The cold of winter and the intense heat of summer can sometimes make exercising outdoors uncomfortable or even dangerous. Driven indoors, does Endomondo work? In our testing we found that Endomondo is not the best for tracking a workout indoors if you are relying upon GPS tracking to give you an accurate measurement of your distance traveled. Interference from the ceiling, tight traveling spaces, quick turns, and traveling the same route more than once all tend to skew the data and make trackers unreliable. Endomondo does allow users to edit their distances, making it useful for keeping track of fitness activity across multiple months when you can manually enter your distance traveled while exercising indoors.
Don’t expect Endomondo to work inside, but workouts can be edited online.
I took this run Feb 8 indoors and barefoot. The track was on the third floor of a three story building. I was running with my Galaxy Nexus inside my Scosche armband. According to Endomondo I spent 6:33 crawling .07 mile. In reality I ran .75 mile.
I pretty much expected results like this. GPS tracking equipment in general has a hard time working indoors, especially when movement is involved. While the beginning point of the run is is a decent approximation of my actual starting location (maybe 30 ft away), the route is obviously not what I did. Running on a track should have produced an oblong shape, not the crazy back and forth motion. It looks like the roof provided too much interference for the GPS tracking to work accurately.
Thankfully, Endomondo includes an option to edit your run so you can include the actual distance you traveled. If you are going to be using this app to track your fitness activity in general then you will want to go in and edit each run. This is info we cover in the how to use section.
I did this walk on Feb 11 inside a mall because it was frigid outside, like sub freezing but not sub zero. The mall is a huge building with a two story tall ceiling on the walking path. There are windows along the ceiling where I walked which I thought would have provided more accurate tracking data since it would allow some of the GPS signals to penetrate the building. I did this walk with my Galaxy Nexus running Endomondo Pro with the phone placed on top of a stroller. I did two separate tests, one where I saw someone I knew and had to stop and chat (the blue route). The second I was able to complete without stopping (the red route). The blue route was measured as .64 mi and the red route was measured at .3 mi.
There are several things to talk about with these tracks. The first is that they are very similar, the only significant difference is the period of jumping when I stopped to talk with my friend. Endomondo had me essentially walking around in circles as it kept trying to refine my location based upon its best guess of my location. This is the tight cluster of tracks that you can see on the image above.
The next item is that Endomondo and my cell phone always seem to lag a little behind with my actual location. You can see this especially at the points where I would reach the end of a walking corridor and began to walk the other direction. At no point does my phone or Endomondo get me in the “right” spot on these direction changes.
Here is a pretty good representation of the route that I actually took:
Google measured this walk at 0.525237 mi, but for simplicity’s sake we’ll say it was a .5 mi route. The blue route (with the “jumping” while I talked to a friend) was 28% long and the red route was 40% short.
My hunch is that the slower a person would take this indoor rout the more accurate it would become. This is because Endomondo only takes a sampling of your location data and then measures the distances between the sampling. If you are moving quickly in a space with sharp turns or where you walk back along the same route then you run the risk of cutting off sections of your exercise routine.