Things That Make You Go “HUH?”

Life gets crazy, and my husband and I like to jet off in our RV whenever we can and enjoy a little ‘together time’. We take a daily fast paced ‘together time walk’ while we’re on the road to keep the blood flowing. Our goal is usually 3-4 miles.

We started using RunKeeper to log our walks mainly because this app is compatible with the UP band (which we still wear daily and love).  RunKeeper is awesome because it sends the map right to our UP apps, and well, we think that’s pretty cool! We started noticing however, that RunKeeper thinks he’s walking faster and farther than I am, when we are in fact walking side by side the entire way.

Below are our maps from a particular day in July. My map is on the left and my husband’s is on the right. We pretty much walked around the campground and retraced our steps somewhat, which explains the thicker lines.

If your mind works anything like mine, you’re thinking, what the heck was he doing?
I swear we were walking side by side. He was even walking straight! So what are all those loop-dee-loops on his map? Heck if we knew!

Karen's Wayne's

So RunKeeper gives my husband credit for going .19 miles farther than me, which I decided to round up to 1/4 mile because I want to embellish a little. It  doesn’t matter what the real number is because the whole thing doesn’t make sense. This is a GPS app. We walked the same distance.

The maps from a few days later are below. This time we walked a little faster and therefore went a little farther in about the same time. My map is on the left. Once again, my lines are nice and straight. I think I would get an ‘A’ if this were kindergarten class.

Wayne's map My walk

My husband’s map is on the right. Clearly, he would not get an ‘A’. On this day, RunKeeper says he went .21 miles farther than I did, or 1/4 mile according to my calculations. Again, we were walking side by side.

On our next trip, we used RunKeeper again and got a similar result. The maps are below. I am on the left and my husband is on the right.

Wayne's map

My mapHis map here is not as convoluted as the previous ones. This time, though, RunKeeper says he walked .38 miles farther than I did! This is over 1/3 mile!  This is getting ridiculous! I suppose if the app showed that I was the one traveling farther and faster I’d feel happy. The one thing I have going for me is the UP app estimates that I consistently take 500 more steps than he does during the course of 3 1/4 miles. (I call this the Chihuahua Effect. My stride is shorter so I have to take more steps. Works for me!)

Map My Fitness photo

The next day we used a different GPS app just to see. Map My Fitness is also compatible with the UP app, but it’s our second choice because it doesn’t send the nice map to UP that RunKeeper does. Instead we see a picture of a little man in motion. It’s just not as fun.

We took exactly the same route as the day before, but for some reason Map My Fitness gave us both credit for going about 1/10th of a mile more. Again, though, it suggests my husband still walked farther than I did. (More than 1/3 mile). A different app, but the same overall result.

On our last day of this trip my husband decided to carry his phone in his pocket for most of our walk, (previously he carried it in his hand). Holy cow! This is what made the difference. This time RunKeeper suggested he only walked .06 miles more than I did.

We decided that it’s the way my husband walks that affects the apps. He suffers from what I call ‘Excessive Arm Swing Syndrome’. Should an excessive arm swing really affect a GPS app? How many others suffer from the same disorder and think they’ve traveled farther than they really did? How many fictional miles is this across the population? How many fictional calories have been burned?  My head is spinning because there’s so much to think about!

We appreciate the data and laughs RunKeeper has given us. I’m anxious to use this GPS app with additional activities to see if we can uncover our other disorders!

Keep moving, keep laughing, keep fit!

PS – Many thanks to my husband for allowing me to have a little fun at his expense.


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