With the age of the smartphone information is at the tip of your fingers at all times. In some situations this has negative consequences (think of all those people in restaurants texting and checking Facebook!). On the other hand my iPhone has proven to be a super handy companion when it comes to my fitness. I am not a super active fit girl, although I hope to be in the future lol. I do, however, use several apps to kick my butt now and again!
The one activity I always seem to go back to is running. I almost always use training schedules to help me build out my running time and my stamina. When I first started out I used one of the infamous couch to 5k apps, but now that I have a little more running foundation I use 10K Runner by Fitness 22. This app features a 14 week app to get your from couch-potato to running queen. I have run one 10K in the past and it was an absolute nightmare because I hardly prepared for it. Now that I am diligently following 10K’s schedule my progress is much better. Due to a recent back issue I have not been able to run but hopefully I can pick up next week. Since I have been out for a while I am building up slowly by just starting in week 2. This app is also compatible with the Apple Watch so that is a big plus. Of course you can always start with the 5K version if you are just starting out. Fitness 22 also has two apps 5K Pacer and 10K Pacer to practice race pace. Perfect if you want to get faster rather than build up your time. If you are way past the 10K and want even more of a challenge there are also apps for 21k (10 weeks) and 42k (18 weeks).
The app is very nice to use. Each run session starts with a walking warm up, especially helpful because I tend to skip those (often!). Then a pleasant voice guides you through that day’s program. It’ll give you warnings when you have to stop and start running and also when you have reached the half-way point. What I like most about this app is that you can just use whatever music you are listening to and you’ll still be able to hear the instructions!
Nike+ Running (free)
You could use this app for training purposes too but I like to use Nike+ Running for tracking. Each time I go out for a run, I turn it on and it measures my distance and my pace. I use it as log of my runs basically. I therefore almost always use the ‘basic run’ setting. The good thing is that Mary-Sue uses this app too so I can always spy on her and see how much she has run! Hopefully when we are both running again we can have some friendly competition!
I have used the Running Coach feature of the app but I was not really happy with it. Instead of use time as a measurement it tells you to run for a certain distance. Usually weird distance like 1.81 km or 2.64 km. It does give you reminders that you need to run because the app plans runs of specific days. When you don’t run it yells at you (or rather pings viciously). It is not really my cup of tea but if you are into that sort of things give it a go. It is however very handy for seeing how far I have run. Right now I am at 293 km. I had run that in one straight line I could have ran from my house to Luxemburg. That is pretty darn far!
As far as app go this one is pretty basic. I got this app for free so that was pretty nice. It not so much this particular app as the function of the app in general that I really like. I am a list making person. I have list of lists. Each list I write gives me space to process things. At some times, however, I am so busy with things I want to do and see and learn that I forget to live in the here and now. Writing down the things I am grateful for has helped tremendously with this. It is really nice to read back and remember things that made me feel loved and happy. The app works simple, you just make a list (yeah!) of a couple of things that made you happy and that you are grateful for. You can rate the day if you want and you can also add pictures if you like to have visual reminders as well. There are a ton of similar apps out there so if you are not willing to pay (which I totally understand) you can try some free one’s. Being happy in your mind can really prove helpful with your fitness too!
Zombies, Run (free, but purchases in-app)
By far the best app I have ever used (all other apps included) is Zombies, Run. See, running can be quite boring. Especially when you don’t have a lot of place to run to. By accident I cam across this running app and let me tell you: you need this in your life. I started with Zombies, Run little brother called Zombie 5k. Zombie 5K guides you in a couple of weeks to a 5k runner. As you run the story of the township of Abel, located in a world overrun with Zombies is told to you. In Zombies 5K you are Runner 5 and you are sent out to pick up items to improve Abel. You start out in the yard practicing but while you progress in the real world, you progress in Abel as well. Before you know it you really have to go out into the world of the Zombs!
If you don’t need a training app but still want to have something awesome to do while running I recommend Zombies, Run. The app is now up to four seasons, with 200 missions for you to run! The first mission of Zombies, Run is the same as Zombies 5K but after they are two totally different apps. Zombies, Run uses your built in pedometer (when you have one that is) to measure distance and the app also measures time. If you have run a certain distance or time, the story continues. With the items you pick up during your runs you build things in Abel to make sure that the Zombies don’t crawl in when you aren’t looking. I not going to say too much more: if you are into running, download this. The first season is free, and you can purchase the subsequent seasons in-app.