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MapMyFitness wants you to try to be king of the hill

May 22, 2012|By Michelle Maltais
  • A screen shot of the refreshed MapMyFitness site.
A screen shot of the refreshed MapMyFitness site. (MapMyFitness )

The MapMyFitness universe wants users to take a hike and give its new design and functionality a workout. And maybe you'll get to be king of the hill.

The hiking, biking, fitness, running and walking tracking site and community is beta testing three new features: updated routes, personal challenges and courses. They let you check up on details around your run, walk or ride, check in on well-trod paths and check out how you're doing on your path to fitness.

"A lot of it is gamefying the system as a whole and making it more fun" for people to get active, said Robin Thurston, co-founder and chief product officer.

"As the largest online fitness social network community, with more than 9 million users, we are excited to expand the functionality of our product portfolio to our rapidly growing base," said Richard Jalichandra, chief executive of MapMyFitness. "Our goal is to enable athletes in the 40-plus sports supported by MapMyFitness to benefit from this enhanced level of product capability and functionality."

Though you could previously plan, track and share your routes, the site didn't have all of information you could use to properly plan a path -- factors beyond the actual route. Now, you can plot out the best bike route from home to work, for example, and get real-time weather and traffic before you head out. The MapMyFitness beta fully integrates Google Maps.

Part of tracking fitness means you can look back and look ahead, setting challenges and goals, both long-term and incremental. And, because we all like affirmation, the site gives updates on your progress as well as trophies for milestones met.

Speaking of milestones, the courses feature automatically checks you in for every exercise that tracks speed, distance frequency and intensity of workouts and then ranks you against other members on its leaderboard. So, you can compare your progress with various demographics, Thurston said, and compete Foursquare-style for six distinctions, including event leader, personal record and guru. 

The site boasts 5 million unique visitors a month among its 9 million registered users. The average user logs workouts about nine to 14 times a month, Thurston said.

The bummer of this announcement is that iPhone and Android phone MapMyFitness users will notice only cosmetic changes that mirror the site for now. Full access and integration of the new features is expected in the next month or so.

Until then, when the changes are to roll out across the main site and in the apps, your progress will still be integrated into the new features on the beta site. So you won't give up that chance to be the equivalent of mayor of the mountain.

RELATED:

Windows Phone gets MapMyFitness apps

Google Chrome heading to iPhone, analysts predict

Several iOS developers welcome Apple's larger-screen iPhone

Follow Michelle Maltais on Google+Facebook or Twitter

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