Getting Started with the Couch to 5K iPhone App

Part one of a multi-week series

Many people use the New Year to start or stop certain habits. I’m not different in my previous resolutions. I’ve said I will stop drinking sodas (failed), only eat pizza once a week at maximum (failed), stop drinking caffeine (failed) and countless other resolutions without actual solutions. I went into this year with no plan to resolve to do anything in 2010, but an iPhone app changed that.

I have a bunch of reasons to not start running. I’m fat, have fallen arches, I lived on a hill, I’m too busy, I don’t have the right shoes and, of course, I don’t know how to run. These are the barriers that I’ve placed ahead of myself, excluding the fallen arches, my body handed me that one. A recent extensive search for new sneakers put me in the odd position of having two shoes that were meant for jogging.

All of a sudden I have the right shoes, I no longer live on a hill and I’m not too busy, but I still didn’t know how to run. The only barrier left is not knowing how to run. This is where Couch to 5K comes in. It’s an iPhone app that trains you over the course of nine weeks to be able to run five kilometers. All that’s left is my weight, but that’s why I’m learning to run in the first place, right?

Couch to 5k iPhone app

I ran my first thirty minute program this morning, with little friction. I stretched a bit using the app’s chart, laced up my Puma Speed M sneakers, headed south on 4th Ave in Brooklyn and started the first programmed run (noted as 1.1) while listening to Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown. When changing between running/jogging and walking, you hear a sound effect and a voice over the music indicating it’s time to walk or run. I was concerned I was going to have to pay attention to how long I had been running, but the app announces when you are halfway in your run. A very nice touch that indicates the engineer (Felt Tip Inc.) did some real world testing before committing the app for Apple’s approval.

As part of my resolution to finish the program on the Couch to 5k iPhone app, I’ll be logging my progress at the end of each week, creating a ten part review of the app and how I’m doing.

7 thoughts on “Getting Started with the Couch to 5K iPhone App”

  1. that rocks, dude. i'm going to download and start this myself. my only concern: it's really cold out. perhaps i should start in the spring…

  2. Hi Rob,

    Glad to hear you're going for being healthy :-)

    … Not sure if it'll interest you, but there are a couple of other C25K apps for the iPod / iPhone. One is “Get Running”, and the other is “C25K”. I'm the author of “Get Running”, and I'd love it if you'd consider giving it a try!

    The major advantage of Get Running is the high quality of the audio coaching. I think it looks a lot nicer too, and the update that's about to hit review is going to bring some very cool new features. It also helps you to plan your rest days and see when you're going to be finished.

    You can pick a free demo, (Get Running Lite), and if you're using the US app store, I'd be very happy to give you a code to get the full app (Apple's promo codes are US only, sorry).

    A friend of mine blogged his experience of going from nothing here: http://mattgetsrunning.com/– he's currently running 10k pretty happily (though it's snowing a bit too much for that here ATM).

    All the best – and you're going to love it in nine weeks, which ever app you use!

    Best regards,
    Benjohn

  3. Good for you Rob. I'm planning to start the Couch to 5K program myself, but not until March. It's just too damn cold for me right now.

  4. Good for you Rob. I'm planning to start the Couch to 5K program myself, but not until March. It's just too damn cold for me right now.

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