Let me start this review off by stating for the record that I hate running, or at least long distance running. I find it to be monotonous, mundane and my little fast twitch muscle fibers would much rather be sprinting. I have an outrageous amount of respect for my friends who run and put themselves in a mental state where they are not bored.
That being said, I have found some apps that can make this necessary evil more tolerable! The three apps that you need to try if you are not a fan of long distance running are Run3K!, C25K, and WalkJogRun.
When starting to run long distance, it’s important to realize that you will not reach your goal of running a marathon overnight. Instead, start with the basics and build your stamina.
Run 3K! is an app created by redrockApps. This is a 4 week training plan involving 3 trainings a week, lasting approximately 30 minutes per session. Now that’s something I can handle! As I have made clear in the beginning, I tend to get bored running. The nice thing about this program is that it involves interval training, which involves combinations of running, walking, jogging and resting.
The pace changes don’t really allow you to get bored. Another nice feature is that it accesses the music on your phone so you can listen to your music while you run. There is also a small lock button once you start the program so you can lock the screen while still being about to use the program. This helps prevent against accidentally hitting a button and interrupting your workout.
Once your workout is complete you’ll have the option to share your results with friends via social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter. After completion of the workout, the next workout is also unlocked for your including a new running tip. I would say that the only down side would be the ad to upgrade to the full version that occasionally pops up, but you are working with a free app so things like that are to be expected. Overall, Run 3K! made running pretty enjoyable, and it works an easy transition into long distance running.
Once you’ve mastered the 3k, you’re ready to move on to C25K. C25K is an app created by Zen Labs that stands for Couch to 5K. The first two things that you see on the screen when you open the app are a motivational quote and an exercise tip, which I love! It also gives you an option to register your email address for more motivation and exercise tips along with recipes and promotions. This is an 8 week program that consists of 3 days a week with sessions lasting approximately 30-40 minutes.
C25K also involves interval training, which I personally enjoy and it allows you to access the music on your phone as well. The color scheme is sleek in black and gray. You can continue hearing the alerts for the next interval while your phone is locked, however you can’t see how much time you have left while it is locked like you can with Run 3K! Similar to Run 3K!, C25K also cut down my boredom while running.
After you’ve accomplished the 5K, you can advance to WalkJogRun Routes by Almost Awesome, Inc. This app is a bit different from the last two, but is chalked full of features. This app lets you find and create routes for running and also allows you to find training plans. You can log your workouts and look back at them.
In addition, my GPS actually worked for this app. You can choose the type of map that you want, such as Apple maps, Google maps or street maps, which I found to be an awesome feature! Another cool feature is that Eukanuba has sponsored a feature on the app in which you can plot a dog friendly route so that you can take your cardio loving canine.
When you share your training session on Faceook, your friends will be able to see your route and your training stats; however you can set this option to private if you prefer. This app also contains dozens of articles about running, nutrition, motivation and injury prevention, just to name a few. This is a nice app to not only track your progress, but also to help you learn.
All three of these apps were nice ways to help distract me from something I ordinarily don’t enjoy doing. I hope that you enjoy them and they help you achieve your goals! Stay Fit!