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Friday, April 26, 2013

Training Apps!

Seriously, I've been meaning to get to this post for months now! I'm just finishing up the second program, so I figured it'd be a good time to talk about it all!

APPS! Very handy little programs you can put on your phone to use anywhere you go for almost any possible thing you can think of! I love technology. The last time I owned an iphone I NEVER used it for exercise or health related issues, and I think I probably looked at the list of available apps in the health category maybe once.

This time around, I'm using this one to it's fullest potential (at least in my world). 
When I started my running routine back up, it was with the intent to run a 5K.  Now, I could go to the gym and run willy nilly on the treadmill, but what fun is that? Plus I never actually TRAINED for anything. So after hearing so much about the couch to 5K program, I decided to look for an app to help me out! Upon my search I came up with an app called "5K Runner".  Scrolling through, it looked vaugely possible.
Week one started quite easily, even for someone as out of shape as I was. Walk for 5 minutes, Run/Walk for 15, and cool down for 5. Every time the program wants you to run or walk, it makes a little chime noise and a voice tells you what to do. When you make it halfway through, it lets you know! Pretty awesome in my book. You can also run your ipod app while you run this program, so listening to your playlist is easy! This particular app is good because you can try a free version before you purchase it. That was part of my willingness to give it a shot!

5K runner takes you through 8 weeks with 3 workouts a week, and eventually you will be running about 3.1 miles like a pro!
I was nervous when all the walking went away, but honestly, it was fairly simple, and this program gets your mileage up quickly so I had run a 5K before I even finished it! It was at this point that I decided 10Ks were in my realm of physical possibility...so I moved up! 

The day I finished 5K Runner, I moved on to the 10K runner app. This one is a bit different than the previous. You can't get a free trial of it, but it starts at the same level that 5k did.  If you had already done the 5K app or could already run 3.1 miles, then you just start from Week 9 and move on from there. It looks a little scary, but it's quite doable! I've had a lot more bad workouts on this one than I did doing the other, but really, it's not the app's fault. If I had trouble doing one workout and really honestly didn't think I could get through the next, I'd just repeat the previous one. Usually the second try, I'd be fine. I'm three workouts away from the end of this program. I've already run 7 miles during week 10 (intense run/walk pattern), So I know that even if I don't finish this before my first 10K, I'd be fine with a little walking...Heck, I might even run that particular workout during my first 10K, so I don't kill myself the first time out! 
There is also one that I can use to train for a half marathon (21K Runner)...but I'm unsure if I'm actually going to use that one or not in the coming months. I was thinking about finding another program, just for something different. 

I fully recommend these for beginner to intermediate runners, or anyone that wants to work toward a distance goal. These go at a really good pace. The only time I've ever had an issue with the app itself, was recently when I was about 35 minutes into a 40 minute run and I had a calendar alert go off on my phone. When I was about 45 minutes into my workout, I realized that the program had paused until I closed the event alerts. I had totally missed my 3 minute walk and it messed up the rest of the run. So THAT was fun. But everything else has been awesome!

Do you use any workout/health apps that I should know about?
If not, would you ever use one?

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