Phone apps vs. GPS watches

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jgore
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Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby jgore » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:05 am

I used to have a Garmin 201 (ancient history) and now have a Nike+ GPS watch. I've run with people who use GPS apps on their smartphones and have found that their readings are, shall we say overly optimistic. I downloaded RunKeeper onto my Android phone and used it this morning, while my SIL used MapMyRun on her iPhone. Both showed longer distances than the Nike, about 200 metres on an ~5.7 km run. Granted, that's only a 3%-4% error, but that's on a short, flat, and straight out-and-back course. In the last few months we have noticed that the longer the run, the more turns involved, and especially the amount of elevation change have all increased the percentage difference between the phone app and the watch, with the phone app always showing greater distance, hence, faster pace. I've found the Nike watch readings to be almost dead on what I get if using one of the online mapping programs to trace the route.

Has anyone had the same experience?

How close are the readings between the Nike+ GPS watch and any of the Garmins?

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Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby Jwolf » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:39 am

I have noticed that too, the few times I've run with the iPhone apps or run with people that use them. Although it depends on where you run because some people find them reliable enough.

The phone apps always seem to measure a bit long.
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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby AjaxRunner » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:53 am

Jwolf wrote:I have noticed that too, the few times I've run with the iPhone apps or run with people that use them. Although it depends on where you run because some people find them reliable enough.

The phone apps always seem to measure a bit long.


This is my experience as well!

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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby Tisha » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:00 am

Jwolf wrote:The phone apps always seem to measure a bit long.

Huh, the one time a friend used her iPhone during a run with her DH and myself her's measured shorter and we ended up having to finish off the distance to her measurement. (Yup, that anal. :lol: ) May have been because we were running in the river valley through a lot of tree coverage and her iPhone app didn't pick up the entire route. Not sure but it still makes us all laugh ... and she hasn't brought it out on a run since ...

Guess I should mention her DH and I both have Garmins. Him a 305 and me a 405. We're usually within meters of one another's distances.

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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby turd ferguson » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:19 am

I tested my iPhone vs. my Blackberry vs my 305 a few times on courses up to 10 km and they were always within the margin of error.

I used my iPhone for about a year because i was thinking "I'm carrying it anyway". I've now switched back to the 305 because I find (because of how I train) I need the more immediate pace feedback. With the iPhone, I wouldn't know my pace until the end of the run and as a result I wasn't running my desired paces. I need to know more than just distance at the end of the run so the iPhone doesn't work for me.
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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby CAW » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:53 am

I have an old Garmin 205 I bought from Marg in 2007, I wear that so that I have beeps to tell me when my walk breaks begin. I should just get a new watch for that, but I digress. I carry my iPhone with me for every run...as a safety precaution. My kids are old enough to be home alone for short periods of time, so I want them to be able to reach me in case of emergency. I usually use Runtastic or MapMyRun on my phone. I see the discrepancy but I like being able to instantly upload my runs to their respective website, sync my runs with MyFitnessPal for the activity logging/Calorie count (that was before I had the BodyMedia Fit armband), and post to Facebook if I so chose. We rarely sync the old Garmin with the computer...in fact I think the last time we did that was 2009, 2010?

I'm not doing serious training, I'm just out there to be out there...and realistically, what is a couple hundred meters difference on a training run going to mean anyway? It won't translate into a slower run on race day or suddenly hitting the wall with 400m to go.

It's funny because I usually say "I'm a numbers person" but when it really comes down to it, the numbers don't mean as much to me as the experience, so I don't quibble over a couple hundred meters discrepancy. Maybe I'm more of a gadgets person. :wink:
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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby bruyere » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:56 am

Interesting. My Garmin has been pretty wacky on and off over the past few months (either way off course or just not finding me at all). On Sunday, I had forgotten it at home so my friend used his iPhone and RunKeeper. We did about 13.5km and It was pretty darned accurate on our route, as far as we could tell. Note that we were on trails, so it was a bit tougher to say for sure.

I decided to download it to my Android, and tried it out on my run commute on Tuesday, and my run to ultimate last night. Both were very accurate as far as the route goes, on the map. One was 16.6km, one was 4.45km, and that's pretty much exactly what I get on gmap. So, I guess, so far, my experience is different. If anything, I see a slower overall pace, because I start it, then put my phone in my backpack, then fuss around with adjustments before I start running. :)

One thing, though, is that my Tuesday run showed 0 for elevation for the entire run. Anyone have any thoughts on why? It definitely wasn't flat. I started downhill, and went up and over 2 bridges!
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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby turd ferguson » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:10 am

bruyere wrote:... If anything, I see a slower overall pace, because I start it, then put my phone in my backpack, then fuss around with adjustments before I start running. :)



I used mapmyrun and it has a feature to delay the start of your run for 30 seconds or a minute, then it buzzes / beeps when the timer starts.
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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby bruyere » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:57 am

turd ferguson wrote:
bruyere wrote:... If anything, I see a slower overall pace, because I start it, then put my phone in my backpack, then fuss around with adjustments before I start running. :)



I used mapmyrun and it has a feature to delay the start of your run for 30 seconds or a minute, then it buzzes / beeps when the timer starts.

Ah, that's handy.
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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby bruyere » Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:26 pm

Today, we ran on a trail that can be easily mapped, so I got to compare RunKeepr, Garmin, and gmap-pedometer, when I got home.

Runkeeper said 17.3km, with 822m of climb
G-map said 17.6km. Elevation isn't totaled, but the elevation profile is very similar to Runkeeper, with the highest point being 1m higher than on Runkeeper.
Garmin said 19.38km with 714m of climb, highest point is 14m lower than on Runkeeper.

I think my Garmin has issues, and RunKeeper doesn't seem to be measuring long.
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Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby QuickChick » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:31 pm

My "Zombies... Run" app has pretty consistently measured the same as gmap. You have to put up with zombies "chasing" you though. ;)
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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby BJH » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:58 pm

Those of you who've had luck, do you think it depends on the type of iPhone or is it more the software? My only experience with using MapMyRun resulted in a GPS track that went through the middle of a pond when the pond wasn't frozen. I've been a bit reluctant to use MapMyRun after that experience.

Maybe I'll try running with both.
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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby ultraslacker » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:03 pm

Some of my trail friends have tried them and so we compare the distances I get with the garmin to what they get on their apps... and it's always REALLY different. I'm guessing that's partly because of the fact that it's trails... might be more accurate on the road.
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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby CAW » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:12 pm

For the most part I find it pretty accurate to use my phone app. if anything it might differ by 200-300m in total over a 5K run.

There was this one time I used my old blackberry and MapMyRun to track myself, out of curiosity, while I mowed my lawn...this was the result. Note: I mow in straight, diagonal lines. :wink:

http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/36293496
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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby fit-kitty » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:21 am

bruyere wrote:
turd ferguson wrote:
bruyere wrote:... If anything, I see a slower overall pace, because I start it, then put my phone in my backpack, then fuss around with adjustments before I start running. :)



I used mapmyrun and it has a feature to delay the start of your run for 30 seconds or a minute, then it buzzes / beeps when the timer starts.

Ah, that's handy.


I THINK some have auto pause as well that if you aren't moving, it stops?? :?: :?:

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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby Tisha » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:41 pm

CAW wrote:For the most part I find it pretty accurate to use my phone app. if anything it might differ by 200-300m in total over a 5K run.

There was this one time I used my old blackberry and MapMyRun to track myself, out of curiosity, while I mowed my lawn...this was the result. Note: I mow in straight, diagonal lines. :wink:

http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/36293496

That's hysterical! How many lawns did you mow?!? :lol: From the looks of the map, your neighbours LOVE you!

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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby jgore » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:49 pm

Tisha wrote:
CAW wrote:For the most part I find it pretty accurate to use my phone app. if anything it might differ by 200-300m in total over a 5K run.

There was this one time I used my old blackberry and MapMyRun to track myself, out of curiosity, while I mowed my lawn...this was the result. Note: I mow in straight, diagonal lines. :wink:

http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/36293496

That's hysterical! How many lawns did you mow?!? :lol: From the looks of the map, your neighbours LOVE you!

We try not to talk about her drinking problem, then she posts that. :wink:

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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby CAW » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:31 pm

jgore wrote:
Tisha wrote:
CAW wrote:For the most part I find it pretty accurate to use my phone app. if anything it might differ by 200-300m in total over a 5K run.

There was this one time I used my old blackberry and MapMyRun to track myself, out of curiosity, while I mowed my lawn...this was the result. Note: I mow in straight, diagonal lines. :wink:

http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/36293496

That's hysterical! How many lawns did you mow?!? :lol: From the looks of the map, your neighbours LOVE you!

We try not to talk about her drinking problem, then she posts that. :wink:


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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby La » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:53 pm

I just downloaded an app called "runtastic" to my BB. I'm going to try it on my walk home today. I find it hard to get a signal on my Garmin when I'm downtown, so it will be interesting to see how well it works on this new app. I have a rough idea of the distance from my Garmin and gmaps-pedometer (4.2K), so I'll compare it to that.

I do find that gmaps-pedometer usually measures longer than what I get on my Garmin. And it's longer than what you'd expect simply by cutting corners while on the run.
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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby Stampie » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:24 pm

turd ferguson wrote:I tested my iPhone vs. my Blackberry vs my 305 a few times on courses up to 10 km and they were always within the margin of error.

I used my iPhone for about a year because i was thinking "I'm carrying it anyway". I've now switched back to the 305 because I find (because of how I train) I need the more immediate pace feedback. With the iPhone, I wouldn't know my pace until the end of the run and as a result I wasn't running my desired paces. I need to know more than just distance at the end of the run so the iPhone doesn't work for me.

I have the Mapmyrun app on my android phone and I’ve compared my tracking to my friends Garmin 305 (which ironically is mine now :) :lol: ) on a few occasions. Like Turd, I’ve only noticed marginal differences on 10K plus runs. Since I got the 305, I’ve compared it to the regular 5K route by my house and both the app & 305 were pretty much the same. Granted this is an open area. I’ve used the app on trails (Burnaby Lake and Mt. Seymour) and it seems relatively accurate. There was one occurrence where my app was off the mark. I did a 5K time trial at the track back in late January. I was counting laps, along with my coach who was also timing the session. The time was bang-on, however the app calculated the distance as 5.7K. :shock: This was likely due to the GPS tracking the workout and the tight turns on the track (Thanks Jwolf for pointing them out).

The Nike+ watch uses the Tomtom GPS system. I have a friend that uses it and she raves about it. I have the app downloaded on my phone, but have yet to try it out so I can’t comment on that.
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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby Stampie » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:25 pm

CAW wrote:
jgore wrote:
Tisha wrote:
CAW wrote:For the most part I find it pretty accurate to use my phone app. if anything it might differ by 200-300m in total over a 5K run.

There was this one time I used my old blackberry and MapMyRun to track myself, out of curiosity, while I mowed my lawn...this was the result. Note: I mow in straight, diagonal lines. :wink:

http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/36293496

That's hysterical! How many lawns did you mow?!? :lol: From the looks of the map, your neighbours LOVE you!

We try not to talk about her drinking problem, then she posts that. :wink:


=))

Yeah Kara, Smirnoff Ice is NOT a pre-run enery boost! :wink: :lol:
PB’s (official race results)
5K – 26:20; 8K – 41:28; 10K – 52:13; 15K - 1:22:43; 21.1K – 1:54:16; 30K – 2:51:34; 42.2K – 4:24:14

What is up for 2018
Feb 11th - First Half Vancouver
TBA
Planning & in my sights
Jun 9th - Puddle Jumper Classic

Run the mile you're in. Not the one behind you, and not the one in front of you - the one you are running now :) - purdy65

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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby jgore » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:06 pm

I've used my Nike+ GPS watch and my android phone with RunKeeper in the last 2 days. Yesterday I ran, today I walked. Gmap-pedometer agrees with the Nike+. Regardless of the activity - running vs. walking - and the route, RunKeeper's readings were longer. (200 to 300 metres long on a run or walk of about 5 km, and almost 500 metres long on a run or walk of 8 to 9 km)

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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby La » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:55 pm

La wrote:I just downloaded an app called "runtastic" to my BB. I'm going to try it on my walk home today. I find it hard to get a signal on my Garmin when I'm downtown, so it will be interesting to see how well it works on this new app. I have a rough idea of the distance from my Garmin and gmaps-pedometer (4.2K), so I'll compare it to that.

I do find that gmaps-pedometer usually measures longer than what I get on my Garmin. And it's longer than what you'd expect simply by cutting corners while on the run.

Runtastic measured my walk home as 4.6K, which I think is long. Looking at the map, it must have had a hard time finding a signal at the beginning because it shows me walking laps around the park behind my office building. :lol: And it shows me somewhat weaving on the route home.
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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby jgore » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:19 pm

La wrote:Looking at the map, it must have had a hard time finding a signal at the beginning because it shows me walking laps around the park behind my office building. :lol: And it shows me somewhat weaving on the route home.


Have you been hanging around with CAW?

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Re: Phone apps vs. GPS watches

Postby CAW » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:25 pm

jgore wrote:
La wrote:Looking at the map, it must have had a hard time finding a signal at the beginning because it shows me walking laps around the park behind my office building. :lol: And it shows me somewhat weaving on the route home.


Have you been hanging around with CAW?


:lol:
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