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myfitnesspal

MyFitnessPal Retrospect

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Somewhere in December I wrote a post about constantly monitoring my weight and I found an app/site helping me with this.

Seeing this as a ‘game’ it really helped me monitor everything I put in my mouth in an enjoyable way.
The only downside is that my urge to win the game got too strong.
I wanted to have as much calories left as possible at the end of the day.

Although this had a good impact on my weight, it had a negative impact on my running and daily life. I felt tired and weak.
So after a good 2 months, I decided to park it for a while. I have a greater knowledge concerning everything I eat on a daily basis so I should be able to keep my weight at a desired point just like that.

I would recommend it to people who have no idea how much calories certain food contain and want to gain weight without a real diet. Just watch out if you’re a number freak like me 😉

Forerunner_310xt_review

Review Garmin Forerunner 310xt

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My GPS watch is a Garmin Forerunner 310xt.
DC Rainmaker does an awesome job of reviewing everything in-depth and I find it always to be exact.

Just as my small review of Endomondo I’d like to share my own best and worst experiences with the watch, so hopefully you can get a good feel of what it means to actually use the watch.

Mind that this is written from a runner’s point of view, I purchased it with the cycling in the back of my mind, but all in all I only used it three times over the past 18 months for cycling…

Worst 5

  • Heart rate strap wore down fast
    I had to replace mine after a year. That’s just too fast… Luckily  the support was great and I got a new one for free, but still … it’s a lot of hassle not desired.
  • Altitude is wonky
    I live at the coast line, which implies at sea level. I think the altitude varies between -10 and +10m, that’s just too big a threshold..
    I ran some trails with it and it is persistent in its error, you’ll end up with the right ascent meters at the end, it’s just possible you won’t have gone as high as everyone else 😉
  • Big heavy thing on your wrist.
    Being ‘of age’ it is not the most slim, prettiest watch and it is quite big. Wearing long sleeves I always wear it on top of the sleeve. It’s handy for quick glances, but putting it underneath usually resorts in a sleeve too tight at the wrist.
  • Remembering GPS? Not always it seems… (also: turn it on OUTSIDE!)
    It advertises it remembers your GPS location, which means it’ll find your GPS quickly if your start point is always the same.
    I may be a bit harsh here, because that seems correct about 80% of the time, but the other 20% means you need to wait a LOOONG time before it’s ready.
    It’s better to turn it on outside as well, because from my experience, if it is hard to find GPS from the start, most of the time it will persevere although you’re standing outside. This usually means turning it off and on again.
  • Battery indicator
    The battery indicator could be better. It has a decent battery (see below), but if you fail to check it regularly you might end up with a notification at startup (almost empty) and that basically means no running with watch today. After max. 30min it will switch off and that’s just too tight for a first notification…

Best 5

  • Once locked, no ‘GPS lost signal’ until indoors
    Seeing that it is a GPS watch, it’s not surprisingly it ends up in the worst and the best 5.
    It may be difficult to lock or it may require a reboot, but I have never had signal loss once running.
    Not in tunnels, not on hills, not in forests, not in “desolate” areas.
    Only indoor it goes away quickly, but I think that’s normal.
  • Clear, to the point, customizable screens
    The screens are just awesome.
    It has a large viewing angle, is sharp to look at and is highly customizable.
    Per sport you have 3 screens (+ a Virtual Partner) with 4 fields where you can assign just anything imaginable (heart rate, distance, time, …).
    When you run intervals it adds another screen that shows only your goal for the interval (time, heart rate, …), distance and current heart rate.
forerunner_310xt
Customizable fields!
  • Very good bang for the buck
    I purchased mine at Amazon.co.uk and as far as I can tell it’s still the cheapest over there.
    In total I paid less than €200 which is nice for a GPS watch including a Heart Rate strap.
  • Bug free
    I have doubted to buy a Garmin Fenix 2 a while back and the more I read about the newest watches from Garmin, the more it seemed every product had a certain maturing period.
    I went digging the internet and the same was true for the 310xt, there had been a bunch of firmware upgrades before it was stable.
    So by buying a slightly older model, you don’t only save money, but save frustration as well…
  • Very decent battery
    It’s advertised at 20h, actual duration depends off course on usage, GPS interval, backlight etc.
    I can say I charge roughly every 3 weeks when I go running for about 5h a week.
    It’s just handy you don’t need to charge after every long run.

Do you own a 310xt? Does it work as well for you as for me?
Doubts about the model or Garmin in general?
Be sure to sure a review of your own watch if you have one…

EndomondoLogo

App Review: Endomondo

3 Comments
Disclaimer: i do not get sponsored in any way, felt it was necessary to tell this as i see a lot of discussions going on at blogs about this topic

When I started running I did not want to spend an awful lot of money on a GPS watch. Not sure if running was something I would keep on doing, I went looking for a cheap alternative and stumbled in the wonder world of running apps.

There’s a lot of choice in running apps now, but in my day it was pretty scarce. Endomondo got a lot of thumbs up then so I went for that one.

A lot has changed since the early version and I think that many bugs and irritations have evolved well down the road.
Important to say: I am an Android user and can only judge the app on this OS.
For screenshots and general features I point to The Play Store

I know this is somewhat lazy, but I figure there’s no point in showing a bunch of screenshots, I just will list the top 5 and the worst 3 parts IN MY OPINION.

Worst 5

5. Social Part IN THE APP

I honestly swear with Endomondo social wise. It’s a clean layout with a nice timeline and user-friendly way to add comments etc. In the app hower they force it and it’s rather slow going even on Wi-Fi

4. Random crashes 🙁 No notification when en route

I have a decent phone (LG Nexus 5), yet the app sometimes crashes for no apparent reason. Okay, it happens. Downside is that you (obviously) do not get a notification, which can result in logging loss.

3. Pages – Who uses those?

Section of Pages. Nice try Endomondo, only reason that’s used is for shoving ads up our face.

2. Sharing to Facebook

It’s either yes or no. You can activate or deactive it, you cannot choose to share some runs.
(Actually there is a way, to do it afterwards, but that’s just a nuisance)

1. GPS (Device dependent…)

This is very device dependent, but the GPS is picky. For example ‘Swarm‘ can get my location instantly, yet Endomondo keeeeeeeps on searching for GPS signal and can suddenly let you know that GPS signal is lost. Resulting in some weird GPS routes.

Boggy GPS Endomondo
Exhibit A: weird GPS results

Best 5

5. Easy pause & unpause

Because of the nice clean main page (see below) it’s very easy to pause and unpause your workout without delay.
You can even set autopause on if you’d like, just be sure you do not turn 180° to head back, because more often than not it will autopause on the spot.

4. Ending the workout

As easy as you pause the workout you can end it. At that point it’s very easy to add some text about how the workout went and pictures if wanted.
Everything with a hashtag gets tidily stored in your workouts so you can search on them later (I use it to track mileage with my different pair of shoes)

Endomondo - End Of workout
Sorry for the dutch interface 🙂

3. A LOT of sports are available

The list is actually waaay too big, but I suppose that some kite surfers would actually take their phone on the water 😀

Endomondo - list of sports
Part of the list of sports

2. Startup interface

One thing that hasn’t changed all that much between versions is the startup screen. It’s clear and easy to use. Very user-friendly, very to the point and very customisable (3 fields that you change to anything)
Endomondo app main screen

1. Audio coach

What I really like the most about the app is the audio coach. You can customize it in a lot of ways so you can get all the feedback you want at any time you want. Very handy to just plug-in some headphones and no need to bother to look at your phone during your run.
Even during intervals it works great, but that’s a PRO feature.

Endomondo audio coach 1
Endomondo audio coach 2
Endomondo audio coach 3

For totality:

Main site
Endomondo blog
My Endomondo account – Feel free to add me!

Review of the website and advantages of the premium may follow later.

Do YOU like Endomondo?
Do you KNOW Endomondo?
Would you consider using it after reading this?