So, I’m trying to find a good online running log/community site/etc. There are several, mostly of them I’ve linked here before. The one I hear good things about in terms of community is RunningAhead.com; the one with the most Google-juice is MapMyRun.com, a division of MapMyFitness, apparently.
Now, so, the features I want are:
- Easy logging. Make it simple for me to enter a new running/walking event.
- Easy GPS integration. Ideally, I just plug it in and say “upload” and the event get tagged on my calendar, potentially even without any other metadata. (But I should be able to add metadata like “crappy run” or “raining” or “had cramp” later.)
- Decent community forums & such.
- Open access to data, so I can pull it out on my own via (ideally) a RESTful API or somesuch.
- Facebook integration (which is actually an outgrowth of the previous item).
And when I talk about data integration in the log — i.e., from the GPS — what I want is:
- Date of run
- Time of day for start and stop
- Duration of run
- Distance of run
- Average pace
- “Split” times for each mile, i.e. time to mile X and pace for mile X
Everyone seems to be mad for RunningAhead, but it’s a labor of love from ONE GUY who appears to be absolutely allergic to code he didn’t write. Even the FORUM at RA is homegrown, which makes precisely zero sense, and he’s making noises about a 100% custom GPS integration solution (i.e., instead of utilizing the Garmin plugin that’s FREE and available NOW). Consequently, people have been asking for features for literally YEARS at RA — like GPS integration and data publishing/API/Facebook/Blog support — that are all coming “real soon now” and which may never see the light of day.
So, there’s that.
The other critter, MMR, is only marginally better. It supports the Garmin, and data flows in pretty easily, but it’s doctrinaire and rigid about some data I don’t care about (type of run, description of run). I’d rather it just sucked the data in and put it on the calendar automatically. Further, it doesn’t seem to gather splits data at all, focussing instead on the route, the time, and the average pace. That’s cool, but it’s incomplete.
Also, and this is the real kicker, the MMR site is FUGLY. It’s chock full of ads and would give any usability expert absolute HIVES. It’s poorly coded, poorly laid out, and fails to retain preferences or settings with any reliability (relying on cookies instead of internal profile data, for example).
So near as I can tell, they all suck, and nobody’s doing what I want, which is annoying. Heathen Nation, prove me wrong, would you?
(I’m also kind of afraid I’m not really getting all my data into an open format right now. The Garmin desktop is hokey and proprietary, but I can see splits there. Ascent will also show them. What I really want is an online tool like Ascent, and I’d even pay for it, but I’m not even sure it exists.)