The C25K App

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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, 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  Winking smile

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All in all, I give the C25K app by 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.


Happy running!


Do you use any apps to help with your workouts?  For more fitness app suggestions, check out this post —>  Best Fitness Apps.



  • Katy @ Couch to 5Katy July 12, 2012, 11:07 am

    Get Running
    10K for Pink- Run for Pink

    Both of them are great running apps similar to ACTIVE and they are FREE!

  • Nikki July 12, 2012, 11:09 am

    Am I the only one who looks at that chart and feels like it’s too time consuming to figure out when and how much to run? This makes me think about runners and how much we usually hate to stretch too–is impatience somehow ingrained in people who like to run??!!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) July 12, 2012, 11:11 am

    I have a different Couch 25K app, but I think I may give this one a try. I was just talking with my husband about these apps since we are both new to running. I told him that it’s a good way to ease into the sport instead of exhausting yourself immediately. I think I may get it for him anyway and turn on Sergeant Block! That is too funny! I’m glad you’re getting your groove back Caitlin! Happy running!

  • Sarah July 12, 2012, 11:12 am

    You’ve convinced me! I’ve been using MapMyRun, but I think I’ll really like that the C25K app keeps track of everything. It’ll save me brain space 🙂 Thanks girlfriend!

  • Janae @ Bring-Joy July 12, 2012, 11:13 am

    No apps for this lady since I don’t have a fancy phone. Just your basic phone that texts & makes phone calls (I know how behind the times am I?!).

    But I’m always amazed at what the technology can do, makes me wonder how in a few years, if we’re going to be able to live without our iphones since everyone seems to rely on them so heavily for all these cool features & programs.

    Your Pandora list does say a lot about you–Santa Baby radio? That one made me chuckle :).

  • Laura @ My Pink Thumb July 12, 2012, 11:14 am

    What a great looking app!!!

    My favourite workout app, which I’m currently using almost daily now on my new training plan is the Nike Training app. If you don’t have it, I HIGHLY recommend and blogged about it here: I just LOVE it. There are so many workouts built into the app, and it works the same as the C25K one in that the ‘trainer’ talks to you over your own music choice. 🙂

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat July 12, 2012, 11:20 am

    I love that you can select your trainer!! I don’t normally use apps – I’m a bit of a pen and notebook kinda gal, but am going to hunt for some running ones for some extra motivation!

  • Laine July 12, 2012, 11:24 am

    I started running in January using the “Ease into 5K” app, which is similar. I love it! And now that I’m done with the formal program, I use the “distance run” setting and it keeps my pace, time, splits, etc. for me, so at a glance I can see my progress from the beginning of the program.

  • brooke @ sweats & sweets July 12, 2012, 11:28 am

    I used the C25K app and now I’m training for a half-marathon! I’m currently loving the tabata pro app, its amazing! It honestly makes the tabata workouts so much easier to follow with a built in timer like the C25K. I also love, LOVE the Nike + running app. That thing is my BFF.

  • Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries July 12, 2012, 11:29 am

    this app looks great! i’m currently trying to slowly but surely get back into some running too after cutting back on exercise a lot the past few months. this would be perfect!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape July 12, 2012, 11:38 am

    Ha, I love that you have a Phil Collins station! I was obsessed with his songs from the Tarzan soundtrack when I was younger!! I actually just downloaded this app on Tuesday. Mine’s a bit different, but it has all the same features. It’s a really great app 😀

  • Megan@ The Running Doc July 12, 2012, 11:41 am

    I use the Nike+ app since I don’t always feel like running with both my ipod and garmin. It’s great because it syncs with the GPS, tells me my distance and pace, allows me to either listen to my iphone music or pandora, and you can set the voice to alert you every mile. It’s a great substitute when I don’t want to run with my clunky garmin.

  • Kattrina July 12, 2012, 11:42 am

    I don’t have a smart phone so no apps for me!

    I am anxious to get back into running after I have my baby too. I’ve taken really long running breaks in my life and have had to re-start training fairly often. When I did Peace Corps it wasn’t safe to run so I took two years off. It was touch getting back into it but I can usually do two miles without stopping and then go from there. I’ve never tried the C25K, but I’ve recommended it to many friends who’ve wanted to start running.

    Good luck!!! I’m sure you’ll be up to a 5k in no time!

  • Coco July 12, 2012, 11:49 am

    I just used Ripdeck for my workout this morning- simulating a deck of cards, each suit representing an exercise.. Good times!

  • Jamie July 12, 2012, 11:49 am

    I used C25K before my first race and I plan to use it again when I am done with this pregnancy. I am only 12 weeks but have not been running. I’ve been sticking to Body Pump, exercise bike, walking, and yoga.

  • Sarah July 12, 2012, 11:51 am

    I’ve been using a couch to 10k app… albeit very slowly. It’s not the greatest in user-friendliness but it seems to get the job done. My last workout was over 4 miles! (With some walking intervals so averaging almost 13 minute miles.) I’ve never gone that far without feeling like dying before! Yaaay for not dying!

  • Kelly July 12, 2012, 11:54 am

    I may give the C25K plan a try. I am not a runner. I just don’t think I am physically built to run. Running HURTS…my knees, legs, hips, ankles and heels. (And, yep, I’ve been fitted for proper shoes…and spent a fortune trying to find out why it hurts.) Do you have any advice for someone who needs to get in shape and who doesn’t swim or doesn’t run? My “go to” way of getting in shape and losing some pounds has always been “brisk” walking on the treadmill (with varying speeds and inclines) as well as some light weightlifting. I would like to try Crossfit, but am seriously very afraid of that atmosphere, given the shape I am currently in. It just seems like an effective way to get really toned and in good shape.

    • Caitlin July 12, 2012, 4:26 pm

      Running does just hurt for some!

      ANYTHING – try spinning or Zumba or another class. Have you tried Kettlebells? They have classes at some gyms and DVDs. It seems like intro to crossfit to me.

  • Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat July 12, 2012, 11:55 am

    That app looks fun! Can anyone suggest a similar app for a half marathon? There are quite a few and I want to make sure I pick a good one and not waste my 99 cents! 🙂

    • Caitlin July 12, 2012, 4:27 pm

      I don’t know of any.

      Do any readers?

      • Danielle March 17, 2013, 4:35 pm

        The RunKeeper app has several training plans for different distances. (“Beginner 5K,” which is essentially C25K, Sub65-min 10k, Beginner half-marathon, intermediate half marathon, then other programs to try to get your times down for the various distances.) Tracks your run by GPS or lets you enter data manually if you’re on a treadmill, integrates with your music, etc. Posts your workouts to FB or Twitter so friends can encourage you. Good stuff.

  • Kimberly July 12, 2012, 12:04 pm

    I might be a little bit in love you with you know that I know you listen to Snow Patrol. 🙂

    • Caitlin July 12, 2012, 4:27 pm

      our first dance song was a snow patrol song at our wedding!

  • Jess July 12, 2012, 12:15 pm

    When you run/exercise with your iphone, do you carry it or use an armband of any kind? I feel it is cumbersome to carry but haven’t found a holder I like.

    • Caitlin July 12, 2012, 4:27 pm

      I just carry it. Have you tried a spibelt?

  • Annette@FitnessPerks July 12, 2012, 12:25 pm

    That is such a cool APP! WHat a great idea to use that for 5K training 🙂

  • Courtney @BrusselSproutsandBeer July 12, 2012, 12:38 pm

    I started the C25K training plan in April and I LOVE it. I have never been a runner and now run 3 miles, no problem. I used the Running Into Shape podcasts which is great…she has really great music that pumps you up and seems to keep you pumped up even when you think you can’t go anymore. I also simultaneously use the app to see my distance and calories burned.

  • Jolene ( July 12, 2012, 12:44 pm

    That is so cool! The one thing I hated about doing the C25K plan before was that I couldn’t really listen to music (besides the special music that I downloaded that went with the program, and was awful).

  • katyrenee July 12, 2012, 12:51 pm

    Love that you have a Pitbull station. I love him and have no idea why!!

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery July 12, 2012, 1:01 pm

    You know I was actually thinking about this program the other day to possibly get me into running and I wished that there was an app that did exactly this so I wouldn’t have to set a timer or look at a clock. Thanks for mentioning this! Perhaps I’ll give it a go!

  • Sharon July 12, 2012, 1:04 pm

    Love The Postal Service! “Such Great Heights” seems to have the perfect beat/rhythm to run to.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats July 12, 2012, 2:05 pm

    that app is awesome! I love that you just listen and don’t have to mess with your phone or a timer while you run!

  • Lauren T July 12, 2012, 2:08 pm

    I have been using Map My Run for the GPS and pace per mile, but I just downloaded the C25K app since I’m doing that program! I’m glad you did a review, so I could see what it’s like before downloading it! Can’t wait to try it tomorrow!

  • Carina July 12, 2012, 2:11 pm

    Actually, I think C25k is far from the original walk-run program. The Galloway method is what C25k is based on, and that’s been around a long time. Jeff Galloway may be the big pioneer in the method, but I’d guess it was around even before he was alive.

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks July 12, 2012, 2:16 pm

    I prefer RunKeeper vs. C25K, though I’ve used them both. I also like Zombie Run! 😉

  • Claire Zulkey July 12, 2012, 2:20 pm

    Haha, I have a Genesis station. LMFAO is a good workout station, if quite brainless.

  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance July 12, 2012, 2:40 pm

    The tabata timer app is awesome!

  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction July 12, 2012, 3:29 pm

    This looks like a great app! It looks very useful. I feel like a lot of the apps out there are just a gimmick but this one seems pretty legit.

  • Carin July 12, 2012, 3:34 pm

    Please tell me that Phil Collins Radio is here as a joke? Surely that’s akin to a form of torture? Did you load it up before mummy brain kicked in?! 😛

  • Devonshire July 12, 2012, 3:49 pm

    I have been using Ease into 5K, which is basically the same thing and it’s free!

  • Mandy July 12, 2012, 3:52 pm

    I used the Ease Into 5K app for the iPhone, which sounds pretty much the same. I was already kind of running, so I skipped the first half. I used the last part of the program to get me ready to run my first 5k! I really credit the Couch to 5k program for getting me wholeheartedly into running. And if I can do it, anyone can. Seriously.

  • K @ Finding a skinnier me July 12, 2012, 4:16 pm

    I was doing this program for awhile, but having to time myself was getting distracting so I just starting running for as long as I could and stopping when I couldn’t. But now that I have heard about this app, I might have to look it up and give it a try instead!!!!! Well once it isn’t 105 here yuck

  • Kerry July 12, 2012, 4:20 pm

    Hi Caitlin! Thanks for posting this. I had an injury and have been out for a while… think I will try to get back into running soon once I’m cleared.

    I have a question, though: Does this app train you beyond a 5k if you want? To a 10k, for example?

    • Caitlin July 12, 2012, 4:28 pm

      I think there’s a C210K app but this program doesn’t do that.

      • Liz July 12, 2012, 4:51 pm

        There is a 5k to 10k app by the same folks. I bought it yesterday 🙂 I’m still about a week away from finishing the C25k program but I liked it so much and have had great success that I went ahead and got it now. I”m pretty excited about it.

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles July 12, 2012, 5:29 pm

    That app is almost convincing me that I should go out and buy a smartphone/iphone/anything that isn’t the awful phone I have now that doesn’t do anything fun. 🙂

  • Jen July 12, 2012, 5:33 pm

    Do you have an iPhone? How do you carry it when running?? I find it too blocky to just walk with and don’t like bands around my arm.

    • Cathy @ Showing Up July 12, 2012, 5:49 pm

      You need a Spibelt! It’s a great invention – not only does it hold your phone, but your keys, ID, and a few GUs fit in there as well. It doesn’t bounce around at all, and certainly doesn’t look like a fanny pack.

      • Jen July 13, 2012, 3:05 am

        Hi, Thanks Cathy! What does it look like? I hate anything bulky or wrapped around me when I’m out. No fanny pack devices please! I also hate the jostling thing…I see so many people out with water bottles strapped to their backs or waists and I don’t think they realize how much looser and efficient they’d run if they were just device/equipment free. I’ll have to google it.

  • Lsandoe July 13, 2012, 3:29 am

    The only fitness app I have is GymPact and I LOVE it. Ever since you introduced it on your blog. I just love that I earn money for working out. Awesome deal.

    Must download this C25K app and attempt to run a 5K.

  • Angie July 13, 2012, 11:28 am

    Thanks for tip! I haven’t been able to run while pregnant either and I’m dying for the end of September when the bay comes. I’ll definitely look ino this app.

  • Martha Lilian July 13, 2012, 11:35 am

    I used a different C25K app but as I’m getting back in to running again, I think I may just treat myself and spend the $1.99 to get this one. It looks really, really great and far more motivating that the other one (that I also paid for).

  • Sam @ Fit for My Fork July 14, 2012, 3:04 am

    I actually just posted my own review of the C25k on my blog! Funny coincidence as I’ve been thinking about doing another 5k recently too. I haven’t tried the app but it sounds great. I will definitely download it when I start training again!

  • Jenny S. July 18, 2012, 2:14 pm

    I have a C25K app that’s “okay”, but I really need one that also utilitzes GPS. Can’t wait to download this one!

  • Sandra September 9, 2015, 9:51 am

    This is exactly what I was looking for! Ive been doing this on the treadmill, but would like to get “out” and see how I would do. …Thank you!

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