I got this app on my iPhone when it was on special offer over a holiday weekend while I was considering taking up running again because it promises to ease you gently up to running 5k with a run/walk/run system.
The app (iPhone only) allows you to use your own playlist or download a number of tracks for free and Jeff speaks over the music now and again to give you advice and encouragement as well as when to start walking or running.
It has a neat feature where it slows down and speeds up the music depending on which phase of the session you are in. It works well with the downloaded music and if you’re using your own playlists it can analyse the tracks and get their BPM and says it intelligently mixes them together.
You can set your own pace and ratio so for me who was just starting it was easy to set it to 1 minute run / 1 minute walk and as I got into the program for a couple of weeks I was able to go up to 2 minutes running vs 1 minute walking.
You can set it for running indoors and it’ll used timed sessions or you can set it to use the GPS and it’ll use distance.
In the beginning weeks it will use timed for the first couple of sessions in a week and use distance for your ‘long run’.
The display is pretty easy to read and you always know how far you’ve gone and how much time/distance you have left but to be honest, I have found I don’t need to look at it because Jeff always pops in my ear to tell me how much time I have left or when to start walking or running.
- Free music downloads that can have their BPM easily changed
- Can use your own playlists
- Very easy for newbies who want to be eased in to running
- Voiceover is good and makes the session easy to follow and maintain
- Can be set for distance or timed sessions
- Can share your progress on facebook
- Uploads your run data after each session so you can see your history
- Can only adjust playlists while you’re in a session
- Cannot stop music unless you’re in a session
- Can only analyse 50 tracks for BPM
Apparently, the run / walk / run method actually improves your time because you’re not slowing down at the end of the session due to fatigue and it prevents you from over exerting yourself and getting injured.
You can do the 8 weeks of training normally and once you’re up to 5k you can switch to the ‘improve 5k’ program where things get a little longer and a little harder.
Overall, I like this app a lot because it took me from nothing to running and did it in a way which meant I was able to stick to the program where all the other times I’ve tried to get into running I’ve failed because it was always too hard and I got exhausted after 5 minutes.
The main thing with this app is that you never feel completely wiped out and exhausted after a run. The regular walking sections recharge you and according to Jeff, “you should get back feeling like you could run another mile” and I’ve found that to be true.
It’s a shame about the minor bugs with the playlist and music controls only being available during an active session but I have been assured on their facebook page that this is fixed in the half marathon version and the fixes will roll down to this app soon. When it does it will get another star from me.
I’m using my own playlists of some running tracks and when the app knows the BPMs it can mix the tracks quite well and the way it speeds up and slows down the music is really good and helps a lot with keeping you in pace with what you should be doing.
I would recommend this app for anyone who wants to start running or return to running again. Maybe if you’ve failed before or not been able to stick with a program you’ve tried.
There are a number of ‘couch to 5k’ apps on the iphone but this one stands out as the only one that makes it actually easy to follow the program even for newbies. I am not aware of another app that follows the run / walk /run method so I choose this one over the others.
The method of run/walk/run that Jeff helps you with as well as taking you from couch to 5k over a period of 8 weeks and I can attest that it really does work! I am really pleased that I can go running now and I actually look forward to my 3 times a week sessions.
I never get too tired and I feel really excellent for the rest of the day knowing I’m doing my body good.
You can get the app from the AppStore here >> Easy 5k with Jeff Galloway