Batching & Automation Challenge, Day 8: Tracking Your Running

[Introduction to the Challenge] [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4] [Day 5] [Day 6] [Day 7]

I don’t consider myself an athlete or runner, but I like to stay in shape when it’s convenient for me.  I’ve generally never been into running (and used to despise it as a form of exercise) but in the past couple of years, it has grown on me.  Last summer, I ran a half marathon in Chicago, and it was a great (albeit incredibly tiring) experience for me.  I don’t know if I’ll ever try to build up the stamina do to a complete marathon, but I’m fine with that.  For now, I just want to stay in shape, and working toward the goal of running some kind of race keeps me motivated.

If you’re training for a race or simply run for exercise on a regular basis, you probably try to monitor and track your timing and distance.  This is fairly easy with a watch and websites like MapMyRun make it easy to plan out an outdoor route you plan to run, to calculate the distance.  After running, you can input how long the run took you, and the site will tell you your pace, calories burned, etc.

I used to do that before each run, but it became a bit cumbersome to map out each run and then remember to input my time on the website to track it as a completed run.

Now, I found something that does it all automatically for me.  I realize that this isn’t the first time I’ve made reference to an iPhone application, so I apologize to you non-iPhone users.  The application (free) is called RunKeeper.  It’s very simple – you turn it on before you go running, and you tell it to stop when you’re done.  It uses the GPS feature of your iPhone to track how far you’ve run and how long it’s taken you.  It even approximates the calories burned.  Upon completion of the run, it automatically posts your stats to its website, so you can always look back at your history of runs. 

[Note: This is not a screenshot of an actual run I was on recently.]
Time Savings:
I don’t anticipate that this saves me a ton of time.  The fact that I can automate my record keeping, however, is a huge convenience for me.
  • Estimated time spent tracking my runs (without RunKeeper): 30 minutes/month
  • Estimated time spent tracking my runs (with RunKeeper): 5 minutes/month
  • Monthly Time Savings: 20-25 minutes
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