With runners primarily using apps to get an accurate picture of progress on training sessions, Firebird Creative has launched a new programme which aims to utilise its GPS functionality in a slightly different manner. Rather than simply charting your distance and speed, VIA also gives you step-by-step instructions and directions for any pre-planned route.
Akin to a sat nav for runners, the user inputs a start and finish point by typing in a specific postcode or by highlighting a specific area on the map. Once your run commences, VIA gives real-time audio directions to ensure you follow your chosen route. It also has the ability to operate concurrently with music, meaning you can have the pleasure of blasting tunes with the added knowledge you are not heading into the great unknown.
It seems VIA is aimed at runners embarking upon a new training route or one that is likely to be substantially longer, or more complicated, than usual. Alternatively, if you are someone that suffers from an awful sense of direction, it would certainly be a useful, if not advisable, addition to your app cache.
For many, one of the most appealing aspects of running is the sense of freedom an unplanned run can give. Stumbling upon a new route, whether it is the addition of a few blocks or the diversion of a series of traffic lights, plays to our sense of adventure and keeps training sessions fresh. Similarly, by embarking on a run with a specific distance in mind, the possibility of riding on a feel good factor and adding a few extra miles substantially diminishes.
You can read recent reviews and download the VIA app at the itunes store.