Running Like a Nerd: Tracking Your Data – Running

These days there are lots of ways to track your running data and the choices are from old-school paper and pen to slick, high-speed web sites or home-grown spreadsheets. There’s just as many ways to record the data to fill these data trackers, too. Watches, phones and old-fashioned stop-watches and maps.

Right now, I’m using a combination of web-services and a spreadsheet to record the data. I have Runkeeper, DailyMile and Strava profiles (all linked at the right!). I also have a Google Docs spreadsheet to manually record and manipulate the data. I’m not sold on any one of these services or the spreadsheet as a permanent long-term system. That’s why I’m using them all.

I had been using the appropriate iOS apps on my iPhone 4 to record the data and save to each service, but upon realizing Runkeeper exports the .GPX data, I’ve been recording using their app and exporting manually to Strava and DailyMile. And of course the spreadsheet is manually entered from the recorded data.

But now…I have a couple new weapons in my arsenal: Betty, the Garmin Forerunner 610 and Garmin Connect. Using the watch instead of the iPhone makes it a bit easier to manage things when running. It also gives me access (eventually…) to a whole lot more information. With a heart rate strap and foot pod, I’ll have cardio telemetry and food cadence, as well as be able to measure performance while on a treadmill. The 610 also makes it easier to maintain a particular pace with its virtual partner function. And, as if all that isn’t enough, I can create workouts on the computer using Garmin Training Center and send them (wirelessly) to the watch. It’ll tell me when to speed up for a tempo workout, slow down for a recovery and do it all again. I’m very excited about the potentials opened up with this gal!

How do you track your fitness activities? Do you have separate systems for running and the other stuff, or one system to track them all?


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