Why I’m Loving DailyMile Again

I’ve used DailyMile to track my runs since I started running in 2009. I started with the Couch to 5K program (also available in a great app) and had DailyMile recommended to me by the same friends who had recommended that. For years, it was just a website. For the first year or two, I would log on when I got home, plot my run on the map and find out how far I had gone. The mystery! Now it sounds a bit absurd (oh how quickly we adapt), but at the time it was great. I was just thankful the map was so accurate.

Then, I got a newer phone. I searched for a DailyMile app to no avail. At least, by downloading another app (Runtastic), I could track my run on GPS. Now some might ask why I didn’t just switch to Runtastic completely at that point. The truth is, I didn’t want to give up my two years of run stats already stored in DailyMile. In large part because I tend to write gems like this by way of description:

OMG. I ran 5 km in 31 minutes!! I almost jumped up and down at the end but thought I would look silly. I only took one walk break the whole time, and it was halfway through when my little deer friends were there cheering me on and I had to slow down to say hi.

Sunset, fallen leaves, rough cobblestone, built a rock bridge and bounced across it to the cheers of a passing cyclist, saw several deer friends. Slow, but a beautiful run.

And this one:

Went for a 10 pm, 5k pasture run through long, wet grass. Anticipated the preponderance of steep hills and the mosquitoes, and the beautiful sunset. I thought it would be the birdsongs and the sunset that kept me going but it turned out my main motivation was the mosquito swarms that plagued me each time I slowed down. Spent long periods trudging through the knee-length, wet grass both to avoid stinging nettle and to ensure I wouldn’t roll an ankle. There were also a few perilous marsh, bog and creek crossings during which I tried to focus on the fact that my feet were already soaking so it wouldn’t really matter if I fell in – though it was difficult to focus with the mosquitoes attempting to eat me alive. I was rewarded in the end with two deer and a beaver, and mists rolling over the beaver pond. Ran part of the last quarter barefoot to get out of my wet shoes. Did I mention there wasn’t a flat portion of this run? It was all substantial hills.

So I stuck it out, using Runtastic to get my distance/time/pace and then logging it onto DailyMile on the computer when I got home. I did find a third-party app called Electric Miles that would let me log my runs into DailyMile from my phone, but many of the options were missing so I didn’t get the full description I often wanted.

Well, folks, all of this nonsense recently changed. I don’t know when DailyMile came out with their app, so I’m going to admit that I may have missed the boat on this for quite some time. But what matters is that it’s here now, and I love it! It seems that most of my friends who used DailyMile in the past gave up on it at some point as almost none of them post there now — I assume they’ve gone to RunKeeper or Nike or somewhere else — but I’m hoping some will come back, or maybe I can convince some new runners to connect with me there.

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I don’t know, but I think it’s fun how bright it is, and it makes me want to run more.

Keep in mind that I have not used other running apps and I’m also not seriously training for anything, so I understand that this likely does not have all the bells and whistles a lot of runners want. But for the fun-runner like me, who is motivated by an app that looks nice and has some fun inclusions, you might find that this little extra helps to get you out the door.

Here is why I love the DailyMile app:

The Overall Design and Platform

The app is simple and straightforward, but it does what I need it to. The look is really fun, though. Bright colours, and a honeycomb matrix of stats on your personal feed always make me happy when I log in. It’s the little things, I guess!

There are five options across the bottom, though one is training, which is a paid service, so I don’t use that. The first is Home, where you can view a feed that shows your friends’ runs as well as your own. This brings in a social aspect because you can comment on your friends’ activity and also rate it with a variety of icons. I do miss having more of my friends on DailyMile as I found the social aspect motivating. However, it’s easy to post your runs to Facebook and Twitter and get the feedback that way if you want it.IMG_5970

The second option is your own profile, and this is the tab I love. This is where the honeycomb matrix is, as well as a chronological list of all your workouts, mixed in with photos you have posted.

 

The third is the + button, where you can add a new activity, access the GPS for your run, or post a photo or note.

IMG_5972On the far right is Training, where you can look at your workout stats by week or month; duration or distance; and activity type. I love going here to see how many kilometres I’ve run this week or this month and compare it to past weeks and months.

Another small, silly thing that I love about the app is the design of that honeycomb matrix. Each hexagon displays a different stat or condition. In one, your most recent photo is displayed; another your otal number of kilometres (or miles) for the week; there is one for your “streak”; one for how many calories you’ve burned this week; and one for your average pace. There are also spots for encouragement icons you have received, the current weather, your elevation gain this week, how many total activities you’ve done this week, your average mood and your number of reps if you’ve logged any weight training. I love that in the spot for number of activities, there are little balls that correspond to the total. So each time you add an activity, this hexagon fills up more. And these balls bounce around when you shake your phone! The happy face in the mood spot also rocks back and forth when you shake it. Again, it’s the little things.

The Photos

I love being able to add a photo to each run, or add photos at any time, as I can visit my photo feed and see how the weather has changed during my runs over the past few months. It’s easy to forget that just two months ago I was running in the snow, and it’s neat to look back at all the places I’ve run since then.

Tracking Different Activities

There are options for tracking runs, cycling, walking, yoga, reps during weight training, swimming and more, so you can keep track of your cross training as well as your runs.

The Social Aspect

Seeing my friends’ runs right there in my feed keeps me inspired. I’d love to see more of my friends there again, though!

Which running app do you use, if you use one? Want to join me on DailyMile?

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