Of all the ways to get into shape, running is considered as one of the best. Next time you head out for a run, jog or walk, bring alone your Android phone with Run-Tastic installed, and track and record your workout. Using the gps capabilities built into your Android phone, Run-Tastic will not only tell you how far you've gone during your workout, but also will provide a detailed map, your altitude and even your heart rate when connected to a heart rate monitor. Whether you are a veteran runner or just hitting the pavement for the first time, the Run-Tastic app is a powerful, free app available in the Android Market.
Overview of Features
The most impressive and useful feature of the Run-Tastic app is the mapping feature. Just press the "Start Session" button on the main screen and start your workout. When you complete your workout, press the "map" tab will give you a detailed map of your entire workout. Not only can you save the map in the "History" section, but you can also get some pretty amazing facts about your workout. If you want to know how far you've gone, your average speed or even what altitude you've covered, Run-Tastic will give you all the details you've been wishing for.
Having workout details like what Run-Tastic and Cardio Trainer provide, really give another level of motivation to not only workout, but to improve your performance from workout to workout.
When the weather prevents you from doing your workout outside, the app allows you to manually enter a workout session. You can choose from a list of around 40 different cardio workouts, enter your time and calories burned. The list of workouts really covers most common workouts. As I do a lot of my workouts on a rowing machine, I find the fact that Run-Tastic allows me to enter details of my rowing workouts a real positive feature.
There are many fitness focused apps that can do what Run-Tastic can do, but few can do them nearly as well nor as easily as this app can.
Once you sign up for a login profile, you can enter some personalization settings, including age, sex, height and weight. As I don't see how these settings really alter or benefit the app, I am not sure why the developers ask for this optional information.
In the settings mode, choose to record your distance in either meters or miles, turn on or off the altitude mode or even choose to connect to a compatible heart-rate monitor. Though I haven't tested this feature, the fact that Run-Tastic has this feature is very impressive.
The app will provide a countdown timer as well as periodic voice feedback alters that you can set for either a set distance or a set time. It lacks a built in music player but can be run in the background (thanks to the multi-functional capabilities of the Android system,) while you use whatever music player you have installed.
Issues and Bugs
I have experienced some consistent issues with this app. One annoying issue is that though I set my profile to using inches and pounds, it keeps reverting to centimeters and kilograms. Not sure if this is a glitch or the developers are trying to tell me that its time to embrace the metric system.
Another issue is that you can't view a map of your workout until your workout is complete. As I do a lot of hiking, I like the ability to view a map of my hike without having to stop my recording session. This may not be a big issue for some, but based on the feedback at both the Android Market and other review sites, I imagine that this feature may be added in future updates.
More Than Just Runners
Don't let the name of this app fool you. It is equally useful for walkers, hikers and bikers as it is for runners. You will still get a detailed map, including time, distance and alititude (if selected in the settings menu) of you workout, whether running or participating in another form of exercise. And with its ability to manually enter in workout sessions, I can see this app as being a single place to record all of my workouts.
Without question, this app shines for running and running type workouts. So if running is your main choice of exercise, Run-Tastic may be just what you are looking for.
Since the version that I am reviewing is free, I suggest that you install this app as well as apps like Run Keeper and Cardio Trainer, and see which one works best for you. However, if the thought of running makes you cringe, Android apps like Jefit, which is a full-featured and very capable weight lifting app may better fill your needs.
It's hard to criticize free apps for a lack of features. And Run-Tastic certainly has enough features to earn it 4 plus stars. When compared to other similar apps like Run Keeper and Cardio Trainer, Run-Tastic can hold its own but doesn't provide anything revolutionary or awe inspiring that would make me recommend it over another.
Suggested updates would be a live, in-session view of the map and greater personalization, to include providing an accurate calories burned listing. A final feature that I would like to see included is an "in-app" music player. Having selected "power" or "motivational" songs (can anyone not run faster while listening to the theme song from Rocky?) play at key intervals would push this app to a well earned 5 Star rating.
Download it, free, from the Android Market, and hit the streets. Like all apps, you never know how well it works and fits into to your fitness routine until you try it.