GPS or Global Positioning System was originally developed to strengthen the defence system and locate any particular region or camp easily.
Today, GPS trackers have become a part of our daily lives and so much so that whenever we visit a new place, we take the help of GPS system using the Smartphone rather than asking people for directions.
GPS tracking system has been incorporated in transport, defence, employee tracking, and various businesses.
GPS tracking system has also become a part of daily fitness routine of many people. Previously, people could not always keep track of time or the area they covered during jogging.
The first GPS-based watches were designed in 2000 and developed into the modern simple, affordable watches with GPS tracking system.
Several GPS-based apps have also been developed that can be used to track the distance covered by a jogger, the routes followed, and other data related to the fitness routine.
Runner’s World magazine had surveyed in 2016 that 80% of the runners used GPS tracking system during a run.
Many people argue that using GPS trackers during workout does more harm than good.
They claim that it becomes difficult to concentrate on the workout schedule when they are wearing the GPS tracking enabled watches.
Moreover, several people think that it is not a good thing for the GPS trackers to collect data about their jog around the neighbourhood. This clearly shows that many people cannot trust the GPS apps and are reluctant to share any private information.
However, this varies on the perception of different people. Usually, the GPS tracking fitness apps or watches are conscious about the privacy of the users and do not share any information with the third party on their own.
GPS Tracking Speeding Up the Runners
Many runners have shared their experiences of how their speed has improved after using the GPS tracking system. The data collected by the GPS-based apps help the runners understand their deficiencies and strengths.
This way the runners can analyse their weaknesses and improve in that area. Some of the popular GPS tracking apps focused on fitness include Endomondo, Nike+, Strava, Runkeeper, and Garmin Forerunner 610.
The Endomondo app will automatically pause when you stop and have a clean interface. You can change the settings into auto sharing features and find the track covered posted on your Facebook and/or Twitter page.
The free version of Endomondo contains ads while the ‘Pro’ version costs £3.99. It can be installed on iOS and Android smartphones. Nike+ offers granular control over the social media posts (unlike Endomondo) as well as music support.
Even though the app comes free and can be installed on Android and iOS system, the consumers face login issues.
Strava comes with audio updates, a user-based in-app interface and online dashboard, and easy sharing options to social network platforms.
It’s free and can be downloaded on iOS and Android devices. The dashboard of Runkeeper has some good features with email alerts, but the app interface is not so good.
The GPS tracking system is also not so efficient. Garmin Forerunner 610, on the other hand, can track accurately and comes with a detailed online dashboard. Both Runkeeper and Garmin Forerunner 610 cannot be downloaded for free.
GPS Tracking System, Runners and Social Media
The GPS tracking system does not only end with runners improving their speed and physical strength.
In a world where everyone shares their experiences and opinions on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, the runners too find it easy to directly share their improvements on their social media pages.
One of the runners, Gene Lu has decided to turn the findings from GPS tracking system during a run into art.
Gene Lu uses the GPS tracking system to create detailed drawings of the elaborate track routes. After the run, he shares the drawing on social media platforms.
He had contributed a lion drawing, Darth Vader, and an octopus with the dimension of Manhattan to the social media. Gene Lu had also run a route in the shape of Vox’s logo.
Creative designs have been posted by Gene Lu so far and this has attracted many followers. He also claims that such response has urged him to cover more tracks and GPS tracking system has helped him a lot.
The GPS tracking watches and apps have brought proof where false data could have been boasted. The only downside of the GPS fitness tracking apps is that they intrude in the personal space of the users.
Privacy is a fine balance line that the GPS tracking apps have to maintain. However, many apps are trying to overcome this issue and focus on improving the jogging routine of the users.