Friday, November 12, 2010

Testing the MapMyRun App

I recently switched to MapMyRun as my run-tracking program, since Bones in Motion has pretty much been ruined (in my opinion) by Adidas miCoach. I've used MMR in the past, and I think it's a pretty decent program. I figured that now that I'm back to MMR, I should go ahead and download their iPhone app. I first tried the app last Saturday on my 22-miler on the Creek Turnpike trail. It seemed to be pretty accurate, and aligned with my Garmin very closely.

On Wednesday, I strapped my iPhone on for a 7-mile run through the neighborhoods that surround my house. I had a quick start, and I was feeling good. I was a little surprised, however, to hear the echoing woman's voice telling me that my pace was under 8 minutes in my first mile. I have been keeping my weekday runs around 8 minutes lately, but my first mile is usually my slowest. Anyway, I kept chipping away at the 7 miles, and my pace kept dropping. Every time I heard a faster number, I'd pick it up even more. By the end of the run, she was telling me that I was averaging 7:39. I was so excited that I had broken 7:40. Then, I looked down at my Garmin to see that it was suggesting my recorded average page was actually 7:48. Knowing that the Garmin was likely the more accurate source, I went with it. I was still happy to have averaged under 7:50 for 7 miles, especially when my goal marathon pace is 1:20/mile slower, but I was a little bummed to see the discrepancy.

I ran an easy five this morning, and again, there were notable discrepancies between MMR and my Garmin. This time, the discrepancy affected both pace and distance. I was running on a very familiar path at a very familiar pace, yet MMR showed that I was .2 mile behind and several seconds per mile slower than the Garmin (and my instincts).

I would assume that part of the discrepancy has to do with my surroundings, as the more accurate reading came during a run with very few surrounding houses, trees, buildings, etc. on the Creek Turnpike trail. Wednesday and Friday, I was constantly among trees, houses, overhead wires, and buildings. Nevertheless, I'll still use MMR at the Route 66, but my Garmin has the last word!

On a side note, yesterday I registered for the White Rock marathon in Dallas, which occurs just two weeks after Route 66. Leave a comment if you're also attending White Rock, or if you've run it before and have any insights. Thanks!

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