At 7.15am on Sunday 15th June I was bobbing around in the Thames with 30 other guys, thinking, well, "what the hell was I thinking?". I was about to start the Nokia Windsor Triathlon, which Nokia had done its best to prepare me for by furnishing me with Sports Tracker to go on my N82. In theory this would help me keep track of my workouts and gauge my progress as I trained.It must have worked, because to my surprise I managed to finish the course in 2hr 56mins 36secs, even after taking a wrong turn and running down the finishing straight two laps early, then running all the way back. Cringe.Nokia has been working hard to shake off its image as purely a maker of handsets, as it's been diversifying of late, moving into the software game. So far it's been heavily focused on GPS-based software such as its Nokia Maps application.Sports Tracker is its latest baby – an app that'll tell you how far you've walked/run/cycled/unicyled, how fast you went, how long it took you and even your exact route.
Web-enabled It's paired with the Sports Tracker website to where you can upload your workouts and chosen routes directly from your Nseries phone then share them with friends, or the world. Sports Tracker even marks up where on your route you were fastest, slowest, highest and lowest, all on the familiar Google Maps platform.
Setup is just a case of registering on the website, then plugging your login details into your phone. Then you can upload each workout directly to the site via Wi-Fi or 3G with a minimum of fuss.
Multimedia mappingIts talents extend beyond the purely sporting, however, as along your way any photos or videos you take will be tagged and associated with the workout. That way, when you upload your route the the website, they'll be automatically uploaded as well, and placed on a map.
So now you can see that gurning, red-faced photo of yourself astride your bike at exactly the point it was taken, and find out that according to the altitude reading it wasn't quite a mountain, more of a small hump.Something I also liked about Sports Tracker is that you can have it running in the background. If, like me, you're prone to getting horrendously lost on a bike ride somewhere, you can always come out of Sports Tracker and dip into Nokia Maps to get you back on course without losing your workout data.
While you're on the move, the readout looks like this, making a handy bike computer, though of course you won't be able to see this info if you're running with it strapped to your arm or in your pocket.
The calendar makes it easy to find all your logged workouts. But an empty calendar means you haven't been training. Tsk tsk.
On the sharing front, download the Nseries widget and you can embed it on facebook, iGoogle, netvibes, pageflakes or Blogger for everyone to see. Then you can challenge mates (or strangers) to beat your times on shared routes, you never know – you might even find a local training partner.
ProsFree and simple to set up. Website holds its own against the likes of Nike+. Geotagging photos and vids is a nice touch.
Cons Need bike mount and armband to use effectively. If the battery runs out in the middle of nowhere you have no phone and no GPS.
Overall If you're looking for a free training tool and you happen to have an Nseries Nokia, it's a great package that's well worth a look.