x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Workout app is far from your run of the mill guide to getting fit

App of the Week iMapMyRun tracks and logs all your workouts and its voice prompts keep you up to date on your pace and distance, then analyses the results.

iMapMyRun, free.
iMapMyRun, free.

I wanted to get fit, but was struggling to find the motivation I needed to get back on the running circuit. As a former marathon runner, it should have been a doddle. But that marathon was way back in 2004 and there have been a couple of kids since then. So, with running at the bottom of my priorities, I needed to take action and fast.

Thankfully, we have a fake lake near our house. Run round it once and you've clocked 2 kilometres. Do it twice and it's 4km - you get my drift. But it was hard to get past the 2km mark and even harder to get past 4km because when you hit one of those nice even numbers, you're only a couple of hundred metres away from home and a comfortable couch.

The urge to give up and go home quickly overtakes the urge to plough on and do a longer workout. Even recruiting a running partner in the shape of my good friend, Louise, didn't improve my motivation levels.

The app

Then we downloaded iMapMyRun (free; iPhone, BlackBerry) and it quickly proved to be the spur we needed. This nifty little app tracks and logs all your workouts and its voice prompts keep you up to date on your pace and distance. Then, at the end of the workout, it gives you a full analysis of the run and the option to save the information so you can compare your fitness progress against previous workouts.

The details

To use the app, you can sign in through Facebook or register directly. This will link your details with the website, where you can see more detailed analysis of your workouts.

The website offers a database of more than 26 million routes, so you can find a new run wherever you are. You can also connect with more than 5 million fitness enthusiasts to share your running tips. And there's a store where you can find accessories to attach your iPhone, although putting it in your pocket works fine as well.

For those eager to get going, turn off your Wi-Fi before starting to improve battery life and GPS accuracy; this app needs a lot of power to work effectively. If you need music to help you jog faster or want to take a phone call or a picture, then no problem. The app will continue to track your run while you snap away, talk to friends or play your favourite dance hits.

And if you're really good and want to brag about your fitness, you can post your stats on Facebook and Twitter.

Since downloading iMapMyRun, my interest in running has found its feet again. I have now signed up for a 10km race in January, a 72km team run in February and a half marathon - and all of that because of an app.

Have some great personal finance apps that you want to share? Write to Curt Brandao at cbrandao@thenational.ae