Okay, so, for the love of fitness, I decided to throw another app review up here. This one is called Couch 2 5k, or C25K if you’re cool enough. Actually, if you are on android, there are both. I used the C25K one by Zen Labs (LOOK! they support breast cancer research!) Here’s a link for it on Android. (Apple guys, your link is at the bottom)Anyway, when you open the app, you get this adorable little welcome screen with options to sign up for crap (yeah, sure) and these little motivational/ inspirational tips and whatnot. Very welcoming, though, you learn to just go past this after a while if you are as impatient as I am.
Moving on…. When you actually open the app and get started, you meet the main screen (the only screen actually, this is a pretty “bare bones” kind of app) I have a few different shots of the different schedules to put on here, but basically you start out with a 5 minute walk every time, then after that, the time you spend running and walking varies depending on how advanced you are in the 8 week course set. Remember, this app is designed to get people who don’t run at all (couch) to (2) be able to run a 5k (5k) in 8 weeks. You start off doing 8 sets of 60 second runs then 90 second walks and gradually increase from there all the way to running for 30 minutes (about 3 miles). *5 kilometers is roughly 3.1 miles, for those who don’t do the whole metric conversion thing, you’re welcome.
The app tell you how much time you have been running/walking, how much time you have left during your particular part (ex: 30 seconds left of running), and how much time you have left to your entire exercise set. The entire basis for this exercise regimen is based on something that can also be found around the internet. I actually have The Color Run’s version of the sheet on Pinterest. We aren’t talking any sort of exercise breakthrough here, but the ability to pop the schedule into your smartphone, listen to your music, and have a little voice in your ear telling you when to switch from running to walking without you having to time it yourself is damn good. Yes that’s right. Music AND a little voice in your ear. There is a function to add your own music playlist on here, but I just listen to Pandora.
There is a bug in here though that is a definite downside for me. When (if) you back out of the app, say to change the song on Pandora or something, you get a little thing in your status bar that tells you which activity you are doing (running or walking) but when I click back on the status area, it brings me back to the app from the beginning, making it super inconvenient and confusing. The one day I started the workout over to see if that was the trick and ended up VERY confused when the thing started shouted orders to run and walk every 4 seconds. No bueno.
Another thing that was a possible downside is that there is no way to enter in your distance. The time is set, so there is no way to go back and beat your time or anything, but it would be nice to be able to enter in how far you went. You also can’t track your run like you can on other apps. This isn’t a big deal to me since I usually run at the gym, but I can see it changing my decision if I were an outdoor runner.
Anyway, I definitely recommend this app for anyone trying to train for a 5k, or just build up stamina. I am planning on signing up for The Color Run when it is near me, so that’s what’s got me all into 5k apps now, but there doesn’t have to be a reason to get in shape. Again, the only thing is, plan to set some time aside for your run, if you leave the app, it might be hard to get back to where you were. And there is no way to see where or how far you went. I did not try the in-app music feature, that will be up to you to use, but the rest of it ran very nicely. I will be continuing to use this and improve myself.