On Monday, I started Day 1 of the Couch to 5K program. There are so many walk/run 5K programs out there, but C25K is the original. The idea is that you complete walk/run intervals, beginning with longer walk intervals. Eventually, you extend the time you spend running until you are mostly running the entire 5K (3.1 mile) distance. It’s a very realistic and feasible plan for the vast majority of people, no matter what kind of shape you are currently in.
Here are the first three weeks of the nine-week program:
I used to be able to run a 5K – and further – without stopping to walk (although I usually took breaks, otherwise I felt like running wasn’t always enjoyable). However, I haven’t run in nearly half a year – I stopped when 16 weeks pregnant because it was no longer comfortable. Since C25K is designed to eaaaase you into the sport, I decided it would be the perfect way to get back into running shape.
I wasn’t too keen on the idea of training exclusively on the treadmill (which makes following the program easy) or running with a stopwatch. Lots of people have told me about the C25K app by Active.com, so I decided to give it a shot.
The interface is very user-friendly. You can start off with the first workout or skip a few weeks in advance. This means you can also repeat weeks if necessary – basically, you can move at your own pace.
I can do it!
The cool thing about this app is that you select a trainer and they talk you through the workout. You receive easy-to-follow instructions to warm up, walk, jog, or cool down… right in your ears! No looking at a watch required.
When it’s time to jog or walk, the coach tells you what to do and a countdown appears on your phone. If you enable GPS on the app, you can also see your pace per mile (which seemed pretty accurate), as well as your total distance. After the workout is over, you can look at a Google map and see where you ran.
The VERY best part of the app? You can use it while playing music, whether in the iPhone music library or via another app like Pandora. The coach’s voice comes in over the music whenever it’s time to walk or run.
A small selection of my slightly embarrassing Pandora stations.
All in all, I give the C25K app by Active.com a HUGE thumbs up. I loved that it synced with my music, that it had a built-in GPS feature, and that it was so easy to use. Hopefully, it will help me get back to a 5K very, very soon! I can’t wait to tackle Day 2 of the program later today.
Do you use any apps to help with your workouts? For more fitness app suggestions, check out this post —> Best Fitness Apps.