Finding the right couch to 5k app can be tough. They are a dime a dozen. Some of the apps are well-maintained, and others are not. But, the goal remains the same: This may not sound like a lot, but for non-runners, 3.
Run 5k is our favorite couch to 5k app due to its simple design, ease of use, and integration with Health. Run 5k is extremely simple, but still very useful, which fits with what this app is trying to do.
If you are a runner, and have been for a long time, you might have forgotten that to non-runners, running is the worst thing ever. I started running a few years ago, but prior to that I joked that I only ran if someone was chasing me. This class of apps and services is foundational for a lot of new runners. The design should acknowledge that. A couch to 5k app, like dedicated running apps, are not apps that you spend a lot of time looking at.
You tap on the icon, find your plan, hit go, and start your workout. Couch to 5k apps are also not apps that you will use forever like a dedicated running app. Once you finish the plan, you are likely to delete it since they are often a short term tool to help you jump-start your running workouts. They start with an end goal in mind, and the design should reflect that. Run 5k opens with a screen that shows your last and next session. The last session shows the distance and date that you ran.
Tapping it will show you a more detailed listing about how long you walked, ran, and how many calories you burned. If you have a heart rate monitor paired, it will show that information as well. There is a toggle at the top of the screen to allow you to see past runs instead of just the most recent. The settings screen is full of useful options. You can customize the voice coaching, customize the distance units and speed measurement, change themes, and switch to the system font and size.
You can also disable your Apple Health integration it pulls in your gender, age, height, and weight and heart rate monitoring. I prefer the light theme, but it offers a dark as well. I have absolutely zero complaints about the design. This is perhaps the most important part of a couch to 5k app. The people using these apps are taking steps to start a running routine. Running, in my opinion, is largely about building habits.
With the actual running part being a chore, the app should strive to get out of the way. People developing these apps should spend a lot of time using the app outside in the mindset of someone going on a run. They need to pretend they are a user who is dreading this run and just wants to get it started. Run 5k is extremely easy to use. It has large tap targets and only shows the required information to get started. It takes 3 taps to start a run, assuming you are using GPS:. It also includes a Today view widget for quick access to your next run.
On the screen where you start the run, you have the option to switch from GPS tracking to using the M7 chip in an iPhone 5s or iPhone 6. This is useful when running on a treadmill or dreadmill as I call it. On the running screen, there are 2 options: Pause followed by End run or Skip ahead. Overall, this Couch to 5k app is fool-proof.
The in-run experience for Run 5k is exactly what I want. It includes appropriate voice-over prompts and lets me manage my own media playback. Years ago, apps needed to integrate media playback in apps, but with iOS multi-tasking options, I want to control my own playback.
I listen to a lot of podcasts while I run, so I want to be able to launch Overcast , start a show, and then switch back to a running app. Run 5k does it, and will lower the volume when it needs to notify me of the next step in the plan. Voice-over prompts for a Couch to 5k app are different than ones for dedicated running apps. They are concerned with simply following the program.
They want to know when to jog and when to walk. As the app prepares to transition you to the next section of a workout, it gives you a heads up and then counts down to the switch. Run 5k also now offers an Apple Watch app. Like all of the current crop of Apple Watch apps, it does require your iPhone to be paired in order for it to work properly. Run 5k on the Apple Watch allows you to start a workout with GPS or motion detection, and also shows your progression through the workout.
Run 5k provides a solid post-run experience. It offers plenty of stats and the ability to share your run to social networks so that your friends can encourage you.
Looking at the Couch to 5k app category, one of the things I noticed is a of them offer a backend service. In reality, it does more than Run 5k. We still prefer Run 5k due to its focused design, ease of use, heart rate monitor support, and Health. The background of the main screen is scenery instead of a solid color. It also uses a hamburger icon to bring you to the other sections of the app history, training plans, settings, etc. There is nothing functionally wrong with it, but I prefer the simple aspects of Run 5k.
The motivate me coaching feels a little quirky, but that might just be my personality. The post-run experience is similar to Run 5k, but it does lack Health. If you are looking for a more total body workout push-ups, sit-ups, etc , their app bundle might be of interest to you. The training plans incorporate aspects of all of the apps in the bundle. C25k Pro is the official Couch to 5k app. There is also a free version that includes ads.
In our opinion, the design of this app is a bit confusing. The navigation at the bottom uses a combination of Safari embeds that feel really out of place. It does have a nice array of themes, but the design was a non-starter. One nice thing about this app is that there is an app bundle for a 10k and 21k program if you want to keep going.
Being a big fan of podcasts and audiobooks, I almost prefer spoken word content over music while running. It does sync your runs to their ZombieLink service, so if you progress onto the full version of Zombies, Run! When starting a new running program, gear can help you get started on the right foot.
Different runners like different kind of gear, so think through what you might want and what would help your run. It includes an 8-hour battery life, in-line mic, and lifetime warranty against sweat. The main thing that drew me to the Powerbeats 2. This made me think it would help them stay into place as I ran. The music quality is great, but the most important thing is they are extremely comfortable. The Active Rhino Adjustable Running Belt is designed to store your phone, keys, wallet, and more while you are working out.
I also feel like they start to weigh me down on long runs. This armband fits the iPhone 6 perfectly and securely. The silicone case is lightweight and has two slots in the back for the elastic band so it can to be removed if needed, allowing the case to stand alone as, well, a case. You can get it on Amazon in black or magenta. There are a lot of great Couch to 5k app options out there. Run 5k is our favorite, but the most important thing is that you get off the couch and start running.
He said that getting your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes, four days a week is extremely important for long term health. Design Run 5k is extremely simple, but still very useful, which fits with what this app is trying to do. Ease of use This is perhaps the most important part of a couch to 5k app. It takes 3 taps to start a run, assuming you are using GPS: Launch the app Tap the next workout Tap start run It also includes a Today view widget for quick access to your next run. In-run experience The in-run experience for Run 5k is exactly what I want.
Post-run experience Run 5k provides a solid post-run experience. Privacy Looking at the Couch to 5k app category, one of the things I noticed is a of them offer a backend service. Design 5k Runner has a more playful design compared to Run 5k. Running Gear When starting a new running program, gear can help you get started on the right foot. PowerBeats 2 Wireless The main thing that drew me to the Powerbeats 2.
Conclusion There are a lot of great Couch to 5k app options out there. Run 5k is our favorite Couch to 5k app due to its simple design, ease of use, and integration with Health.More...