Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Smartphone Running Apps-Searching for the Perfect Mistress

A guest post by my NH running buddy Mike Schwartz. Mike has joined me for many of my Boston Marathon training runs in recent months. He is keeping the pace brisk!

"After buying my first iPhone, my wife quickly dubbed it 'my mistress' -- I was a bit too addicted. Now I'm searching for that mistress running App. She needs to have a nice voice, be very flexible and have a top notch plan. Well, Adidas seems to be the answer. I'm new at this, so maybe I'm missing something, but I have been running with the Nike+ iPhone GPS app for about two months. It was easy to use and has been a great motivator, but I think I've reached the limit -- although the voice and motivation is great, the flexibility and ability to plan are weak. You can not view your splits without logging in from your home computer. The coach feature seems a bit limited with very few distances and static schedules (e.g. a 12 week schedule that starts now). I took a look at RunKeeper which is offering a January promotion -- free iPhone download. But this again, seems to have very limited coaching and RunKeeper Elite has a monthly fee -- definitely not what I am looking for. So I came full circle to what was first recommended to me -- miCoach. At first look, this app by Adidas seems to be the perfect mistress. It is extremely flexible -- you can choose your distance, you can specify a race date so your training schedule is updated to prepare you in time for your race; you can choose the intensity to create a plan that helps you reach your time goal; you can run Assessments to ensure you are on the right track. It seems to provide a great plan with a variety of runs including multiple zones to build your endurance and strength. I'm not so sure about the voice, but you can't have it all. We'll see how this affair works out!"

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