BMI on #RunKeeper

Another suggestion for the clever girls and boys at RunKeeper: why not introduce a Body Mass Index measurement?

Next to the weight and body fat (BF) measurements – which are indeed ideal quantities to report on – a private BMI ticker would be significantly interesting. This private ticker could be colored from green (value from 20 to 25) to red (less than 20 or higher than 30) and shades in between.

Throw in enhanced reporting on both weight, BF and BMI, just like the FitnessReports on Body Fat Percentage already available today. The icing on the cake.

Advertisements

I ♥ #RunKeeper

Since more than five months now, I’m a very loyal, energized user of RunKeeper. Both the site and the app have compelling, best-designed UIs, functionally and graphically, a pleasure to work with. I’ve tried many other apps out there, including Endomondo and MapMyRUN, but I keep coming back to RunKeeper.

In some strange kind of way RunKeeper acts as a personal motivator and gets me going. Submitting an activity after the hard work of completing a workout seems somehow compulsively rewarding.

App

The free RunKeeper Pro app (available for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7) lists activities and allows to edit or create them manually. In practice, I use the app merely as a GPS activity tracking tool. It’s my regular partner for running and cycling activities. Unlike the Garmins and Polars out there, the process of tracking activities with RunKeeper is ultimately simple: push the Start button when beginning an activity and push the End button when completing. All data is automatically uploaded over 3G or WiFi (whatever is available) to the site. There is no need in synchronizing through a PC, messing with cables etc. Convenience for the win.

Whilst sporting, you can listen to music playlists, predefined or randomly generated. You can walk, run or cycle routes, which can be found on the website or which you can create and publicize yourself.

The app comes with audio cues, configurable via de settings tab. During a workout, RunKeeper keeps you informed of key statistics such as time, distance, average pace and speed. These audio cues can be played on demand (by shaking your phone) or periodically, i.e. at a timed interval (e.g. every 15 minutes) or distance (e.g. every 5 kilometers) – or a combination of both.

And yes, battery consumption on my iPhone 4 is very acceptable if the RunKeeper app runs in the background.

Site

The website is the main place where you’ll find stuff like recorded activities, reports, routes and races. It groups all of your sporting activities by month. You can easily track and set your goals. Reports are rather limited unless you upgrade to RunKeeper Elite, after which you’ll be granted discounts on FitnessClasses (coached workout courses) too.

You can edit and share existing activities and enter activities manually. I always enter my swimming activities manually on the site.

Social

RunKeeper has a social aspect: street teams connect RunKeeper users with whom you can complete workouts or comment on completed sporting activities. You can opt to share your activities including a map with street team members only rather than publicly for privacy reasons.

Upon completing and submitting activities, RunKeeper allows you to push updates to Twitter and Facebook.

Foursquare

Connect your RunKeeper account with Foursquare and you can earn up to 4 compelling, RunKeeper-exclusive badges by achieving different milestones.

  1. Warm Up – Rewarded when completing your first 3 activities
  2. 5K – Upon completing a 5km GPS tracked running activity
  3. 26.2 – Acquired when completing a marathon
  4. Over Achiever – When having completed 5 different activity types

Feature Requests

RunKeeper brings improvements and new features quite regularly; nevertheless here’s my personal feature whishlist for the iPhone app:

  • Suggest calories burned when entering an activity manually (calculated by taking the type of activity, duration and weight into consideration)
  • Optionally push a tweet when starting an activity; not only when completing an activity
  • I would like to use RunKeeper to keep track of all my sporting activities. So add more (team) sports, even “distantless activities” such as tennis, badminton, soccer, basketball, etc.
  • Turn-by-turn navigation instructions on routes would be a killer feature and make you think twice before buying a Garmin EDGE.

And last but not least… It would be very cool if Garmin Connect and Polar Personal Trainer could talk directly to RunKeeper or vice versa. If you’re sporting with an advanced Garmin, Polar or other device and still want to keep track of a wider range of activities centralized in RunKeeper, it is quite cumbersome having to…:

  1. Upload activity data to Garmin or Polar
  2. Download GPX/CTX file to computer
  3. Create a new activity in RunKeeper manually
  4. Upload GPX/CTX or other file back to RunKeeper

So if all parties could provide a nice API, it would make sports tracking life much easier.

%d bloggers like this: