Facebook, twitter and other social media platforms have changed the way that we think about exercise and fitness. No more are people on dieting and fitness regimes bound to endless solo training sessions that are devoid of any support. Social media means that exercise sessions can be shared across the web, in real time and with stunning accuracy all from a Blackberry, Iphone or Android phone.
This article is going to take a look at two of the best apps for tracking and recording your running, triathlon or endurance training sessions all using a smartphone combined with social media.
The Endomondo app was designed to replace an entry level GPS running watch such as the Soleus GPS Fit 1.0 or the Timex Ironman watch. This app records important training metrics such as distance, time, pace, speed and the amount of calories burned over a session.
You can also download courses that you have previously raced, as well as courses that other people have recorded. This means that you can train over new routes without having to plan ahead. You can also race a previous time and record any progress made towards goals that you or your friends set you.
As well as the basic features that you will find on most good GPS watches, there are also some advanced features that you might not expect from such a low priced APP. You can view live charts/graphs of your training in real time, setup a complex interval training course and even use the app in low power mode to extend your training session up to six hours.
The Endomondo app also gives you access to the huge online community of other Endomondo users. From here you can view all of your previous workouts as well as posting updates to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter so that your networks can see your progress.
The Nike+ Running APP takes most of the tracing features of the Endomundo app but adds a rich and entertaining social media dimension to your training.
You can upload your live workouts to Facebook or Twitter so that friends and family can send messages of support directly to your phone as your train. After the workout you can also post a summary of your run to Facebook, letting your friends see how you have performed.
Another great feature of the Nike+ app is the audio coaching. This is where GPS watches such as the Soleus GPS Fit 1.0 and Garmin Forerunner series fall down as they don’t offer any kind of music playback functionality. Motorola made a good effort with their Motoactv GPS watch but unfortunately at over £200 this is a huge amount to pay for simple training tracking. The Nike App uses your inbuilt music player to pump songs straight to your headphones and you can listen to all of your favorite playlists that you have previously downloaded to your phone. The app also periodically updates you on your session progress and also a virtual coach offers practical tips and advice if your pace changes or if you are nearing a goal.