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I've been using Runkeeper for Android for about a month, and really love the ability to create custom workouts. I'm doing the couch to 5k training program, and Runkeeper lets me create a set of intervals (i.e. first interval 90 seconds at steady pace, second interval 60 seconds at slow pace, repeat 8 times) and get voice prompts. This part works fantastically, and is one of only two features I really require.

The second feature is GPS/mileage tracking. Unfortunately this doesn't work so well. I've heard that two versions ago everything worked perfectly, and then they made some changes that completely screwed up the GPS. The version I started using took 10-15 minutes to pick up a GPS signal, even when other apps picked it up right away. This wasn't an occasional occurrence; it was every single time.

About 10 days ago, they released an update which seems to have fixed that, but ever since, the mileage tracking has been wonky. The GPS does show my correct route on the map, but not the correct mileage. For example, yesterday I did a route that I've been walking for years; I know for a fact it's 2.5 miles exactly. Runkeeper showed my route correctly on the map, but claims that it was actually 4.9 miles. Again, this isn't a one-time thing; it happens pretty consistently.

I know there are a ton of apps out that there will let you track your mileage, but not many (any) that I've found that will let me create custom interval workouts the way Runkeeper does.

Does anyone know of any Android apps that will do these two things reliably? I don't need social features, calorie tracking, photos, or anything like that. (I do need to be able to listen to my music in the background, but it doesn't need to be integrated into the app, as long as it will continue to play the standard Android music app while the running app is going.)

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Have you looked at Adidas miCoach yet? –  Ivo Flipse Nov 15 '11 at 20:55
    
No, I haven't. Does it allow me to create intervals as described above? If not, then I'm not interested, no matter how many great features it has. –  EmmyS Nov 15 '11 at 21:08
    
Well does this look more or less like the pattern you want: i.stack.imgur.com/zfcrQ.png –  Ivo Flipse Nov 15 '11 at 21:12
    
It does, for one week of the program. Is it adjustable, though? Here's the actual program; as you can see the intervals are different for each week. coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml –  EmmyS Nov 15 '11 at 21:19
    
Ah, well miCoach offers programs similar to Couch25k, based on your fitness level and goal. So while you can make it yourself, I know from experience it works great when starting to run. If you're not satisfied with the premade programs you can tailor them like any way you want. I'll post it as an answer later :-) –  Ivo Flipse Nov 15 '11 at 22:27
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1 Answer

This may not be the answer that you're looking for, but it is the solution to the problem that I have which is similar. I also love the custom intervals on the RunKeeper, and am frustrated with it's inaccuracy sometimes with the GPS.

First of all, some tips for making RunKeeper work better:

  • If you don't mind a strap, get an arm band and run with the phone in that instead of in your pocket. It will increase the accuracy of the GPS by a lot because the signal will not be blocked by your body. The days where I am running with the GPS on my arm have significantly better tracking.
  • Make sure that you aren't running a lot of other apps while you are tracking with RunKeeper. I won't mess with my phone when I'm exercising, and I only have the music app up and running when I am tracking. The accuracy of the GPS increases a bit with that.
  • If you can, you can try running in a different area. When I changed my running route to one that had less forests, the accuracy went up a lot.

My solution is rather not ideal, but works great. I use RunKeeper for the run and to get the GPS track of the run, and remember where I was. Then I go over to DailyMile and put in the route manually while I look at the RunKeeper's GPS tracking on the other site. That way I have accurate distances because I'm putting in exactly where I ran manually, and getting an accurate pace from that. I've measured the RunKeeper's timing using a separate stopwatch a few times, and even when it is inaccurate on the GPS track (sometimes completely losing the track) it is accurate on the timing.

Another thing to think about is that it may not be RunKeeper that is the problem but if there was an update to your phone software recently, then the GPS can be messed up by that. I had for example on my old phone, a software update which basically made it impossible to get a GPS lock in the first 15 minutes. You should check your phone with the GPS Test App to see if it's RunKeeper that is the problem, or if your phone is just having trouble with getting a GPS lock at all. If the phone can't get a lock, then there isn't going to be any app which will help your situation.

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I'm impressed with the amount of work you put into this! If I don't get the correct data into my running diary immediately... then I want another combination :-) –  Tonny Madsen Nov 20 '11 at 18:52
    
It's not as difficult for me because I have a couple of set routes that I tend to run, so once they are in DailyMile once, I can just select the same route again and then put in the timing. Every once in a while I'll do a different route, and then it takes longer. For people who do a lot of varied runs, I can see it being more annoying. –  jamuraa Nov 20 '11 at 20:15
    
Thanks for the detailed suggestions. I already use an armband, I run in the suburbs (trees but not exactly forest), and the problem is not with my phone - other GPS-tracking apps (like Cardio Trainer) pick up the signal right away and are completely accurate. They just don't allow me to create custom intervals. –  EmmyS Nov 21 '11 at 16:02
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