Review: Runmeter GPS Running Stopwatch for iPhone

My running preparation saga was completed:
  • Good pair of legs - one with titanium plate (checked)
  • an iPhone (checked)
  • an armband for iPhone (checked)
  • Highly endurance handsome body (checked checked checked)
  • And last but not least, a software to track my running progress - Runmeter (checked)
This was the first time I ran again in 3 years after the motorcycle accident - hence the titanium plate. During this time I gained over 7 kg. I was a round fluffy ball, my partner said. That was the last straw.

Three months ago I started slow jogging. The first one was only 4 km. I survived. I jogged 2 days a week for 2 weeks. My average speed was at 9+ min/km. Everybody was running pass me.

I needed to speed up and run faster.

So I started looking for a software that I could use to track my progress. After comparing feature by feature, I picked up this one from the AppStore - Runmeter GPS Stopwatch by Abvio LLC for $AUD 5.99. However, I didn't have the armband with me.

Then it was Easter holiday. Over the Easter holiday, I went crazy and ran (no longer jog) everyday continuously for 4 days in a row. Using my stopwatch I was quite proud at my speed at 8+ min/km. However, couple of people were still passing me.

With the arrival of the armband, I could take my iPhone with me and got to try Runmeter. Then the whole running saga was changed. There was this lady by my arm that kept on nagging me.

"Distance 0.5, Time 5 50, average 9, remaining xxx"
"Distance 1, Time 6 00, average 8.5, remaining yada yada"
"Distance 1.5, Time 6 08, average 8.6, ..."

This lady was screwing up my pace. My running pattern changed as I tried to please her. I knew when I started to dropping out, getting lazy, etc. Then I ran faster and faster. In my mind, I was thinking that it was good I have the phone with me. If I were to pass out, at least I hope I could dial 000 before I dropped.

Using Runmeter was very easy. I never have to lookup the manual. Simply select "New Route" and hit the big green Start button then started pounding the pavement.

At the end of my first run, I can review the GPS map and rename the route. The next run, I simply selected the same route and hit the start button and started running again. Runmeter automatically recognised the route and started criticising my performance.

The stats became more and more interesting as you collected more data - more runs. I was at the stage where I couldn't wait for the next run to beat my own record.

Before Runmeter, I strangely suspected that I ran uphill faster than downhill. Runmeter graph confirmed this. I guessed this was because when I ran downhill I thought that my plate was hurting. Anyway, I slowly corrected this mental thinking. These days I ran downhill as fast as running uphill.

Runmeter does a very good summary. It shows summary in term of daily summary, weekly, monthly, yearly, or overall statistics.

One feature I like quite a lot is sending updates to Twitter or Facebook. I set it up such that it wasn't too chatty and only tweeted at the begin and end of my run. I start running quite early like 5:30 am in the morning. At least, my partner could check where I was in the early hour and that I didn't have a close encounter of the 4th kind.

The amount of info in the announcement is a lot. Runmeter is flexible enough and allow you to tune this up or down. In the beginning, Runmeter's lady was babbling quite a lot and people started give me weird looks. So I tuned her down a bit.

Without appearing as doing promo ads for Runmeter (which I didn't), I quite like Runmeter and always use it for every run to improve my progress.

These days, I run at 7 minutes per km, 8 km per run, and 3-4 days per week. Nobody can run pass me now. Nobody. Except one little girl! She was not running. She was sprinting! Anyway I suspected that she was actually a robot and not a girl girl. A robot in a girly form to make me feel bad.

My ultimate goal is to use Runmeter to improve my running even further, like down to 6 minute/km to beat that little robot girl.

Oh, BTW, I have shed all those 7 kg and need to go shopping for new clothes soon.

Happy running.

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