The Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center (where I work) is having a walking challenge in March. Teams of 5 track their steps using a pedometer and the winning team gets....street cred I think. I've been trying out a bunch of pedometer apps this week. The GPS ones don't work very well. Even with my phone sitting still on my desk it will add a couple hundred steps over the course of the day.
The accelerometer versions seem a little better, but with an iphone they don't run in the background. Everytime you open another app, the counter stops. It kind of sucks, but it should be more accurate. I bet the other teams will be using the GPS-cheater apps, but we're going to try and win it the ol' honest way.
The other free app I started experimenting with is called Strava. It's a pretty awesome idea. It tracks your ride (or run, skate, etc) via GPS. Big deal...right?
It's cooler than that. There are little race courses people map out all over the country. Once you get on the course, the app starts another stopwatch to measure your time on that course.
Some of the current courses include a lap around Lake Hefner, a lap around Draper, around Overholser, the sod farm loop, etc. There are also mountain bike laps out at bluff creek and draper.
Each course has a leaderboard and you can view the people with the top 10 laps. Right now there aren't a ton of people using the app, but as it gets more popular it will get more fun. There are about 150 times laps around Draper, Hefner, etc.
I gave it a try at Bluff Creek tonight. The first lap worked just like it was supposed to. For some reason the second lap didn't pick up the course. I think the second lap was a few seconds slower than the first, so I guess it doesn't matter. I grabbed the top time, but I'm sure once guys like B$ and Drummond start using the app my time won't be so high up there.
Then I decided to try it out skating at Hefner. There are two different start/finish points you can choose from. Joey Mesa has the top time if you start over by Britton and MAcArthur. I started on the east side of the lake and ended up skating my way into 2nd place. The weather was pretty awesome for skating tonight. I'm looking forward to tracking my laps over the next few months to see if I can take some time off. I've gone much faster drafting off a bike, but considering I didn't have a bike to hide behind tonight, I was really stoked about skating a 26:33.