We are now three weeks into 2011 and there is one thing most of us have in common: the fading of our New Year’s resolutions. Many, including myself, pledged to either “be healthier” or “get in shape” this year. Luckily, RunKeeper knows we may need some help keeping our resolutions and is here to lend a hand.
RunKeeper Pro, a run tracking application, has been around since 2009 for the iPhone and iPod Touch and early 2010 for Android but through the month of January the developer is offering RunKeeper Pro (usually $9.99) for free. Update: Yesterday the developer announced that Runkeeper Pro will now permanently remain free. RunKeeper Pro offers audio cues, custom workouts, manual data entry and is ad-free — all features that the lite version lacks — and runs on Android devices running v2.0 and greater.
RunKeeper opens with the Start page with three selections and a start button. Input type is either GPS or manual input, which allows users to use the application on stationary equipment like treadmills or stationary bikes.
Activity type is broken down into 13 categories ranging from running to skiing, giving the application great flexibility (although the option for swimming may require some additional hardware).
Once selecting the activity type, RunKeeper is ready to go by simply selecting Start. Similar to a treadmill dashboard there is a timer and calorie counter, while below it displays the current pace and total distance covered. The workout can also be displayed on a map as RunKeeper tracks the user’s progress.
If a music application like Pandora or Grooveshark is playing in the background RunKeeper will continue to give audio cues (if selected) by pausing and then resuming the audio. Cues can relate to a specified distance or time, allowing the user to focus on the run rather than on their device.
Once the workout is complete RunKeeper asks for feedback on how the run went and to either submit or discard the activity to the most unique feature: the RunKeeper website.
The RunKeeper website pairs with the application, aggregating all of the user’s activity into a simple and useful dashboard alongside features like the Street Team, Fitness Classes and RunKeeper Elite.
The user profile contains a history of past activity. The dashboard allows for both quick glance statistics and in-depth analysis for the user with features such as advanced filters and trends in the data. Data and analysis become more useful, naturally, the more RunKeeper is used, a nice motivator for keeping up those New Year’s resolutions.
RunKeeper has great integration with Google Maps to track workouts alongside a route planner on the website. Dragging and dropping a path is dead simple as it automatically updates with the distance and elevation. Many routes are made public and searchable based on location.
RunKeeper allows users to connect social services such as Facebook and Twitter. Connecting to these services provide profile information and connects you with any friends who also use RunKeeper.
Having a running buddy can help us keep a competitive edge to our workouts, but it’s often hard to find someone with a similar schedule or running habit. The solution? RunKeeper Street Team.
As you build your Street Team, your list of Street Teammates gets sorted by who has the most activities in the current month so that you can see who is leading the pack, and how you and the rest of your team stacks up.
Street Team can maintain that competitive feel some need to push themselves, while providing personal flexibility. Integration with Facebook Connect can help find friends for the Street Team or find local users to compete with.
Fitness Classes are like digital personal trainers; they are workouts on a schedule designed with an end goal in mind ranging from running a 10K in under an hour to a 16 week program for running a marathon.
Classes are created by experienced runners and must be purchased through the site, there are classes covering multiple distances and some even focused on fat loss.
RunKeeper Elite is the most advanced version of RunKeeper providing advanced fitness alert notifications, live streaming of progress, advanced fitness reports and all Fitness Classes at 50% off. The program costs $19.99 a year or $4.99 a month. For those interested in taking full advantage of the RunKeeper software be sure to check it out.
RunKeeper Pro is a powerful system and great for those who want to track their active lifestyle. The simple mobile application coupled with a robust online dashboard gives the user a simple and powerful system. Considering RunKeeper Pro is free it comes as an easy recommendation to download, especially for helping with those New Year’s Resolutions.