The Runners Log plugin for WordPress is a fun tool for fitness enthusiasts who want the ability to turn their WordPress blog into a fitness log. As a runner myself I love the concept here and so when it came to my attention I immediately wanted to know how it worked. After reading the plugin description I found out it uses data collected via Garmin Connect to create the types of charts and graphs seen below as methods of tracking your performance.
Of course generating these graphics requires some data entry of your own as shown in the following three screenshots. This data combined with the garmin connect generated data/graphics and a blog entry to accompany each workout should satisfy even the most meticulous fitness log enthusiast.
All in all this is a really cool idea for a plugin. However, by default (as it only works with Garmin Connect and therefore with people who own a Garmin product) the number of people who can use this plugin is very limited. So while I myself would normally be a perfect fit for a plugin like this…I will not be using it until they open up to more forms of data capture such as iphone gps or other apps that run on my phone. Additionally, some other features I would love to see in future updates include improved design for charts/graphs, some sort of dietary data tracking, and options to compare results with other users to promote lighthearted competition and motivation.
Again, the biggest issue for me would be the current inability to gather data by other means than just Garmin Connect. I don’t use Garmin Connect and do not plan to buy another expensive device when my phone has a more than capable gps. I’m a big fan of runkeeper and I’ve tried nike+ too, both of which are solid apps. At the moment though, neither of those apps have a WordPress plugin and Runners Log seems to be the best plugin option available right now. If anyone actually has a device running Garmin and a Garmin Connect account (which is free) I would love to hear your thoughts on this plugin and if you found it to be fun and useful.
Link: Runners Log