I’ve talked about the Nike running app a lot on here because it is the main app that I use for logging my runs and training. There are some features that I would like implemented that are not in the Nike app, so I decided to try out other apps’ features and write reviews on them. All week I have been trying out different features of the Runkeeper app. I have been running both apps at the same time to see if the mileage matches. The ending mileage has only been off about .2 which isn’t too far off.
The workout summary shows distance, time, average pace, and calories burned along with a map of the run; the usual info expected on a running app. In addition to that information there is also a page for mile splits and some useful charts including pace, elevation, and heart rate. The elevation graph can be very useful if you are trying to train for a certain terrain in a race. My graph showed me that Florida isn’t as flat as I thought.
There is a training section of the app where you can have a custom plan created. The app will ask some questions about your running and then it will come up with a plan to suit your needs. One great feature in the training is the voice intervals. The plan comes up with certain intervals that you should run and the voice guide tells you when to switch and what you should do during each interval. I just wish that you could pick your own intervals instead of the app doing it for you.
There are plans to train for different race distances. Some plans are free while others are just for Runkeeper Go subscribers, their premium service. I did find a free one for a sub 2:00 half marathon that I may try for my half marathon in February. Choosing the finish time determines how advanced the plan is and each run during the plan tells you what pace you should run at, which is very useful to meet your goal time. Each day you run, you have to select the workout on the home screen; it won’t automatically start when your run starts.
The music integration confused me a bit. There is a music note at the top of the app that lets you choose a music player on your phone. Apparently Runkeeper for Android does not have music integration; you have to start your music on a different app and then go back to Runkeeper to begin tracking your run. I hope this is something that they fix soon.
For an app to track your runs this app works great. The gps locks on faster than I am used to as well. I will be interested to see how the training program is by actually completing it. I may write about that in the future. I really don’t like that there is a subscription for additional features, but I guess that is how they make their money It also bothers me that the app doesn’t seem to have all of the features that the iOS version does. More and more people are getting Android devices so I would expect the features to be evenly matched between the two platforms. We’ll see if they improve on this in the future.