Fargo Marathon + Mobile, Part 1: There’s an App for Running!

There are only 30 days left until the Fargo Marathon, and it’s time for runners and spectators alike to begin those final preparations for the big day. Buy your new shoes, dust off those cow bells, paint your signs, and charge your mobile phone. Yeah, that’s right, your mobile phone. Because mobile can bring a whole new perspective to this already exciting event. And over the next couple of weeks, I am going to tell you how. Today’s topic – There’s an App for Running!

There are several smartphone applications in the markets that focus on running, but my personal favorite is RunKeeper. Available on the iPhone, Android phones, and Windows 7 phones, RunKeeper uses the devices GPS to both coach you and track your running. A runner can customize everything from the running schedule to audio prompts during the run. Currently, I am training for the marathon relay, and my runkeeper is set up for a 3 mile run, with audio prompts every half mile, and a summary report every five minutes. And the app runs nicely in the background, so I can listen to the music on my phone while I run.

The app also sends data back to your personal RunKeeper.com account where you can easily view your pace, speed, elevation and route on a Google Map overlay. And it integrates will with Facebook and Twitter so you can keep your social circles updated with your running.

My favorite part about this app is the price. It’s free. All of the functionality I just listed is available at no charge. If you upgrade to the RunKeeper Elite app, you get some added features – most notably the live broadcast which will show your position in real time on a Google map. So next month when my family is waiting somewhere along the last six miles of the marathon route to cheer me on, they will be able to use their mobile phone to see exactly where I am in the race. And other friends and family all over the world can see where I am in real time as well. Definitely worth the $5 per month for the serious runner.

In my next blog, I will discuss how to share all of those great pics you are taking on your mobile phone… in real time.

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