I hate running.
I have asthma, flat feet and short legs. I find running to be easily the most boring form of exercise I have ever done, next to weight lifting.
But I recognize that running is one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways to burn calories and increase overall health that there is. And running is a natural part of the human condition. So being able to do it for a reasonable period of time I think enhances my survivability.
Luckily there are apps like iMapMyRun for the iPhone. Combined with my most energetic music playlists, iMapMyRun makes doing my morning run much more tolerable. I even, somewhat, look forward to it.
What iMapMyRun does is track my daily progress, including where I ran, how far, how fast, and for how long. You just start up the app on your iPhone, hit "record a workout," and you are off. It uses the GPS data to give fairly precise measurement of my distance and speed in real time. So I end every run with a bunch of data about how I did that morning, which for a geek like me is great.
So far, so good. But what iMapMyRun also does that is brilliant is post my workout online so that my friends can see what I've been up to, either on Twitter or Facebook. For someone as unmotivated to run as I am, having a bit of social pressure to keep it up really helps. And when I surpass my personal goals, getting to brag a bit online about it is nice.
Plus you get neat 3D flyovers of your run, like the video above! Damn, I ran far that morning.
You can also go online and check out your past workouts, evaluate progress made, and set goals for yourself to achieve. Paid users get even more features like fitness reports, no ads, and discounts on health stuff. But for someone like me, the free app and online tools are plenty.
There are I am sure plenty of other things that the app and online tools can do that I have not explored. For now, I am happy with how iMapMyRun just helps me keep track of my runs, broadcast how I am doing, and evaluate my progress over time. For someone who dislikes running as much as I do, all that is a big help.