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Hours Today

Okay, I admit, I am not naturally a runner. I have to force myself to get up, get out there, and start running. Still it always gives me that rush to know that (no matter how slow I may go) I did it. Running isn't for everyone, but as far as physical exercise goes, it is one that is pretty easy to get started. It doesn't require elaborate equipment other than a good pair of running shoes and some determination. As I said, I am not built to be a runner, and running isn't easy for me, but I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I complete my runs.

I participated in my first 5K (approximately 3.1 miles) in 2015, and I will admit I wasn't very fast. I completed it in just under 45 minutes. This past year, I have been trying to better prepare myself for running in 5Ks. I ran six 5Ks this year and even my worst time this year was better than last years. What they say about practice being necessary is true, but sometimes your practice may need a little help. In this case, I used several apps to help me along my fitness journey.

Finding what you like for running apps is a little bit of trial and error. There are some features of certain apps I like more than others. All this comes down to personal preference. The first three apps that I am going to talk about all do similar things, but sometimes accuracy varied, as did how the app celebrated your accomplishments.

  • Name of App: Map My Run
  • Audience: Adult and Teen
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • What the App Does and why we recommend it: This app is a GPS tracker and calorie counter. It will help you measure the distance of your run, jog, or walk, and gauge your calorie burn. 
  • What platform we used to recommend the app: iOS
  • Cost (at time of review): Free (Like any app you can upgrade and have more bells and whistles, but the free app did everything I needed without the upgrade.)

 

  • Name of App: Endomondo
  • Audience: Adult and Teen
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • What the App Does and why we recommend it: Like Map My Run this app is a GPS tracker and calorie counter. It will help you measure the distance of your run, jog, or walk, and gauge your calorie burn.  This one does have few more advertisements at the beginning of some runs, so that can be a drawback, but I still really liked the app and the display--especially the lap times.  
  • What platform we used to recommend the app: iOS
  • Cost (at time of review): Free (There are additional features if you subscribe, but I didn't pay any extra and the app was able to meet my needs.)

 

  • Name of App: Nike Run Club
  • Audience: Adult and Teen
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • What the App Does and why we recommend it: This app is a GPS tracker and calorie counter. It will help you measure the distance of your run, jog, or walk, and gauge your calorie burn. I really enjoy looking at the Records page on this app where it keeps track of your fastest times, longest distances, etc... (The one drawback is that occasionally these records goof and you find out that according to the records page you ran a 3 minute mile. Look out Olympics here I come! NOT!)
  • What platform we used to recommend the app: iOS
  • Cost (at time of review): Free

If you are just starting out running and interested in doing a 5K like our very own Rudolph Family Fun Run, you may want to consider trying a couch to 5K type app. This app gradually increases your running time so that go from mostly walking to running. Here is one that I used:

 

  • Name of App: 5K Runner
  • Audience: Adult and Teen
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • What the App Does and why we recommend it: This app will help you build up to your 5K with gradual increases in running intervals and decreasing your walking intervals. 
  • What platform we used to recommend the app: iOS
  • Cost (at time of review): Free

At times, I felt the run time increases in the 5K Runner app were a little too much for me to handle. At that point, I began to develop a new strategy . I downloaded an interval timer app to help me set my run walk periods, and to be honest--this worked well for me. When I started I would walk 1 minute and run 1 minute. As the summer progressed I gradually increase the time in the run interval and left the 1 minute walk the same. Each run I would use one of the GPS trackers to ensure that I had run 5K and just keep the interval pattern going until I've reached my distance.

 

  • Name of App: Runtastic Timer App for Workouts, Tabata & Fitness Training
  • Audience: Adult and Teen
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • What the App Does and why we recommend it: You can use this interval timer for more than just running. It is a great little timer. I used it to customize my intervals and it was very useful. The app will play your music while a voice will tell you when to rest and workout leaving your hands free for running.
  • What platform we used to recommend the app: iOS
  • Cost (at time of review): Free (You have one timer free, but if you want to set up different timers and alternate between them you will need to purchase the full version of the app.)

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