July 26, 2010 3:17 PM   Subscribe

A good/cheap pedometer for jogging?

I've recently started running and I'd like to be able to measure the distance I've traveled without going by a preset route that I plan out in google maps in advance. Can anybody recommend (from experience, preferably) a pedometer that will work reasonably well when jogging? It would also be handy if it had a display in miles/km (calibration for stride length).
posted by tehloki to Technology (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are lots of apps that work if you have a smart phone. "Map My Ride" is free & can run in the background while you listen to music. It exports to google earth too. It works pretty well, although I suspect there's a certain margin of error that they don't disclose.
posted by kanewai at 5:26 PM on July 26, 2010

My limited experience: cheap pedometers don't work very well for walking, let alone running.

I use the built-in pedometer on the iPod nano. It's a little more touchy about orientation when I'm running: in my shorts pocket, it undercounts running steps by a lot. In a shirt breast pocket, or on an armband, it seems to count fairly well. Although I'm probably going to spring for the Nike+ kit at some point.

I work out my distance by mapping the route afterwards in mapmyrun.com.

The Serious Running Types seem to like their Garmin watches for information on distance and pace.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:38 PM on July 26, 2010

As WhadK mentions, there's always Nike Plus if you have an iPod or iPhone. It's not the most accurate system out there, but it's decent. It does allow you to calibrate by running/walking a known distance, and it can be motivating (workout histories and pretty graphs and Lance Armstrong's voice encouraging you).

You don't have to buy the special Nike shoes -- just pick up the $19 sensor and a cheap pouch like this one.
posted by lettersoflead at 5:42 PM on July 26, 2010

There's also a few neat apps for the Android system if you swing that way instead of being an iPhone type...
posted by HuronBob at 6:04 PM on July 26, 2010

Or, stick your portable car gps in your pocket and trace the route... is another option...
posted by HuronBob at 6:05 PM on July 26, 2010

You can also use http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/ to map your run after the fact.
posted by Brittanie at 6:06 PM on July 26, 2010

Google Earth's path measurement tool works really well, too.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:27 AM on July 27, 2010

All the suggestions are for smartphones; I don't have one. Not too helpful.
posted by tehloki at 1:36 PM on July 28, 2010

Oh, I should also mention I already use google maps to plot my route in advance or after the fact if I change it; I'm looking for a physical device which I could buy that would tell me how far I have run while I am running, and is not a smartphone (they are not cheap)
posted by tehloki at 1:44 PM on July 28, 2010

Yeah, I had a feeling we were all being vaguely unhelpful.

Trouble is that I don't think a cheap pedometer is going to hack it particularly well for running, which has different mechanics to the walking strides that pedometers are designed to count.

Which probably means you're looking at devices specifically designed for running -- which all fall under "not cheap" too. Garmin seems to be the go-to brand here, and looking back over AskMe threads tagged with "running" turns up a number of discussions. Too spendy for me though.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:42 PM on July 28, 2010

You can actually buy older Garmin models (the 205 and 305) new in box for around $100 on Amazon. I love my 305 and will wear it til it dies.
posted by Brittanie at 10:53 AM on July 29, 2010

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