Running and Walking Apps

Sam Chada
Sep 4, 2013

I have two confessions to make: 1.) I love to go for walks, especially with my dog, Lucy and 2.) I love statistics. This summer I started to hit the pavement around my neighborhood and the trails at the Erie MetroParks but as I started out I was curious to know what the distance of the routes were, duration of route, and calories burned. As nerdy as it sounds, I wanted an analytical breakdown of my simple walk.

 

There are multiple devices on the market to help collect this data like fitness and GPS watches, but considering I was already using my smart phone as a MP3 player it seemed natural to find an app that supported my goals. I conducted preliminary research on apps at sites like Best of Android App Reviews, Lifehacker, and Mashable, but ultimately it came down to chatting with friends, family, and patrons about which app they prefer. There are a plethora of apps for mapping one’s walk (or run) as well as providing data pertaining to that specific route. Some apps even provide the ability to connect with your Facebook friends for a social experience. Nevertheless, after hours of research and countless conversations I settled on MapMyRun (Google Play, iTunes). Here are a couple reasons why this app meets the mark for me:

 

MapMyRun tracks your pace and distance, maps your route, and counts calories.

It tracks your daily nutrition, food and water intake, and tracks your weight.

You can connect with your friends and view their routes, workouts, and general activity to keep motivated.

Best of all, it’s free.

 

Just like any book, movie, or music CD that I recommend to patrons, I do preface the recommendation by stating what works best for me may not work best for you. With that, here are a couple additional mapping apps that you may prefer over MapMyRun:

 

Endomondo

Nike+

RunKeeper

 

If you need additional motivation or prefer the sense of someone chasing you, Zombies, Run! may be a better option. This app does not specifically map the route or report calories burned, but it does gamify the run by providing a storyline in conjunction with interval training (this app does have a cost associated).

 

Of course my walks would not be nearly as enjoyable without music in my ears. For that, I turn to Freegal Music to download my three free MP3 tracks per week (to keep, forever). All you need is your Sandusky Library card to start downloading and listening to full length songs. The Freegal Music service is available for PCs and Macs as well as Android and iOS devices.

Have something to say about one of the above apps? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn’t included in the list? Make you case for your favorite - or alternative - in the discussions below.