Crash course tech training

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Back in June, Sean covered a handful of smartphone apps that help get its members fit and healthy. I’ve never been one to incorporate a ton of technology into my workouts, so I generally overlook these platforms when I’m on a training kick.

My crash course in fitness app training began Monday, Oct. 29. OtterBox is a sponsor of the Men’s Health Urbanathlon series and the finale is this Sunday in San Francisco. With the Urbanathlon just 18 days away, I decided I would run the 10.2-mile race. Problem is, I hadn’t trained at all until that date.

A few people suggested some apps to keep me motivated (I haven’t run seriously since my first – and only – half marathon in March, 2010), so I gave token trials to Fleetly and Striiv. Fleetly offered too much information for my simple training needs and Striiv constantly sent me popup notifications that I had closed the program and it wasn’t tracking my activity. That got old.

RunKeeper has become my GPS and in-route “coach” over the past two weeks. It provides updates on time, pace and distance, and I can see breakdowns of each minute of my run. One thing I’ve noticed it doesn’t do well is track “repeats.” I tried running 800 repeats on a track, but the GPS must have been confused by the constant left turns. It was off (badly) on both distance and pace.

MapMyFitness is where I’ve turned to log all of my workouts – both in the gym and on the road. It’s easy to track the different exercises I’ve performed, upload my favorite running routes and add friends to make fitness more of a friendly challenge than a daunting task. It excels at tracking gym workouts and also gives an estimate of how many calories I’ve burned during each session. They even provide options to log what I eat and drink.

What apps did I miss out on this time around? We’ll keep you updated on my progress and I promise there will be an Instagram photo from the race – even if it’s just of a chalk outline of me nowhere near the finish line.

About the author



I'm a PR guy, so I work to spread the good word about OtterBox to audiences far and wide. I migrated to Colorado after growing up along Wisconsin's sunny Lake Michigan shores and I'm a sports nut (I dabbled in broadcasting basketball and football). Baseball is No. 1 (go Brewers!), though. I spend summers hiking, backpack through the fall, ski in the winter and truly believe every spring that the Brewers will make the playoffs

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