I can’t say my search has been exhaustive but I’ve tried a few Android apps for running and riding and have decided on my current champion. The best I’ve come across so far is Endomono. It logs the basic information you need on a run/cycle and shares that information via Facebook to your friends.
The Facebook angle wasn’t what attracted me at first. What I liked about it is that it worked. That might not sound like much but I’ve tried a few GPS apps for running and cycling that never seemed to work properly or consistently.Endomondo has worked perfectly from day one and it was only later I signed on and started sharing my information.
I can only expect that the people who read of my exploits will be suitably impressed. This mainly because I forget to turn it off while I’m driving back from Nerang State Forest with the MTB in the back of the car.
You can get your mates to log into Endomondo as well and compare rides and runs. It gives real time updates so you can be idly surfing the web and find out your duplicitous mate is out cracking up the miles. He’s getting road hardened while you’re sitting on your arse. Good motivation.
Endomondo measures distance and time and gives you an approximation of calories consumed. I love this last function. If I can just get it to convert that measurement into cream buns I’d be happy.
There’s a voice you can turn on that chimes in intermittently to tell you how far you’ve gone, how long you’ve been at it and how long it took you to cover the last 1 K. It’s a handy function, specially if you mount it close to your ear like mine is when in my hydro pack. The jolt of adrenalin you get when the voice appears in your ear out of thin air can be just the thing you need to keep you going.
Apart from scaring the hell out of you, the information can be quite useful. For instance, I’ve been motivated by my slow running times into trying to get a decent one kilometre time. In my glory days I could run 10K in 35 minutes…I think…but now I’m finding a 3:30 minute kilometre next to impossible. Surely I could never have done ten of them? Maybe it was a short 10Ks I ran back then? Anyway, the voice keeps you aware of what you’re doing and maybe you can even improve…
What Endomondo doesn’t tell you is your max speed or average speed. These things would be nice, especially for cycling. I used to love trying to beat my maximum speed on my old bike speedo. I once clocked 90km/hr on a long windy downhill on the outskirts of Melbourne.
Endomondo Lite is a free version of the app. It’s the one I have tested. The pro version offers useful extras like connecting to a heart rate strap, and a few useless extras like allowing your mates to talk motivation talk at you while you train. I cant imagine any of my mates doing anything other than taking the piss and trying to annoy.