Oct 29, 2013 12:38 PM EDT
A lot of people are trying to stay in shape these days, and running is a great way to do so. However, if you really want to keep track of your run distance and calories burned, you need to buy a GPS. For those of us without a stack of capital waiting to be spent, that could be a problem. Worry not! With your Android device, you can now download the Runkeeper app to keep track of all of your runs.
Using your device’s GPS, Runkeeper gives you the option to record your distance traveled by running, walking, cycling, hiking, swimming, mountain biking, rowing, skiing, skating, snowboarding, or playing your favorite sport. It also breaks down your speed by the minute and time spent traveling at different speeds. When using Runkeeper, you have the option of running on your own, trying to keep up with a certain pace, or following an extended training plan for a 5k, 10k, half Marathon, or a full Marathon. The schedule gives you the distance and pace to shoot for and helps you plan every workout until race day.
If you enter in your weight, the app can estimate your calories burned based on your speed and distance traveled. There are also single workout plans for those looking to just do one run, and a Run For Fat Loss plan (R4FF) that gives you the pacing and distance to best burn the most calories. If none of those meet your fancy, there is a workout creator option to let you devise your own workout and share it with your friends. Speaking of friends, if you connect Runkeeper with your social networking accounts (Facebook or Google+,) you can keep up with your friends’ progress and view the leaderboards in order to encourage them and drum up some friendly competition.
Runkeeper does support a watch and heart monitor connection in order to get more accurate readings about your location and calories burned. Also, if you enjoy running to music, you can play your music apps through Runkeeper and it will adjust your music in order to give you audio feedback on your distance, time, and speed. If you’re willing to pay a few bucks for a subscription, you can use the Live Broadcast feature (elite members only), which allows you to broadcast where you are in a race to friends and family back home so they can see how well you’re doing without having to actually come out and support you.
The elite membership costs $5 a month, or $20 a year, (hint: the yearly rate is a better deal) and also gives you access to more in depth data charts to analyze your performance. If you don’t feel like paying any money, you’ll just have to settle for a fantastic free app that gives you the most varied and useful resources about your endurance training on a smartphone.
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