Last week on the training blog I bored you with the importance of flexibility and adding a stretching routine to your daily workouts. I know, you’d rather be out riding your motorcycle than partaking in yoga or some new-fangled stretching routine. Okay, so this week I’ll talk about something a little more fun—Apps!
It’s already February, and by now you should be well underway with your fitness-training plan for the motorcycle racing or trackday riding season. You’re doing your cardio and strength training, heck maybe you’re even stretching, but now you want something new and interesting, something to motivate you, perhaps. Well, this is where mobile applications come in handy. Here’s a review of some of the ones that I use and like, and that a few motorcycle-racing friends use as well.
With MapMyRide, you can track speed, distance, calories burned, elevation and nutrition. Most importantly, by using the GPS input, MapMyRide also tracks your route, whether it’s a bicycle ride along the road, or getting lost on the trails on your mountain bike. You can either activate the app on your smartphone as you set out for your ride, or if you prefer not to waste valuable data, you can record the information on a GPS training device such as Garmin cycling computer or Polar GPS heart rate monitor, and plug in the information later on the mapmyride.com website. Either way, you’ll be creating a database logging all of your rides. You can track your progress at the end of each week or month and see if you’re on track.
If you’re like me and your cross-train with running, snowshoeing and cycling, you’ll like that MapMyRun and MapMyRide talk to each other seemlessly, so your total training is combined into one overall log on either application.
The other neat thing about MapMyRide.com is that you can brag to your friends on Facebook or Twitter about your latest workout, or if you’re looking for a new training route in your area, you can search publicly available training routes entered by others in a given region. I’ve often used MapMyRide to find new training routes when I’m travelling throughout the United States.
The MapMyRide app is available on iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices.
Strava is similar to MapMyRide in that you can log routes and track data. Where Strava separates itself is that it allows you to compete against others in given “segments” or try to achieve personal goals or personal bests on a given section of a ride. Let’s say for example that you bring your bicycle to Shannonville Motorsport Park on a trackday. Perhaps in the evening you want to pedal around the racetrack. Using your Strava App, you could set a personal best time, and encourage your friends to beat it, or simply try to beat your own personal best time the next time you ride that segment or route.
Strava’s also allows you to follow your friends or even pro riders so you can track their progress. The app even allows you to set email alerts, so each day you get the highlights of the rides of your friends and the people you’re following. Want to see what Ben Bostrom is doing on his bicycle every day (and feel guilty that you’re not training hard enough)? Follow him on Strava!
The Strava app is free for iPhone and Android users; Strava says that the Blackberry platform is also important to them, so perhaps a Blackberry version is in the pipeline.
When you’re trying to eat to lose weight, its important to take into consideration the amount of exercise you perform daily (food = fuel, remember), so this app helps you track both!
MyFitnessPal is available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows smartphone platforms.
JEFit is available for iPhone and Android devices.
There are literally hundreds of fitness apps out there, and these are just some of the ones that I prefer as I think they work really well.
Next week, I’ll touch on nutrition and eating habits. The motorcycle season is coming up fast! Will you be ready?