First of all, I cannot tell you how much I adore this program, along with the application I chose to use on my iPhone.
Couch to 5K is an interval training program designed to get pretty much anyone - no matter the amount of current activity - to be capable of running 5K. I first heard of the program through reading one of my favorite blogs, That Wife, and she had raved about the program the way I am now!
I downloaded this app for my phone, but there are many available for both iPhones and the Droid application.
The program starts with running intervals of only 60 seconds, and slowly builds up to where at the end of week 5, you are running for 20 minutes with no walking breaks.
When Tutor Girl and I first started C25K, I literally could barely run 60 seconds without needing a break. It was shocking the improvement that occurred over just a few weeks! I am by no means a triathlete now, but I am very pleased at the improvement in my stamina and ability to run for 20+ minutes, and 3+ miles (okay, I've only done that once - but still, I did it!).
Not only is the basic premise of C25K awesome, but the app I downloaded and used is amazing! I cannot recommend it enough, truly.
The app breaks down each day for you, and you simply select which week and day you would like to run. The program is based off of 9 weeks, running 3 days a week.
After selecting your week and day, this is your screen:
Showing you what to expect for your run that day. You select "GO," and are instantly started into the 5-minute warm-up walk that accompanies each and every run throughout the program.
This is the screen that shows for the entirety of your run. One of the best things about this app is that you can run a playlist while you run all within the app. So now switching back and forth between apps! While the soundtrack to my running was usually Tutor Girl's fun stories, this was great for
times the one time when I ran alone.
The app "speaks" to you through headphones or through your phone's speakers, and simply says "Run," "Walk," and at the end - "Cool Down." It is great to focus only on your
detailed conversation with Tutor Girl breathing and pace, rather than having to clock your intervals and constantly check the time.
After your run, you have an opportunity to review your major stats all on one screen:
Lets get real, a lady doesn't reveal her weight to the entire internet.
This screen shows you your total distance for the run, your walk pace, and run pace, along with the amount of calories burned (which always seemed far too low for my tastes, but what can you do?).
Another fun feature of this app is that you can view your progress in graph format.
There are separate graphs for Distance, Run Pace, Walk Pace, Weight, and Calories Burned. It is fun and helpful to see your stats laid out so clearly on one screen.
Again, I cannot recommend the C25K program and this particular app enough! They were so wonderful, and before starting C25K I literally did not exercise, and while I still would like to improve and do so much more often, I am so glad I have found something to get me off the couch!
I want to get super real for a moment here. Tutor Girl and I started the program, and chose to run our 5K only 7 weeks after beginning the program. Once we finished the 5K (and actually a week or two before), life seemed to get in the way and we really struggled to find the 3 days a week to work out with one another. So I never managed to actually complete this program. We went back a few weeks and intended to finish the program after the 5K, but with Tutor Girl's encouragement, we are now going to try and conquer a bit more demanding intervals. Another great reason to have a work-out buddy - they push you to work harder and strive for more - Tutor Girl is great at that!
*I was not compensated or rewarded in any way for my review of this app or the C25K program - all opinions are mine and mine alone.
What's your workout routine?