Runtastic Makes Tracking Exercise Easier and More Fun

Posted on August 13, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

If none of the running apps from this post struck your fancy, here’s another great one to try out. Runtastic. It’s not just a run of the mill running app. It’s a running app on steroids. Their moto is “runtastic – makes sports funtastic.” When I first started to review it, it didn’t seem too different from apps I’ve tried in the past, but the more I looked into it, the more I really liked it. If you are really meticulous about tracking your exercise, this definitely is the app for you. It tracks just about everything I can think of. And, it isn’t just for running. The app has tons of different exercises you can select and have it track. Here is the main page:

It keeps track of the history of your exercise, and at the top is a running total of how many calories have been burned, total duration, and mile count. From here, you can also select specific workouts that you want to view the details of. I haven’t used the app too much, so I’m not sure if the workouts stay forever, but it seems to have a good history.

The next few screen shots show what is kept track of for each workout. The main page shows the pace, speed, elevation, and calories. At the end of each workout, you can put in an emoticon to describe how you felt, what kind of terrain you ran on, and even the temperature (which is automatically put in by the app).

The split table allows you to see how fast you went at certain times throughout the exercise session (this particular one was a walk), such as the fastest and slowest sections.

The graphs available show where the elevation was at, the speed, heart rate and pace throughout the run (or whatever exercise you selected).

Finally, you can view a map of the run. This is pretty standard for most running apps.

Potentially the coolest feature of this app is 3D Google Earth view. Unfortunately, this is only available for Android devices, but if you have one, it’s pretty awesome. Check out this video about what it is exactly:

The app also lets users hook up different sensors to more accurately track heart rate, steps, and speed. Ones that have been created specifically by runtastic will be available soon. Check out the sensors here.

runtastic also has different apps that are more specifically tailored to different sports and exercises. The one I reviewed is the standard one that is most specifically for running, but there’s a pedometer, walking, and even winter sports. Check out a full list here. I wasn’t totally sold on how accurate the calorie counter was, as once I started the tracking prematurely as I sat and waited for my sister to arrive, and it told me I had burned around 30 calories just sitting there. I feel as if it would be more accurate if there was the ability to enter in stats, such as age, weight, and sex, and then calories burned would be more accurate. Who knows though.

There are also training plans available for users. This function is only currently available for the iPhone, but there are quite a few available . I wish I had an iPhone, because it seems pretty cool. The plans can be accessed online for those of us without an iPhone, but they obviously aren’t quite as accessible because it isn’t going in your ear as you run. They do cost money, usually around $8 for a Gold member, or $14 for anyone else. To become a Gold member, check out membership fees here.

One kind of fun feature is the “cheer” function. If you allow your app to connect to the runtastic website, your workout will be featured “live” and people can cheer you on. If you need some motivation, that might do the trick. You can also view lots of details concerning your workouts through your online account, connect with friends, input body measurements, and more. I probably won’t use that too often, but it seemed like a neat interface.

The app is available for the iPhone, Android devices, Blackberry devicse, and Windows 7 devices though the features do vary. The lite version is free, but to really get the full functionality of the app, it would be a smart idea upgrade to the Pro version:

iPhone: Runtastic Pro – 5.99 Runtastic – Free

Android: Runtastic Pro – 3.99 Runtastic – Free

Blackberry: Runtastic Pro – 3.99 Runtastic – Free

Windows 7: Runtastic Pro – 4.99 Runtastic – Free