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Track My Run Using a Blackberry: App Week

Published July 26, 2010

people man runnerRecently I started running (yes jogging for exercise). It’s been quite a while since I’ve run consistently. But I am highly motivated to run these days.

I was looking around at different equipment runners use to track speed, distance, elevation, etc. What I found was, that most serious runners were using GPS watches that cost a few more dollars than my sneakers, which happen to not be cheap.

I needed to find something that worked, was simple to use and cheap. Looking at a clock before I left, then checking the clock again when I got back and then checking the distance on the odometer of my car was way too old school (I assume my dad does it that way).
I had recently bought an arm band to carry my phone (Blackberry Storm2) with me when I run so that if there ever was an emergency I had my phone with me and if I was in the mood I could listen to music and even respond to client emails while running (Just kidding about that last one).
I knew my phone had GPS and Blackberry has been trying to catch up to the iPhone by pushing their apps world. I knew there had to be some application that can easily take advantage of my build in GPS, a simple clock and the Google Maps or another map API.
What I found were a few apps that claimed they do what I just described above. Out of the five or so only two had good reviews.
  1. RoadrunnerGPS http://www.roadrunnergps.com/  (Free Trial $2.99 to purchase)
  2. Endomondo http://www.endomondo.com/ (Free)
Download and installation for both of these apps were fast and easy.
The first day I ran I used the RoadrunnerGPS. I clicked to open it and it asked me some basic profile information (height, weight, etc.).  It also asked me for my email and password. Once that information was configured, all I did was click the start button did my usual run and hit stop. When I hit stop I got a message saying "uploading to your account."  I then it showed me the results. 3.97 miles in 37m 18s.
What was even neater was when I got to the office, I went to the roadrunnerGPS website logged in and viewed my “workout”. It even gave me an option to share my run (here is an example). It gives you a graph of your speed, layered on top of  a graph of the elevations right above a Google Map with my route highlighted. One of the features I like about this is when I mouse over the graph is shows me where I was at the time.
Two days later I used the second app, Endomondo. This app is a much more complex app and allows you to set the sport plus about a million other options. It was pretty simple to add my profile and create and account but was definitely a bit more complex than the roadrunnerGPS app but still pretty simple and quick. I ran the same circle as I did on the last run except that this time I ran it in reverse.  You can the results over here.
This app came back that I only ran 3.91 miles and the time was a lot better than what I normally run maybe because I ran solo and not with my usual running partner.  
I was able to see the speed and elevation together with a Google map but this app does not have the nice mouseover features like the RoadrunnerGPS app did.
The my account section of the Endomondo website is a lot larger then the RoadrunnerGPS account section. You can add friends set up teams and what seems like a million other features. It also free.
I should note, Mike uses Endomondo on his Android device and has done a detailed review of the app.
My Synopsis:
Overall I think I like the Endomondo app.

I know that I have measured the distance in the past and it was 4.2 miles on my old-school odometer. But ff you visit  My Google Map, Google has it as 4.2 miles.

Hmm I wonder why it seems so off from the apps I used?
On Wednesday night the 28th of July, I will be running in a 200K relay race. Yes that is about 125 miles.
An old friend of mine called me about three months ago and asked me to participate and help raise awareness and funds for ALS. Specifically for a friend of his who was diagnosed with this terrible disease. I had just started running again for the first time in years and committed to running. Now I am stuck and have to run the race. To read more and possibly help a good cause, please visit my page on the Jrunners.org website.
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Joseph Cohn has been helping companies across many industries find high tech web and mobile solutions to the wide variety of challenges facing them. He has a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science from Touro College in NYC and currently resides in the remote hills of Rockland County with his precious family.

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