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Map My Torture

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Despite a sore throat and some lingering knee pain yesterday ( wheatontrial.wordpress.c
), I felt compelled to at least try getting 4 miles logged. The fact that it was finally over 60 degrees was reason enough to not let another training day slip away from me, plus I really wanted to break in my new Saucony Hurricanes. Had to quit at 3.3 miles due to an unhappy knee, but I’m still proud of myself. Not bad for a day I’m not feeling 100%. Woke up this morning with no improvement in my throat – and I’m supposed to run 8 miles today. I’m not optimistic.

I’m interested to know what technology others are using for monitoring speed and distance of training runs when not on a treadmill. I’ve been using Map My Run ( www.mapmyrun.com ) since before I even had a smartphone.

Yup, I’d go to the website, zoom into my location, and begin the tedious process of clicking from point to point along the roads I ran in the hopes that the mileage I had completed in my head matched the miles I actually ran. (I was often disappointed).

As I laced up today with my iPhone snugly in it’s armband, I thought “gee, I’ve come a long way.”

The app itself has come a long way, too, in the short time I’ve been using it. The most recent release allows you to see your splits, in addition to basic mileage and total time:

Mile 6: When you say to yourself “I want this to be over already.” How did I run 6.5 miles and burn zero calories though?

Others had told me Map My Run was inferior to Runkeeper ( runkeeper.com/ ) because this feature was missing for so long. Fortunately for Map My Run, I either have extreme loyalty or I am a victim of inertia. Probably the latter. In any case, I’ve stuck with it as really all I am looking for is the ability to know exactly how fast I can run when I’m not on the treadmill, and Map My Run always had that box checked.

So what else does it do? Well, at 2.1 miles, a nice lady with a soothing voice – we’ll call her “Maya” – interrupts whatever is playing in my earbuds (usually “Gangnam Style” or “Party Rock Anthem”) to let me know that I’ve only run a fraction of what I really thought I’ve run so far. She does it again at 4.2, 6.3, etc. I start to get anxious when I haven’t heard from Maya in a while – like maybe Map My Run crashed, and I’m going to be clueless about my time or distance. Or maybe something terrible has happened to Maya in the SmartPhone Voiceover Land and I need to rescue her (I’m coming after you first, Siri). But mostly it’s just I haven’t run as far as I think I have, and Maya comes on with her cruel reminder that I still have a distance to go.

Fortunately, Maya is an optional feature of Map My Run. I think I’ll shut her off for today’s run.

What I like best about Map My Run? I can choose to gloat about my “blinding speed” by sharing my accomplishments socially:

Hey Twitter Followers, just wanted you to know that when the zombies come, I’ll be able to outrun you.

I’m sure there’s a zillion other features the free version of Map My Run comes with that I haven’t even explored yet. It’s available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry. You can upgrade your membership to the “MVP” version – $30 per year gets you custom training plans, additional split distances, and the ability to take photos along the way. But until it includes Zombie Apocalypse Analysis, I’ll continue with the free version.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for the review of mapmyrun and hope your knee feels better soon. Isn't it great when the weather is good and it's such a pleasure to be outside?

    Keep up the good work.
    1873 days ago
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