hands free and simultaneously improving our run. The Nike+ coach gives us daily recommendations for our runs. It helps us achieve the target distance in time. A very convenient feature that it offers is streaming music through the Nike+ app making sure that going through the playlist is a breeze. It is also very easy to share the run on social media being able to tag friends and showing stats. This application is available for free. Overall, Nike+ Running is great for both the novice runner or the professional runner.

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