Garmin, Strava, app?

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One thing that I really like about running is keeping track of my progress.  Am I getting faster?  Am I going longer?  What’s my pace?  I’ve been using various devices, and apps to see what I like best but somehow I can’t seem to just use one method.  How do I choose?

I like my Garmin Vivosmart HR+ and it really makes sense that this be the one that I concentrate on.  I like it because it measures everything…my sleep, my heart rate, steps walked, my activities, calories burned, pace, etc.  It also alerts me when I have a text message or an email or phone call; which is nice.  It’s a little bulky around my wrist but I feel like that’s part of the price to have all of these things at my fingertips.  I do know one thing, no matter what, I’m sticking with this one.  I really love the pace feature so it tells me if I’m ahead, behind or on my pace.  So why do I need anything else?

The Runmeter app is one I came across after I began running using the 5K Runmeter to help me start running and preparing for my first 5K.  So as I started running more, it made sense for me to try Runmeter.  I like Runmeter because I’m able to enter my half marathon training plan ahead of time.  Note that Runmeter also offers its own half marathon and marathon training plans, but since I joined my running group, I’m sticking with their plan.  So, when I begin my run in the morning, my goal is already set up and I just need to look at it and go without having to figure out what I’m doing that day.  Runmeter shows everything about your run like distance, pace, mapping, elevation, heart rate (if you connect a heart rate monitor), it keeps track of your gear, etc.  Lots of good stuff.  The main thing I like is the pre-planned run and that’s hard to beat.

Strava is the newest addition to my running measurement.  I like that it just tracks my running.  I found that I don’t even have to start it, it starts on its own if it senses that I’m running.  It gives me all pertinent info about my run like pace, time, distance and I like that it compares it to my history so I know if I’m getting faster.  I like that it easily helps me share my stats to my social sites.  This seems to have the least bells and whistles, but I like that about it.  It just gives me facts about my run and running history.

If you’re reading this, yes, as I begin my run, I hit my Garmin, and switch between Strava and Runmeter to “turn them on.”  What’s interesting is they all give me different pace information and distance information.  I wish I knew which was most accurate but I’m not sure how to do that.  I’m thinking I may compare their readings to that of my pacer of my running group and then pay attention the most to that device/app.  Or I suppose I could go to a track and start there.  It does seem kind of ridiculous using three different means, but right now I’m unwilling to give at least one of them up.  I’m thinking that when I’m not training for a race that one may be less meaningful to me than another and I may make the break then.  How do you decide what to use and why?

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