A workout in our system in the simplest sense is an activity you log manually, or record with the app, that includes an activity type and duration. These two statistics help determine a variety of other information including pace and calories burned. When combined with time-series data (only available when recording on verified devices with GPS tracking), or other compatible sensors, workouts can provide great detail about your health and fitness levels.
Routes, on the other hand, are just a visual representation of the path you want to follow, or already have. You can create and edit these manually on the site. When a workout is recorded on the app with a GPS connection, a map will be created as a byproduct of the workout. When manually logging a workout, you will also have the option to manually create or associate it with a map. Some route stats, like elevation data, are specific to GPS-enabled routes, so workouts will not pull this information without an error-free map.