Ryan Irelan

is building Mijingo and doing limited consulting.

Syncing Runkeeper and Strava

I’ve been using Runkeeper since I started running this past February. I chose it based on its reputation and, generally, I really like it. The app is maintained and improved. They even have an Apple Watch app.

But I also like to see my data in other services. Strava has a nice website and different approach to displaying training data. I wanted to try it out without switching services or losing some data in a service I might only use once.

To my surprise both Runkeeper and Strava have good APIs that make moving data between the two very simple…using a service.

I use a syncing service called Tapiriik, which is free for manual syncing or a small sum per year for automatic syncing. I opted for automatic because life’s too short for manual work. It’s open source so you can set it up on your own, too, if you’d like.

I approach any syncing services with caution and suspicion. It’s not that I don’t trust them with my data; I don’t trust that the data will match up in a way that is useful. But the syncing with Tapiriik between Runkeeper and Strava is just about perfect.

Because I paid for automatic syncing, my Runkeeper run data is on Strava within 20 or 30 minutes of completing my run (Tapiriik syncs every 20 minutes). That is perfect for reviewing my Training Log in Strava (my favorite use of Strava right now is to review my running data in a nicer layout than Runkeeper) when I sit down at my desk in the morning.

My One Use for Apple Watch

Dan Moren has a good post over on Six Colors where he share his main uses for Apple Watch after 5 month of use. I suspect his usage is common among the early adopters who ordered a Watch the day it was available.

But I want to share my one single use case for Apple Watch.

On Monday–just three days ago–I purchased an Apple Watch. I walked out of the Apple Store shortly before WatchOS 2 was released.

It took me five months to purchase it and I only did because I wanted it for one specific thing: running.

I needed a device that let me glance at my running pace, distance, and time via Runkeeper. I used to do this via their audio updates in my headphones. But I stopped running with headphones because a) they start to hurt after 5 miles or so, and b) I need a break from noise in my ears.

I could’ve purchased a specialized running watch, like a Garmin or some other such thing. They’re very functional and they get good reviews. And they don’t require bringing my oversized phone on a run.

But I detest unitaskers.

The Apple Watch, after only three runs using it, is nearly perfect. The Sport model holds up to sweat, it’s quick to activate so I can see the details of my run (there’s a little lag when it calls back to the phone to get the updated data), and, using the Runkeeper app, I can stop and save my workout without pulling out my phone.

With WatchOS 2 and the availability of heart rate data to third party apps, the appeal of using the watch for running was even greater.

I wasn’t sure I needed an Apple Watch back in the Spring. But now I am. I plan to wear it on every training run and race. Goodbye headphones.

How to write about Apple interactions

One struggle I’ve had in writing technical tutorials, books, and courses, is how to describe an action. Click? Tap? Press?

This guide from Brett Terpstra, based on Apple’s own guidelines, is a good starting point for anyone writing technical articles on Apple software.

Early this morning I ran the Burning Pine 10k in the Bastrop State Park. The weather was perfect (a little chilly!) and despite the hills I ran a PR for the 10k distance. Next up: Run for the Water 10 miler in November.

The Asbury Park Comeback

As a kid growing up in the 80s, just a short drive from Asbury Park, it was never a destination. As a teenager I saw my first and only show at the Stone Pony.

I’m rooting for Asbury Park. It has the grit (and, yes, grime) that makes the Jersey shore so great. Reading this makes me homesick.

NetNewsWire Reborn

A new version of the great NetNewsWire is out from Black Pixel.

Ready for a blast from the past? NetNewsWire, the venerable RSS reader, is back, with a release of version 4.0. It launches with both a $10 Mac app and a $4 iOS app, supported by a cloud syncing service.

NetNewsWire was the first Mac app I ever purchased. It was 2002-2003, I was in the last year of grad school at UNC and I had recently purchased my first Mac (a white iBook).

I was still relatively new to the modern web design and development world then, and reading blogs and feeds in NetNewsWire is how I kept up with it and learned as much as I could in between school tasks.

It sounds like this version of NNW is fairly different than what Brent originally created but purely out of nostalgia I am glad it’s back.

I’ve had three iPads: original iPad, iPad 3 (first retina model), and iPad Mini first generation. The original iPad was stolen, and the other two are still in daily use. iPads last a long time as secondary devices.

State of Dictation on iOS and OS X

Now that I have a proper headset for dictation, I’ve been using it a lot more than before. It is especially helpful for writing course materials, phone call summaries, and some emails.

I’m a fast typer but even faster as an amateur user of Dragon Dictate.

I had a hard time keeping my running training on schedule this summer. I had a foot issue, travel, and then just some days where I had other stuff planned. I’m back on schedule now and working toward being back in shape for the Burning Pines10k in a few weeks.

Walking in America

There is nothing more human, more natural, more fundamental to our freedom, than transporting ourselves by foot. Nothing more purely instinctive than a child answering the desire of feet, legs, spine, and head, to dart forward in the direction his brain urges him to go.

A tragic death, misapplied justice, and why it is so dangerous and uncomfortable to walk in much of America.

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