Sunday, July 24, 2011

Running Apps

Ok all you smartphone owners!  There is actually a productive way to put that expensive machine you haul around with you everywhere (yes I mean besides checking Facebook and Twitter).  

There are a bunch of apps out there that track your runs via map, mileage, speed and then, post them online for you, as well as a handful of other features.  I've recently downloaded a few with the "Pro" upgrades (thanks to Amazon Android App Market they were free), so they had some additional features.  Now I just need to figure out which one I like the best.

One of my favorite bloggers Robert Scoble  recently posted a similar thought on his Google+ stream (or whatever the equivalent to status is),  and got 141 comments!  Now I'm not expecting to get that response lol, we only have 8 followers! But those comments got me thinking, what is the best running app out there?  

As of now I have the following apps on my phone:  
adidas miCoach
CardioTrainer Pro
JogTracker Pro
My Tracks
runtastic GPS Coach

I used CardioTrainer Pro on the run this morning, it actually stopped tracking the first half mile, so I was a bit irritated about that.  However, it does have an integrated music function which is pretty cool.  Unfortunately for me, 99% of my music is stored in a cloud, and very little on my devise, so this function is only slightly helpful.  It also has a coach that will let you know your pace and how far you've run so you don't have to look at your screen.  My favorite feature though is that you can schedule workouts and if you don't do them, the program yells at you via a notification at the top of your screen.  Also it tells you how many calories you've burned in the last seven days on your screen via the notification bar.

iMapMyRun was the first running app I ever downloaded.  I've used it the last couple of runs, and haven't been disappointed with it yet.  It keeps a map of where you've run (which is helpful for when you get turned around) and 

adidas miCoach was downloaded for this post.  So far I'm liking all the information you need to give it.  And you can even have Reggie Bush as your trainer!  I picked the female, because I'm pretty sure Reggie wouldn't work out too well for me.  There is also a website for more details of your workouts.  So far I'm a fan.

I'll get back to you about the rest later!  I want to give them all at least one go before I make final decisions.

Report card coming soon!


Friday, July 8, 2011

New Kicks!

Ok, so ignoring the fact that Megan and I have been the worst bloggers ever recently (hey, life gets busy!)... 

I got new running shoes!!

But I'm very excited to tell you guys about the process.  I went to a local running store,Pacers Running Store in DC, after talking to a woman about her awesome kicks at the grocery store-totally random, I know, but I love chatting with people.  She gets all of her shoes there, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I had heard other good things about Pacers, actually one of my friends is training for the Marine Corps Marathon with them, but wasn't sure if I wanted to spend the money on new shoes.  Let me tell you though, after the whole experience of buying there I won't ever buy athletic shoes from a regular store again.  

So I get to the store after work and walking in I was a bit overwhelmed to say the least.  A few moments after standing looking baffled an associate noticed I needed a ton of help-remember I have "special" feet.  So we started chatting, mentioned that I'm training for a half marathon (Disney Princess 2012!!) and maybe one or two other races before hand.  

I give him the rundown about my feet, what *think* I need, and that I have inserts that I'd like to try on with the shoes.  So we start off with some a pair of Adidas that I'm a big fan of, but I felt like I was swimming in them.  He shows me over to a treadmill that I get on and it has a flat screen in front of it with a camera mounted at the end of the belt.  It records your steps and slows down each stride.  I needed a shoe that was more stable, I over rotate to the inside of my ankle.  

He brings out about 5 more pairs, apparently my heel is pretty narrow- so he's looking for shoes that are wide at the toes, and narrow at the heels.  This guy knows his shoes, very impressive.  We talked about Vibrams, the new barefoot trend in shoes and races.  He knows his stuff.  So I get back on the treadmill with a few more shoes, some of them feel pretty good, others are just alright, some feel plain right huge on me.  I ended up wearing a different shoe on each feet because I have no idea which one I like more.  I hop back on the treadmill and see which I like better.  Between the Brooks and the Saucony, the Saucony won.  I really like the way the were snug and he even tied my laces in some crazy special way to make it tighter around my heel! 

I highly recommend visiting a local running store, if you have one.  These stores know pretty much all there is to know about shoes, sure you may pay a bit more than at a department or sporting goods store, but you're going to get excellent service and leave with the "right" pair of shoes!