Free iPhone App to track your running using GPS

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You probably might be familiar with Nike+ which is a combination of using Apple iPod or iPhone and a special sports kit or sports sensor (costing USD 29) to keep track of your running, record all those fantastic information about the run and then uploading it to the web site and forums for all to share. In some gyms, they even provided Nike + iPod compatible cardio equipment. Amazing.

If you don’t have those Nike+ kit or is not a very professional runner, that’s fine. There is a free iPhone app from a company called RunKeeper which uses the iPhone built in GPS to do pretty similar stuff too. The app is free and they provide a web site for you to track your running too.

I tried it out this evening and thought I would share some pictures.

Of course, first you need to download the app from the iPhone store

After that, you create a Runkeeper account. You should create an account as it allows you to keep a history of your running and then later also to share that information with your beloved ones or fans or people who want to laugh at your running (more of that later).

Next, you need to run (or walk or jog..whatever :p).

Just before you take off, you will start the app. The instruction stated that you should start when the GPS indicator stated FAIR or better. That means, you need to make sure iPhone locks into the GPS system else there is NO point, right ?

If you intend to listen to your music when running, you would also want to do another setting. In Home setting (Settings>General>Home>iPod), you want to choose iPod instead of the Home. That way, you can access your iPod by double clicking on the Home button even when you are running the app. You will then not be closing the Runkeeper app even as you play with your iPod music. This is necessary as iPhone has no background service so the Runkeeper app needs to be constantly running in the foreground. If you dun do this, you cannot easily switch to iPod to listen to your music. You DO want your music when running, right ? ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay. Off you go running and the app will keep track of your running, jogging, walking etc. When you are done, you press STOP and you can see all your lovely data.

Here’s mine after my run:
Runkeeper Data after a run

Yes, yes, laugh all you want. I only did 1.45 km today. My excuse is that I am testing this app. The truth is I am old and weak ๐Ÿ™‚

The app will automatically upload that particular run data into the Runkeeper server and you can also keep a history of all your runs on the app itself.
Runkeeper Data after a run

You can even zoom in and see a map of the place you run which is really nice:
Map of my run in Runkeeper
(yes, i run at Bishan Park)

Now comes the fun part. When you reached home (if you do… I nearly could not make it home after that run…), you can log into the Runkeeper web site and see the details of your run too:
Map of my run in Runkeeper Web Site

You can also link to your user page in the web site for all your lovely fans to share and view your history of your run. In my case, if you need a page to laugh at how weak I am, look at:
My Run Records in RunKeeper

And like all good web pages, social networking is a must. You can send the run data to Twitter account and/or Facebook account:
Twitter Your Run

I believe a lot of people love such run tracking for their own recording as well as for true motivation purpose. For myself, the iPhone is a bit bulky to bring on a run but I can see why I would want to do so. To see a map of your run is pretty cool and I think it can be quite motivating to keep the records and try my own best to beat my highest distance of 1.45 km.. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have fun with this app !


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