When I, through sheer exertion of will, lift this moribund pile of musky flab out of the desk chair to which it transhumanistically is trying to absorb, put on my sweatbands and take myself out for a wheezing, gasping “jog”, RunKeeper is my preferred app for tracking the whole ordeal.
The free app is already pretty great. It uses your iPhone’s GPS sensors to track your running speed, distance and route; additionally, it allows you to program different run templates, calculate calories burned and share your favorite runs with other users.
But today’s update makes RunKeeper even better, with a host of new features that widen the distance between all the other jog-tracking apps out there.
The first (and, in my opinion, best) new addition to RunKeeper is auto-pause. On my runs, I have RunKeeper programmed to tell me to run for, say, five minutes, then walk for two, then repeat. If I smack into a red stoplight in the middle of my run, or collapse to the ground weeping, or stop for a moment to mash a Butterfinger brand energy bar into my mouth, RunKeeper continues to count down the run timer. No longer! Now, the app will detect through its GPS radio that I’ve stopped, and pause the counter accordingly.
The other new functionality takes advantage of those wireless heart rate monitors that are all the rage with joggers these days. RunKeeper already supported these devices, but now the app displays the heart rate data in real-time, as well as supporting targeted heart zone training. Useful if, like me, you like to keep your heart rate needle just south of the “Cardiac Explosion” side of the spectrum.
In addition, RunKeeper’s new update allows you to set a workout countdown timer that will let you cram your iPhone in a pocket before you take off jogging, and some GPS updates that improve accuracy of exercise tracking.
If you’ve got an iPhone, you can grab the new update here.