Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tracking my running and fitness

One of the first things I want to share is a list of my favorite sites for tracking my running and fitness activities.

I started out last year with MapMyRun.com. I used this site because I did not yet have a GPS, and I wanted to find out how far I was running. Since my first runs were purely based on time, while I got started, I was not as concerned with distance. I was really just concerned with still breathing when I was done my workout.

After a few months, probably somewhere around August, I discovered dailymile. dailymile is more than just a way to track miles... it was a whole community of other people, many of whom were just like me. There were people who had similar stories, similar experience levels, and there were more experienced people on there to look up to. I went back and manually typed in all of my runs for the whole year (going back to April). My effort was all worthwhile when I received an annual report card in January, summarizing my whole year. That was just cool! If you want to follow me on dailymile, here's a link to my profile.

In January, I signed up for the PRS Fit Global 10K, which included a roughly 3 month training plan to help me run a 10K in late March. I had only ever run 6 miles once at this point, and it was accidental on a day where I was just having fun. At the time I signed up, my goal was to simply be able to survive the 10K, but as I found out later, I would be doing several training runs longer than the 10K well before then. Back to why I mention this. Included with the training plan is access to the Premium features on Training Peaks. I was hesitant to use the site at first because I was already using dailymile regularly, but I learned to appreciate the features, and my post-run notes were sent to coaches Jeff and Diane for occasional feedback. I am not sure if I will continue to use Training Peaks after the training plan is complete, but I do enjoy some of the features, specifically, the ability to plan workouts and drag and drop them on the calendar.

I have several friends who use RunKeeper, but I have never really gotten into that. First, I do not have an iPhone! Second, I prefer the simplicity and community of dailymile. But, in January, they ran a promotion to get the Pro software for free, so I took advantage of that and downloaded it to my iPod Touch anyway. I still have yet to try it.

I plan to stick with dailymile unless something better comes along. I'm always checking out new sites like these, but for some reason, dailymile just wins me over.

What is your favorite site for tracking your fitness and/or running?

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