The recent growth of the smartphone over the past few years has revolutionized the way that we access data. No longer is communication limited to text messaging and phone calls, but high speed internet access means that we can communicate more easily and effectively though mediums such as Facebook, twitter, email and smart messaging. No longer are we restricted to one form of communication but we can interact and network through a variety of different mediums depending on the level of social formality of our different circles.
The Downfall of the GPS Watch
Not only has the rise of the smart phone been great for communication but it has also revolutionized the fitness industry. Prior to the app store on both Android and Iphones, runners, cyclists and triathletes all relied on GPS watches to track and record their training performance. Although watches such as the Motorola Motoactv, Garmin Forerunner, Soleus GPS Fit and Timex Ironman provide a wealth of information and functionality, for the average recreational user they provided added too much complication in an already busy schedule and were also perceived as not offering good value for money.
The smartphone offered a solution to this problem. Small third party developers started offering small applications that let you track your fitness using your phones inbuilt GPRS sensor. Although these apps were great, the lacked the support and continued development of the large companies and therefore were only used by a few people who liked to track a few basic stats such as time and distance (with a large degree of inaccuracy).
Nike Running App
The turning point for fitness apps came about two years ago with the advent of the Nike Running App. This app is still one of the most poplar on the market and is used by runners the world over.
As well as offering accurate reporting of things like pace, distance, speed and time, the Nike Running App costs only a few pounds. When you compare this to the cost of even a basic GPS running watch such as the Garmin 105 or the Soleus Fit 1.0 that each cost over $100, then this is a substantial reduced fee.
The only downsides that I can see to apps such as the Nike running app are due to the limitations of modern phones. Their high resolution color screens mean then you will only be able to run for a short period of time with your running app recording your stats. Therefore running apps are unsuitable for longer training sessions such as marathons or endurance cycles.
If you would like some more information on running apps then it is worth searching for some of the top names such as Nike Running, Endumundo or Bupa Running. Otherwise, check out one of the entry level GPS running watches such as the Soleus 1.0 Running watch
This article was written by Ross, a runner, triathlete and blogger based in London who spends more time playing with fitness gadgets than he does training!