A lot has changed since we picked our favorite running apps a few years ago. Now there are tons of apps that save your stats in the cloud and let you share runs with your Facebook friends, but they’re each different enough you might have a hard time picking the right one for you. Here’s how to choose.
I used to run with apps but eventually I stopped. The problems I had:
Social Features are awful if you’re just starting out, and awful if you’re a really great runner because you make others feel bad. There’s literally no scenario in the world where I’d walk up to my friends or family that don’t run, and start telling them what a great 12 minute pace I kept today! I didn’t use them.
Added time. I had to spend 1-2 minutes prior to a run setting up an app so that I could get out the door. It became too much of a hassle.
“Requirement” rather than “for fun”. Running used to be fun but when I started logging my runs I felt an urge to go further or to run again that week if I didn’t feel like it. If I ran an 8 minute pace one day and a 8:30 pace the next, I’d feel horrible.
When families seek our professional advice on managing technology in their children’s lives, we turn to research-based AAP guidelines that promote positive media use and discourage potentially harmful use.
I’ve covered neuroplasticity before. And there is a theory for why some are nearsighted… But in this day and age, there’s a risk of hindering developing minds if they don’t have access to things their peers do. It’s coming to the point that the Internet is a fundamental service, not unlike electricity or water.
Parenting tip: I know of one parent who keeps tabs on his kids via Facebook, using an account for the family dog. The kids can’t be that old, but apparently open up to the “dog” account – unlike for an adult/parent account.
I trust my running app, most of the time. If I set out for a three-miler, and come home with only 2.8 on the screen, I’ll jog around the block to finish the job. But even a smartphone can be dumb sometimes: like when MapMyRun grabbed a data point on the other side of the river my friend was running along.