Excel + Fitness = Love

That’s right.   In an age where you can track calories, heart rate, pace, and even choose the voice of the person who will cheer you on in your iPod as your “power song” plays, most consumers still fall back on good old fashioned Excel to track their fitness.  This was a pretty surprising point that was raised in today’s panel conversation- Future Fitness: The Power of Personal Data.

As someone who is still in the honeymoon phase with my running… I’ve had my own personal debate on which tracking device is the best fit me, and exactly how I would use the functionality.  It turns out most people fall into one (or more) of these 4 categories:

–          Data  Junkies: gotta see the numbers, all of them, from every angle

–          Social Creatures: want to share their progress in community/social settings

–          Competitors: focused on a goal and maintaining momentum to achieve it

–          Reward Seekers: looking for encouragement or incentives along the way

Now if you’re Nike+, Garmin, or even an app or web based company- the challenge is to figure out how to best serve this complicated marketplace while keeping up with the pace of innovation.  To my surprise, I sat surrounded by representatives from Nike, Adidas, and MapMyRun (to name a few) during this conversation…which made from an excellent debate on the topic.

Today’s fitness options are endless, you can spend upwards of $500 on a device, or you can choose from thousands of sites and apps available for download on your mobile.  Whatever route you choose, there seems to be a huge opportunity for providers to help consumers find easier, more affordable ways to aggregate and customize their data…because at the end of the day, your fitness is personal.  Consumers want to be able to sync, export, track, analyze, share and compare their data- and they want it to be simple.  Oh, and I did I mention, this gets even more complicated if you’re doing more than one sport? I can already picture my excel worksheet…

I left this conversation excited about the possibilities in this expanding marketplace, and with a huge list of platforms to test.  Here are a few that were mentioned for those of you looking to track your own running progress: Nike+, Adidas miCoach, MapMyRun, RunKeeper, DailyMile, FitBit, and RunningAhead.

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