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October 2021 Issue
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Going the distance for Walk1200km

If you’re going to commit to Walk1200km, you’re going to need a way to record each of those precious kilometres. 

Many outdoor enthusiasts already digitally track their physical activity. I quite like looking back on a week’s exercise and seeing my totals such as distance and elevation gain and comparing them to previous weeks and months. 

The smartphones we use on a daily basis have the technology to record walks and tramps built into them, but you can also use ‘wearables’ such as Apple, Android, and Fitbit smartwatches, or outdoor watches or heart rate monitors that have GPS recording capabilities, such as Polar, Suunto, Garmin or Coros.

Such devices are good options for tracking activities for daily or weekend outings, but what about longer trips where power sources are not available? A good option for these is a basic GPS, like a Garmin eTrex, which is simple and battery efficient. Using desktop or mobile route planning apps such as Ride With GPS (free, desktop and app), MapOut (iOS app), OsmAnd (free, Android app), or many others, you can also ‘map’ a walk or tramp you have done to work out the total distance. 

You’ll be looking for one place to log all your distances. The free Progress Tracker with the October 2021 issue (if you missed it, it’s available here) is your best bet as it will display your accumulated weekly and monthly totals. Place it somewhere you will see it often – the fridge is perfect. 

For those who prefer a digital record, there are plenty of apps and websites. Strava is popular, and for good reason; its free membership has a wealth of features and it’s easy to use and interpret. Garmin Connect and Map My Run also allow data to be imported from smartphones, watches and handheld GPS devices so all your information is in one place. Google Fit and Apple Health also record activity by GPS and motion sensors, but dedicated recording apps will be more accurate.