Before I was a runner I used mapmyride to track my bike rides. I had a Garmin for my bike, but never really used Garmin’s own site for keeping track of things.
I started running in 2010 and would upload my runs to mapmyride/mapmyrun and around that time I heard about Strava. At the time it really was set up primarily for cycling and running didn’t integrate so well, so I didn’t use it.
When I got to know other runners and learned what they used I would try different sites but none of them appealed to me as much as Map My Run so I stuck with it. Then someone told me that Strava had done a lot of work to make it more than just a site for cyclists.
I started using Strava and for a while abandoned all others because I liked it. Since becoming a coach I found myself back on Map My Run too to keep track of others I was working with. I also started to use Garmin Connect because it became an easy option with the automatic uploads from my Fenix 3. I linked Strava and MapMyRun to automatically take my Garmin workouts and all was well, everything automatically uploaded to the places I used the most.
Earlier this year I heard about Final Surge primarily as a coaching site – a place to assign workouts and track progress of your athletes, but with a marathon coming up I decided to use it primarily to coach myself (it’s free for individual use, and paid for coaching multiple athletes). The site made it really easy to set up a training plan with its ability to store different workouts to apply when desired. As with other sites it also links to Garmin to automatically load runs, but it also attempts to match them to planned runs. In terms of keeping track and monitoring progress, this is easily the best site for me now. I am able to see a comparison between what my plan indicated and what I actually did, and the calendar view and multiple report options provide useful tracking options.
In recent months I have been running extra miles on a treadmill at the gym near work. This means I have been manually entering runs into Garmin Connect. These runs should filter out to my connected accounts, as it does with the runs that upload from my Garmin watch. They do for Final Surge and MapMyRun, however Strava ignores them. This makes Strava useless to me now as I am not planning to manually input all those workouts missed by this problem so that’s disappointing.
What are your preferred tracking tools? Do you pay for any of the premium services on these sites and, if so, have they been worth it to you? (This is not something I have ever done, despite being almost tempted but then dismissing it as unnecessary for how I use them).