My friend Tiny told me about an app he uses on his iPhone to map his bike routes which would be useful for my runs as well. Upon researching the site/app a little further, it is for more than just mapping routes, you can also monitor your nutrition, track your workouts and check to see if there are any events in the area in which you might wish to participate.
The name of the site/app: MapMyFitness.com
I have downloaded the following associated apps to my iPhone: MapMyRun, MapMyHike, MapMyWalk and MapMyFitness. Although I have only been using the site/app for a handful of days, I can tell you it is amazingly useful. I have been concentrating primarily on the MapMyWalk app because I have been checking out run locations and I am terrible at judging distance. The way it works: using the app on your iPhone (the app uses your phone’s GPS), you record your route in real time. The app looks like a Google map with two little pins, one for where you start and one for where you are currently standing. It will record: distance traveled, tell you the incline/decline of the route and let you know how long it took you to complete. Once you finish recording the route, you select “save” and it can be uploaded to the site and you will be able to access it from your laptop.
There is a “live” feature that allows you to “broadcast” your route as you are taking it. This feature would be useful for those athletes in remote areas, training solo – so their friends or family know where they are in the event of an emergency.
Today I mapped out the distance around High Lawn Memorial Gardens. It is a decent, paved roadway that goes around the outside of a cemetery. The traffic is low-volume and there are two decent little inclines that give you more than just a “sidewalk” feel. The downside to this route is that the gates are closed at dusk. Because it is winter and I live in the land of 9to5, it is difficult for me to get to this location before the full onset of dusk/dark. I hope to speak to the caretakers and ask if it would they would be too terribly put out by my running the route of the evening time with a headlamp. (I know, I am a freak and would not be in the least bit put out by the fact I would be running in the dark in a graveyard). The thing is, it is surrounded by residential areas, so it is really not that scary. This is the link to the mapping of this route: http://www.mapmyfitness.com/routes/view/59978576. So far I like this route far more than the old little league football field. If I am unable to run it during the week, I am sure that I will incorporate it into my weekend schedule.
The one downside to using the app is the need to download multiple apps. I wish I could download one to my phone and it be universal for the whole set. However, if that is the worse thing I encounter using this app – then it is worth it.
To download sample workout plans you also have to pay $5.99 per month for a premium usage fee. I plan to keep the free services for the time being and utilizing the Nike Training App for workout samples (it has great exercise explanations in vid clips). I can do the workouts and then just input the information into the MapMyFitness site.
It is a pretty interesting site/app. If you are training for a race, new to biking or running, or would just be curious to see your regular run/walk route on a map – then I highly suggest downloading the app and using the website. So far, it has proven to be worth it.