I feel compelled to write about this because I take great satisfaction in the fact that I actually use EasyRoute quite regularly almost a year after releasing the first version. In fact, because of all the snow we’ve gotten here in New York, I’ve had to use it quite a bit recently.
You’d think I’d know the distance of every block and every street around my house by now and wouldn’t need a route planner. You’d think with a GPS watch, I could just run down the road till I covered half the day’s distance and then run home to cover the other half. Also, if I stuck with the same routes every week, I would have little need for an app like EasyRoute.
If I’m going out for an easy 3-miler, I have a number of familiar routes to choose from. The same is true for other distances; I have a 6-miler that takes me through a quiet, low-traffic neighborhood and then through a nice park. I prefer it whenever a 6-mile run is required.
I have routine routes around my house for virtually every distance, so how is EasyRoute still useful to me?
Running exclusively outdoors, mother nature often dictates terms and sets limits on where I can go. That 6-miler that takes me through the park? Not going to happen when the paths are blanketed thick with snow. A long run on a bike path? Again snow, but heavy rains can cause flooding and hurricanes like to knock down trees. The obstacles the weather can present can be both surprising and frustrating.
Summer presents challenges as well. I made some new routes over the past year that include as much tree-cover and shade as possible. I find running in extremely hot sunshine harder than bitter cold. You eventually get warmed up on cold days assuming you’ve dressed appropriately, but too much heat will relentlessly beat you down.
Many times it’s not nature’s fault as, inexplicably, the park gates to my favorite running routes are locked with chains and padlocks.
What about when I’m not around my house? I mentioned this on the App Store page, but it is worth mentioning it again. EasyRoute is great for making routes for when you’re away from home. EasyRoute is one less reason to bring a laptop or notebook computer with you since you will probably have your iPhone or iPad anyway. Don’t forget, the satellite view and Street View may help familiarize yourself with the area too.
Additionally, I prefer doing certain types of workouts in particular locations, so I may rule out certain roads or paths. For example, I will usually want to avoid twisty, winding routes if I know I’m going to want to run fast.
One more thing, as a result of my using EasyRoute, I’m always considering ways to improve it. Nothing has been more valuable than the feedback I’ve gotten from my users. It’s been so much fun getting great and constructive comments from people all over the world and using that to help shape EasyRoute into a better program.
So, stay tuned! There’s still a lot in store for EasyRoute and I’m as motivated as ever to keep the improvements coming.