A tail of two GPS(s)

What GPS should I use?  That is the question I’ve started to pose to myself.

Susan got me UA heart-rate detecting headphones at Christmas and with those you get a year of premium Map My Run access.  With these headphones you need to open and start a workout with the UA Recorder App (which is really buggy) or Map My Run, I started playing with Map My Run, and like that I can load others routes, and look for routes in other cities when I’m travelling etc and I like the more accurate Heart Rate from the headphones vs. the integrated one, in my Forerunner and / or my Fitbit.

So starting in very late December I began running with 2 GPS, my Forerunner 225 GPS watch and my IPhone 6S with the Map My Run app.  I live in an urban area and am used to having a little bit of GPS trouble at the start of my run, before I get out on the river path which has no buildings etc to block GPS.  I started this experiment assuming that the GPS on my IPhone would be better, why assume this?  My IPhone is about a year newer then my Forerunner and it’s larger, so I assumed more “antenna”.  So which one is better?

January 8th – 18 miles – At mile 9, I actually dropped my phone when trying to pause my run and it killed the battery for some reason and the phone died.  So this is easy, Winner, Forerunner watch!

January 11- 7 Miles – This was a very challenging run, very wet, very icy, in Downtown Montreal.  While looking at the maps, the IPhone got me 7.02 miles, and the Garmin got me 6.67 miles, I would have favored the Garmin but in zooming in at the detailed maps, there are literal gaps in the Garmin map which would lead to less total miles.  Winner, IPhone

January 13 – 7 Miles – Back in Jersey City, along the water.  The winner is easy on this one, mile 1 the IPhone had me at 5:45.  I do not run sub 6 minute miles unless doing sprint intervals and that would be at like 1/4 mile intervals, not full miles.  Winner, Forerunner watch!

January 15 – 18 Miles – Along the water again in Jersey City.  I know this route well, I run it multiple times a week, the winner is also clear.  The IPhone has me at 18.79 miles and the Forerunner watch at 18.  I know this route very well, and I could tell at mile 1 that the IPhone was wrong, ever so slightly, and that gap grew, ever so slightly each mile.  At 5 or 6 miles, wouldn’t matter, but at 18, it was close to a full mile off.  Winner, Forerunner watch!

So long post short, it turns out, and I’ve also done some Internet research, that purpose built GPS watches, like the Forerunner, are better then the GPS in your smart phones!

Until next time, enjoy the run, Bobby

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