You’ve decided to improve your morning commute by walking, jogging, or biking. That’s great! Not only will this approach improve your physical and emotional health, but beneficial to the environment as well. Fortunately for you, technology is on your side. Take your pick of these ten great apps to track your time and mileage, plan the best routes and more. Strap your phone to your handlebars, and you are ready to ride.
Strava Running and Cycling GPS
The makers of this app, Strava Inc., describe their creation as “more than a tracking app… the social network for athletes.” The free app is designed for android phones. More than five million users currently employ it to track their distance, speed, elevation, and more. Runs or rides can be divided into segments to determine statistics on each leg of the commute. It features monthly challenges, connectivity with Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to share your progress; and pairs with external devices such as activity trackers and heart rate monitors. A premium version is available to offer even more details and personalized training.
Wahoo Fitness serves both Android and Apple devices. Its designers may have wasted little effort on aesthetics, but this app is packed with information. It pairs with other devices and websites such as Strava, MapMyFitness, and MyFitnessPal, as well as Kickr Power Trainer for indoor use.
This iPhone app is loaded with special features to make your ride easier. Using an earphone with a remote button, you can stop and start your ride counter, get directions, and receive audible alerts on parameters such as heart rate or distance. Cyclemeter easily pairs with services such as Google Maps, Twitter, Facebook, and Strava.
Google Maps and Google Now
Maybe you want to keep it simple –just looking for some helpful navigation during your ride. Google maps allows you to do just that. Map your route in advance to receive turn by turn direction reminders. The audible reminders allow you to use while your phone is tucked safely away in your pocket. Google Now Smart Cards has a handful of functions available,including traffic updates, weather reporting of nearby places and information on public transit options. It’s free and available to both iPhone and Android devices.
Map My Ride
Map My Ride uses route mapping software to track your ride in progress. In addition to mapping, it allows you to keep track of your weight, diet, and other aspects of your health. This free app is available for both Android and iPhone; the premium version eliminates in-app advertisements.
If your cycling takes you off the beaten path, Viewranger is the app for you. This app utilizes Opencycle’s free world map, and you can upgrade to topographical maps of various regions. Track yourself, view other bikers near you, and share your routes with friends. This app is ideal for mountain biking and trail riding. The free Viewranger app is available for both Apple and Android devices.
Runtastic Road Bike Tracker
With over a million users, this free Android app has all the features you would expect and then some. One perk of Runtastic is that it allows you to create a motivational music playlist to give you that extra boost. Its motion sensor eliminates the need to stop and start your time during short breaks, and the app provides information on wind and weather conditions.
Garmin Connect Mobile
This free Android app pairs with any Garmin fitness device, enabling you to upload GPS tracking information. You can also set text alerts to help you achieve your fitness goals, compete with friends, and check current weather conditions.
The free Android app is available for those with a Fitbit Surge, Charge, Flex, One, or Zip. The app allows you not only to track rides, walks, runs, and hikes, but also to set daily goals, log foods eaten, and keep track of other fitness activities such as workouts.
How Far Did I Run?
Perhaps you prefer a good old PC to today’s app wielding smartphones and tablets. If so, there are still route tracking resources available to you. Use the How Far Did I Run? feature at OnTheGoMap.com/#/create to manually track your route. Simply click to place digital “pins” on the map, and your distance will be automatically calculated onscreen.