A few weeks ago, I came across a life-changing deal. OK, maybe not life changing, but certainly run-changing:
iSmoothRun, an iPhone app that normally costs $4.99, was available for free! Never one to pass up a
the equivalent of a free latte great deal, I downloaded it — and have been using it ever since.
It has so many features and collects so much data, I suspect I’ve only discovered maybe a quarter of all it does. But let’s talk about it anyway!
First, you should know that even if you currently use a different tracking app or GPS, you don’t have to give it up. iSmoothRun can connect to and automatically sync your data with RunKeeper, Strava, Nike+, Garmin Connect, DailyMile and a slew of others (10 in all, in addition to automatic uploads to Dropbox or your email).
It really works like a secret stimulant for all your running data. iSmoothRun doesn’t make any of it available on its website, so you can’t go online to study your pace, distance, maps and all that other vitally important information. But once you’ve connected it to the app of your choice — I synced mine with RunKeeper — you can have all you had before, and much, much more.
So what am I talking about? Like all other apps, iSmoothRun tracks distance, pace, speed, and splits. Similar to RunKeeper, it also allows you to pre-program workouts. I haven’t used that feature yet yet, but it looks like you can set up a calorie, distance or time goal; or a run-walk sequence, which can be used for intervals as well.
And then, there is everything else:
- It tracks your shoe mileage;
- It gives you weather information (temperature, wind, humidity);
- It measures your stride length;
- It can work like a pedometer, estimating distance based on the number of steps you take, so you can use it on a treadmill or indoor track;
- It tracks your cadence (my personal favorite), and
- It has a metronome that you can turn on, so you can actually work on your cadence as you run.
Here are a few screenshots from my run today; an easy recovery-pace five-miler. My average cadence was 80. It’s around 88-90 on tempo runs and 86-88 on race-pace runs. I have some work to do if I want to bring it up to 90 like the fast kids, but the important part is that I can do it without constantly timing and counting my steps!
But wait — there’s more! Tilt your phone to the side, and you can get a bunch of sexy charts based on all those numbers. Oh well. Maybe not so sexy?
By the way, iSmoothRun, here’s one thing you can improve on: pick a different color for pace or for the elevation change, yeah?
As I said, this is just a tiny portion of the features available through this app. The Settings alone have at least 10 terms I don’t even understand, all under training gear that can be synced with the app (what is a Wahoo Fisica Sensor? A Masqott? Withings? Scosche?) – see?
I’ll be studying that stuff for weeks – if not months – to come!
In hindsight, I should’ve spent the $4.99 on this app a long time ago. To someone who wants to know exactly how long, fast and well they’re running [–>this gal!<--], skipping a latte one morning in favor of this magic eye-opener is a choice well made.
Your turn: How do you track your runs? If you use an app, which one?