Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Running with an iPhone

I have found a pretty cool combination of technology for running. When I do my long runs, often down a highway, I would like three things:
  • A phone, in case something goes wrong
  • Something to keep track of where I go and how fast I run (or slow)
  • Some tunes to break up the boredom
The answer is my iPhone 3G. The phone part is obvious, it's a phone. The tunes are simple because an iPhone has all the functions of an iPod and I have about 100 albums on my phone. The third is an application called Runkeeper Pro.

Runkeeper uses the iPhone's GPS to track your path, distance and speed. While it isn't perfectly accurate, both the iPhone's operating system and this application have improved over time. As I run along, listening to my music, a little voice chimes in "1.0 miles". If I touch the phone, I get "8 minutes and 25 seconds". When I get done with the run, it automatically uploads it to the Runkeeper web site. I can check out the map of where I ran, splits along the way, elevation changes, and more. It keeps a history of my runs. It is smart enough to know that bike riders like mph while runners like minutes per mile.

This thing is slick!

Here is my run (ok, jog) from this morning. I ran 5 and walked 2. Double-click to see it closer to real size.

If you are a runner or biker with an iPhone, I can highly recommend buying Runkeeper Pro. It is good now and they are making rapid improvements.
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