Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fitness Website Week: Smashrun

I told you yesterday that I loved data when it comes to my workouts and today's site fits perfectly with that desire. Smashrun takes my runs and spits out analysis of the data that Runkeeper just doesn't. So why do I keep using Runkeeper instead of Smashrun exclusively? Simply stated, Smashrun doesn't track my exercises on its own and it's currently just for running. This isn't an app for my phone. Instead, I enter in the time, distance, date, and duration of my run and it crunches the numbers from there. I also wish it synced with Runkeeper. There's an entire chunk of data processing that the site is capable of, but it only partners with Nike+, a Runkeeper-like service that seems to be more about selling gadgets than I'm comfortable with. I could just get the Nike+ app, but I don't have an iPhone and I'm honestly modestly Apple-averse.

But this isn't an entirely negative review. I like the way Smashrun ranks my runs by distance, something I really wish Runkeeper did. For example, yesterday's 10-mile run at an 8:07 per mile pace is far from my fastest run. In fact, it's almost a full minute per mile slower than my fastest 5k from back in November. What would have taken me an excessively long time on Runkeeper to discover, though, is that it was by far my fastest 10 miler (or for any distance longer than 12k). Smashrun puts this data prominently on the page for that activity, along with the top times for runs of a similar length. If Smashrun ever works out a way to sync with my Runkeeper data, I'll be a much bigger fan. Heck, if I could just upload the GPX files I can download from Runkeeper, I'd be happy. I'd love to see what such a stat-geeky site could do with my splits and elevation data.

On the other hand, if Runkeeper incorporates these features, I'll leave Smashrun without the slightest bit of reluctance. That's the main problem for this site, in fact. It's not completely unique to what the tracking services like Runkeeper, Nike+, and MapMyRun/Ride/Hike. Fitocracy does something mostly unmatched by the tracking services, but Smashrun really just takes what they do a couple of steps further. If any of those catch up in their processing of the data, Smashrun is dead. Until then, I like it.

5 comments:

Sid said...

I'm not sure if the same is true in the US, but Apple products are so much more expensive that other similar gadgets. I simply can't justify the expense. I did however splash out on an iPod. It's one of the best looking devices ever. Plus last year, I accidentally dropped it in the wash. It survived! Had to spend a couple of days in the sun though, but it works perfectly.

I'm having a hard time figuring out this mile pace thing. Honestly, the way Americans measure things is so frustrating.

Julie said...

And here I thought the best feature of the website is that it includes "Smash" in the name. Jacob Smash!

Jacob said...

Sid, just use the inverse of how I keep track of kilometers since almost all runs are measured in that distance. 5k=3.1 miles. The only problem is dealing with measurements smaller than 5k or not divisible by 5. I in no way have a natural feel for metric measurements yet.

The 8:07 per mile pace is the same as a 5:03 per kilometer pace.

Chris Lukic said...

So, granted it's been over a year, but we just released a GPX/TCX sync for Smashrun this past week, and figured I'd give you a heads up.
And a hearty, but much belated thanks, for making us your "Fitness website of the week". It's kind of like you gave us a badge, which is pretty cool.

Jacob said...

I noticed and I've been using it since it was implemented. I really like the added features this opens up.