Posts Tagged ‘RunKeeper’

Is RunKeeper the best?

May 17, 2011

RunKeeper is the best so far plus the fact that my running mates are all using them. It surely is easy to use and their web UI is of good design, e.g. my old eyes like their large fonts. It may not be the best in the market as there are many apps fighting for the space.

iSmoothRun is another app that I have read about in forum, it’s not free like RunKeeper (there is no free version anymore the Pro version is now free). iSmoothRun is surely feature rich and the key difference to me is that “Your data are yours”, i.e. data are kept in the iPhone.

The online communities that you can export your data from iSmoothrun are dailymile, runningfreeonline and trainingpeaks. So I went checking them out.

TrainingPeaks may be originally designed for very serious athletes and coaches, typically if I couldn’t figure out at the first 5 seconds how to navigate and use it, that isn’t my cup of tea.

RunningFreeOnline is slightly better I managed to upload GPX/TCX files as a trial. The graphs and web UI design looks a bit outdated maybe it has been around for a long time. Updating the web UI is pretty risky as many users may have locked into the look and feel of the site. I’m also puzzled to see the data blackouts (straight lines between 2 points) in the curves. Again its UI is pretty old fashion to me.


I’m not new to dailymile I tried that a while ago before I use RunKeeper. Its interface is of modern design (fast loading, ajax etc) and nice looking. Site navigation is easy, you even have a few color themes to choose from. The Garmin (beta) and Nike+ sync feature is impressive and it works well for me. The drawbacks at the moment are that heart rate data isn’t sync’ed from Garmin and only about a dozen or so workouts can be sync’ed. I can see that dailymile is pretty popular.

I’ll be using iSmoothRun from now on to test it out. At the moment I prefer uploading GPX file to RunKeeper to share with my friends. Dailymile has a drawback if you care about privacy, i.e. they have no privacy control whatsoever and everything is shared to the world.



May 10, 2011

I designed this route from home to Aberdeen the other day in RunKeeper, it’s about 15k so it can’t be too hard. I did it today. I like trying new things let’s have a look at Runtastic.


this is the map in Garmin, OMG The Peak is labelled as “SHAN TENG”, couldn’t Microsoft afford a tourist map?


the summary from Garmin


The runtastic map is generated by a GPX file exported from Garmin. The interesting thing here is that Garmin says I did 14.52k, the same set of GPS data on Google map gives 15.25k. RunKeeper, which of course is using Google map, says I did 15.76k.

Time for some photos, with Bowen trail behind me, stopped at the bridge over Peak Tram for water

After the hard climbing at last descending now

Aberdeen was quite busy at that time of the morning

Disneyland, other side of the gate

May 7, 2011

The plan was to run to the Disneyland pier and the Inspiration Lake where we can rest or perhaps buy a drink there. I designed the route in RunKeeper and found that the round trip is just over 10k, quite easily we arrived at the pier.


forgot to turn on the HDR so photo (now touched up) doesn’t look too good

I haven’t been to any of these hotels here, it looks nice from the outside. We spotted the waterfront road so we said why not a detour again!


We got to a gate with security guard he let us through and said the road should lead us back to the lake.

It’s nice isn’t it, road is far away and there was nobody there!



Climb the stairs then we got back to the main road

We again missed the Inspiration lake that we intended to visit. On a map the route looks like this, below is the bad example of Bing map. You know why the running community around the world hates Bing map. See that Disneyland in Hong Kong is labelled “Discovery Bay” and that part of the Lantau Island is called “Tsuen Wan”.



Tai Lam Chung

March 24, 2011

Today we didn’t run the route we intended but I had 2 successful experiments done. I saw a few questions in RunKeeper user forum about what if mobile network isn’t available would GPS still work? This is found to be affirmative, i.e. GPS works fine even if you don’t have mobile network reception. The downside is battery drains faster.

The next finding is about my HR spike that’s covered at the end of this entry.

From the starting point looking up to the dam


Let’s check out the map, that didn’t work, we made a few wrong turns still


The dam from another angle, almost level up with it


It’s older than me


A closer look


Water at last


With a few wrong turns this is what we ended up with, no tarmac road


There was no signal for my carrier even Google map didn’t work, more than once RunKeeper’s GPS came to rescue. We should have brought a paper map.


The Bing map on Garmin is hopeless


The Google map in RunKeeper Pro


Today I think I discovered what caused HR spike. I have lots of photo stops today and deliberation for direction and humidity is only moderate. My sweat under the chestbelt dried up and I felt the salt crystal on my skin. I saw the peak of 199 while I wasn’t on load at all, in fact I was descending on a moderate slope. The way I cured that was to use my shirt to clean the contacts and removed the salt crystal from my skin.