For those of you just joining us, we are on a continuing journey to learn more about heart rate monitors, and the best way to choose the right one. Our website covers all types of electronics and tech stuff, but overwhelmingly, triathletes and runners come to our site to check out heart rate monitors and GPS watches. We have had so many questions about using smartphones as a heart rate monitor device, which smartphone heart rate monitor straps to buy, and which apps to use that we decided we should start reviewing the the heart rate monitor straps, and the smartphone apps that work with them. Today, we are reviewing LogYourRun and LogYourRun Pro apps for smartphones.
Before we get started, we should tell you a little bit about us and how we perform product evaluations. We have a group of 4 people who do the evaluations of all of the stuff. If you want to know who these people are, check out our About Us page. Four of us are seasoned triathletes, and 2 of us are are also full time Pilates instructors. Jennifer Lynn, who is a guest blogger, is a full time Pilates/spinning instructor. All swim, bike, run, do Pilates and Yoga, and use all of the gear on a daily basis. For the record, we are in no way connected with LogYourRun or any of the companies whose gear we review. We love playing with the latest technology, and we couldn’t keep our hands off this stuff if we tried. We downloaded and purchased LogYourRun and LogYourRun Pro from the iTunes store. As I said, we have no affiliation with LogYourRun, or the people responsible for creating LogYourRun. We call ‘em as we see ‘em. It keeps us honest. So, enough with the babble. Let’s get to the review.
First of all, LogYourRun works with the smartphones listed below:
- iPhone using the built in GPS and optional footpod (no heart rate monitor)
- iPod Touch using the optional footpod (no GPS or heart rate monitor)
- iPhone 4s using the built in GPS, optional footpod, and optional heart rate monitor (The footpod and the heart rate monitor are not supplied. You can use the Wahoo footpad, and a Wahoo BlueHR or Polar H7 heart rate monitor strap).
This means the apps are compatible with iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and later. Also, they are compatible with the iPod Touch, but since there is no built in GPS, you are limited to only using an optional footpod as a distance measurement tool. All of the iPhones and iPod Touches must be running iOS 4.0 or later.
So what are the features?
Here are the features of the basic LogYourRun app, which costs $1.99 in the iTunes store:
- Full control of the iPhone music player
- Voice feedback at specific intervals
- Find local running routes
- On-the-go tweeting with TweetMyDistance
- Integration with heart rate monitor straps
- Keep track of your shoe mileage, and select shoes
- Upload data to LogYourRun.com
- Track your heart rate (works with ANT+ heart rate monitors and requires a Fisica Sensor Key, more info at store.endomondo.com)
- Option to pause music during sound feedback
- Announce 1/4 and 3/4 distances
- Measures distance, time, pace, and route
- Measures current, average and maximum heart rate
- Measures distance, calories and steps taken
- 12 different activities can be tracked
- Standard training programs can be chosen, or custom ones created online. All of these can be downloaded to the phone
- Data can be viewed and tracked online at LogYourRun.com
Here are the additional features that you get with the Pro version of the app, which costs $3.99 in the iTunes store:
- Interval programs- also allows voice coaching during interval training
- Email option to email data
- Ability to save lap data
Using the app
Here is the main Setup screen of the app. Before using the app, you will want to set up a few of the basics. If you want to use any of the sharing, uploading and viewing of data on the website, you will need to create an account.
The first time you use the app, you will want to adjust your settings.Here are all of the settings that can be changed:
First, I went into the App Setting screen and set up a few general settings:
Next, I created a free account:
The next thing I did was to pair with the Polar H7 heart rate monitor strap:
Once I paired with my heart rate monitor strap, I went into the heart rate zones setup screen and set my heart rate min and max limits:
Next, I set my weight and distance units:
Finally, I set my audio and sound settings:
Now I’m ready to start a workout. I had already finish all of my workouts for the day, so I thought I would get out and take a walk with my wife. The day was really hot, since it was one of those 100 degree days. I had my HRM strap on, and we took off. Pressing start on the Timer screen started my workout. You can see a map view of your location, distance, time and current pace:
Pressing the distance display allows you to scroll through distance, calories, and steps (if you are using an optional footpad). Pressing your finger on the current heart rate displays current heart rate, average heart rate, and max heart rate(if you are using an optional heart rate monitor, and have an iPhone 4s). I lost my heart rate somewhere on the walk (I found out later that my HRM battery finally died).
If you want to listen to music on the walk, swipe the screen to the left, which displays the music screen:
Swiping the screen to the right displays a heart rate graph, and the Stop button to stop your workout:
Once you are done with your workout, slide the Stop button to the right. You have a summary page that allows you to send your summary data to different locations:
I saved this walk to the LogYourRun website by clicking the LogYourRun icon. You can review your map of your workout by pressing the map button from the Timer screen:
Pressing the web button gives you a connection to the LogYourRun website. Here you can enter and review your date, along with other options:
If you go to the website and choose a training plan, you can download it to your phone. Here is a screenshot of some of the marathon training plans:
You can select any of the plans:
I chose the marathon advanced training program:
You can even create your own training program, and send it to your iPhone:
By pressing the Training button in the app, you can download this or any workout, and view your workouts for the upcoming week, right on your phone:
After a workout, you can view your workout on the website:
Unfortunately, this is the walk where my heart rate monitor battery died (it has been getting a lot of use with all of the testing going on).
Thoughts, Opinions and Summary:
- The app is very easy to use and configure
- Full featured
- Nice online website, easy to use, with good content
- You can create your own training programs online, or use the ones already created, and download them to your phone
- Select between 12 different activities
- Hard to tell the difference between the basic ($1.99) and the Pro ($3.99) versions. The main feature is that the Pro feature allows logging laps (there are some other features – see beginning of the review).
- Graphs could allow more plotting options and scaling
Overall, we really like this app. It works well, looks good, is easy to use, and has all of the major features for working out. Would we recommend it? The answer is definitely, Yes. We feel that paying the $1.99 is well worth the money spent. If you need lap logging, opt for the $3.99 Pro version.
As an FYI, iTunes gives LogYourRun a rating of 4+ out of 5 star rating, and LogYourRun Pro a 4+ out of 5 star rating.
I will leave you with a few logYourRun how-to videos.The first is how to enter and review exercise data on the logYourRun website:
The second is How to create a new route on LogYourRun:
The last is how to record an activity with the LogYourRun iPhone application: