Whether you’re looking to go for a casual jog or walk around the block with your kids for fun, want to run a few miles solo to help your anxiety and/or stress levels, run with a mission to fuel your body and your mind for Strength in Motherhood™, or are looking to train for an upcoming race (pssstt…sign up for our First Annual Community in Motherhood Virtual Run for Charity HERE), it’s a great idea to track your time and distance. It’s motivating, empowering, and can help you stay accountable (we suggest having a friend or group to text mileage to if you’re training or have weight-loss goals); it’s so helpful to stay on top of your goals when you have a gang who’s rooting for you.
Personally, I love my Apple Watch, because, I am not a runner (I’ve had back surgery, bummer, I know), so I like to see if I’ve at least made it a mile on a walk around the block ; ) I also like that it tracks calories burned, my pace, and my heart rate, so I can chart distance and time for low-impact options outside of running.
So, whether you’re casually exercising like myself, or looking to follow a more structured training plan for a specific run (like our virtual run!), we have compiled a bunch of options to help you track your time and distance during training or a run (or a walk!).
Remember, we all have different fitness goals, so pick the one that works best for you; you don’t have to be a “tech person”, either – our FIT4MOM fitness team researched and tested both high-tech and low-tech options.
Jessica Maurer, our Director of Fitness & Education, is sharing her go-to tracking apps and gadgets below…
Let’s Talk Watch Necessities & Gadgets
A simple watch can help you track total run time. Keep an eye out for one that can count minutes and seconds + has a timer (so you can set an alarm to alert you to the end of a training goal). Also, a digital display is your best bet so you can quickly glance down and see where you’re at. Make sure to choose a watch band that can get wet from outdoor elements or sweat, and one that will not rub against your skin while moving.
Want a little more umph? Upgrade your simple watch to a smartwatch or a wearable tracking device to track time and distance simultaneously. A watch with GPS + time tracking capabilities will help you consolidate your devices and allow you to run just about anywhere. Timers allow you to focus on your run instead of “watching the clock” while moving, and GPS enables you to receive feedback on the distance you have covered, as well as your speed. These details are great for keeping your pace, but also for helping you track your improvements as you continue to get stronger and gain more endurance. Many smart devices come with their own apps or programming to help you plan and review your runs.
A Few of our Faves:
- Apple Watch
- Samsung Gear Sport
- FitBit Versa
- LG Watch Style
- Samsung Gear
- Garmin Vivoactive
Let’s Talk Distance
Whether you’re training for an upcoming 5k or half marathon (like our First Annual Community in Motherhood Virtual Run for Charity), or just want to track distance to make sure you got enough steps into your day, there are a wide variety of apps* out there for you to choose from. (*Check your mobile device’s platform store — like Apple or Google Play Store — to view apps that are currently available).
- Strava: A free app that lets you track running, walking and riding route via GPS, join challenges, share photos from your activities, follow friends, and tracks your elevation gain, distance, and time. Strava also rewards your accomplishments as you train, and you can create groups within the app to connect with your other Run Club+ mamas, friends and family and cheer each other on!
- Seconds Pro Timer: A sophisticated timer that is simple to use; it allows you to set multiple timers for your intervals and integrates your music for a seamless experience. The app will talk over your tunes to give you a countdown!
- Map My Run: Once you start tracking your mileage, this app allows for simple and easy tracking of your route, run, and speed. Save your workouts so you can compare your statistics in the future.
- Human.co: Interested in exploring the area around you while running? Get bored with the same ole routes day after day? Then this app is for you. Explore other locals’ runs all over town.
- RecordBeater: Studies show that music can be the ultimate motivator during a workout, especially when establishing a pace. Sync your music to your pace with this app.
- CruiseControl: Run : When you start to slow down, this app will speed up your music, enticing you to speed up and push faster.
If you run outside, you can also find trails and distances to run using the following website resources:
Do you have a favorite smart watch/device for running/exercise or a fave app? Let us know in the comments below!
Before or after you finish a run (or even just a long walk), a good stretch sesh is SO important. Add this restorative workout to your a post-run or cool-down routine.