Thursday, February 23, 2012

Running Must-Haves: Couch-to-5K App

I know that I just posted about how Couch-to-5K was going and that it's all I can talk about lately (I really hope I'm not totally boring you guys), but I really wanted to make sure everyone knew about the Couch-to-5K app.

Maybe I'm the only idiot, but for my first couple of Couch-to-5K workouts I didn't realize that there was an app that would make my life a million times easier, so when I ran I'd just take my iPod with me, set my workout playlist on shuffle, and then keep an eye on the stopwatch on my iPod to figure out when to run and when to walk.  The problem was that I was constantly fiddling with the iPod and couldn't really relax enough to focus on the run, especially at the beginning when the intervals were at a minute and 90 seconds - I was constantly looking down!

Then I found this app:

Things that are awesome:

- When you're ready to start a workout, you open it up, select which workout you want to do (e.g., Week 4 Workout 1), and it does all the hard work for you.  It loads up a timer, which shows you which interval you're on, how long you have left on that interval, and which interval is coming next.  When that interval is over, and it's time to start the next one, she gives you verbal cues to tell you what to do (e.g., "Let's jog!").

- If you have music on your phone, you can add songs into the music player.  To keep it simple, I just pull up my "Workout" playlist and add all the songs.

- You can see your overall progress for the workout in the little "track" around the timer, as well as the total amount of time left for the workout. 

- One of the best things about it is that it uses the GPS on your phone to track your route, calculate your total distance, and determine your pace (e.g., X minutes/mile).  When you finish a workout, you can add it to your "log" which shows you your stats for all of your past workouts, so you can see how you're progressing.

Things that aren't awesome:

- The app isn't free.  I can't remember exactly how much I paid for it, but I think it was $2-$3.  And I have a weird thing about paying for apps (I seriously have maybe paid for one other app), but I think it's totally worth it.  There's actually another Couch-to-5K app called "Get Running (Couch-to-5K)," which looks like it's pretty similar, but I went with this one and love it.

- If you're not following the Couch-to-5K plan pretty closely, you might not find it super helpful, as the timers are all based upon the workout as designed. 

- The music player doesn't seem to have a repeat functionality, so if you get through all the songs you've added, it doesn't start over with the first song again.  You have to go back and add them all again, which is a pain to do while you're running. 

Overall, I'm in love with this app, and I'd recommend it to anyone who's attempting to get off the couch and out on the pavement.  :)


The Links said...

One of my goals this year was to run a 5K and now that the weather is warming up I'm ready to start training!! I"m so glad you posted about this. Literally yesterday I got on my phone to download a C25K app and I didn't know which one to get. I usually don't pay for apps either, but I told myself that I could pay for one of these, but then I didn't know which one to go with. Thanks for the recommendation, and by the's on sale for 99 cents.

The Autry's said...

My C25K ap looks different. Does the same stuff though. :)

Ryan said...

Yay, Katy! You can totally do it! And is it totally ridiculous that I'm mad that I overpaid for the darned thing before it went on sale? ;)

Good to know, Allie. They looked REALLY similar, so I'm glad to know the other one is great, too. :)

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