Ask LH: How Can I Automate My Fitness Tracking?

Ask LH: How Can I Automate My Fitness Tracking?

Hi Lifehacker, I keep a log of my fitness activities, such as how far I swim, how far I run, and how far I ride, in Excel just so I can compare my week to week distances and progress. This is a bit of a tedious process as you can imagine, so I was looking to streamline the process, possibly using a FitBit or a similar device.

I’m not trying to lose weight, just monitor my different sports in one spot, so food tracking and sleep tracking isn’t a concern of mine. Can you recommend any devices or applications, especially with multisport functions on them (and a bonus if they can be used in the pool!) Thanks, Tracker

Dear Tracker,

Fitness tracking is a huge business and there’s no shortage of options open to you in order to keep detailed statistics, whether you opt to go for a dedicated device such as the FitBit or a tracking app such as RunKeeper or Endomondo for smartphones. Regular Lifehacker editor Gus and Gizmodo’s Luke Hopewell covered off travel fitness gadgets just yesterday, so that’s a good place to start. Gizmodo also covers fitness gadgets all the time, so you’re really spoilt for choice.

That having been said, I’m a horribly unfit desk warrior — something I really should address — and as such not entirely qualified to give lots of personal experience advice or expertise. So I’m going to throw this one over to the more fitness-aware Lifehacker readers out there. What tracking solution do you use, and why?

Cheers Lifehacker

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  • i use a garmin 910xt to track all my workouts, when i get home i leave it on and it wirelessly transfers the workouts to the computer and a script uploads them automatically to both strava and garmin connect. a second script then pulls out the workout info from garmin connect and puts it in a local spreadsheet.

    boom. done.

    best bit is it is all automatic, the one device tracks running cycling and swimming! easy!

  • Are these ask lifehacker questions legit, or are you making up questions to suit an answer. So many ask lifehacker lately seem to be very lame questions that conveniently fit an answer, that anyone who spent more than 5 seconds researching would find the answer to.

    • On the off-chance you’re not just trolling:

      They’re 100% legit. Frankly, there’s more than enough to do without fabricating questions! In this case, where we’ve got resources/articles that do help to provide an answer to a query, it’s pretty logical to point to those resources/articles as part of the answer (and I freely admit as part of the answer that I’m not as well qualified to provide other answers as the readers might in this case!)

      • No, certainly not trying to troll. I just find a question like the one above very strange and pretty lazy. They obviously haven’t put any effort into finding their own solution.

        I could understand someone asking “Hey i use runkeeper, what do you think of the alternatives or are there better programs available.”

  • I use runkeeper for all my stuff. Run, MTB ride, swim and Surf ski (i sneak that under the rowing category) all you need is a phone or your PC to log it all

  • Whatever program you decide to use, make sure it supports all Mobile OS.
    Runtastic, Enddmondo, and Sports Tracker all support iOS, Android, Windows Phone.

  • a cheaper way out of that would probably be a lower end forerunner and a garmin swim gps watches. that way you have dedicated devices that cover pretty much everything, and they start recording at the touch of a button.

    If you only want the one device then really there a limited choices that are multi-sport. With the 910xt being one of the more marketed devices on the market. The only downside is the 910xt doesn’t have the same features as the garmin swim watch. Which means if your doing lap swimming there is no guarantee of distance accuracy (unless your swimming in an outdoor pool).

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