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Best App for Beginning Runners: Couch-to-5K

For years, I've been saying that I am going to run a 5k. Years. At least 3. But as many of you know, I am a serial yo-yo exerciser. And when you are a yo-yo exerciser, you are usually, by default, a yo-yo runner. There have been times in my life when I've been able to easily run 5 miles. And there have been times when a half-mile is a struggle.

I started 2015 off with a goal to knock off the yo-yo exercising and get a consistent workout routine in place. I'm not going to lie. This will not be easy for me. I'm an all or nothing kind of person. I don't do moderation well, and the key to successfully putting an exercise routine in place is moderation.

There are days when I'd rather sit in front of the computer. There are days when I should be sitting in front of the computer. But I kick myself into high gear and get moving.

I'd love to hire a running coach, but that's hardly in the budget. So, I've turned to the next best thing...an app! Don't you love that there's an app for that? :)

A while ago, I downloaded the Couch-to-5K app from Active.com. I am currently into week 4, and I love the slow and steady progress that I am making. I don't feel overwhelmed, and I don't feel rushed. It is so manageable that there are days when I do the daily activity twice in a row. I'm sure once the amount of running begins to increase, this won't always be the case. But for now, it works for me. I love the flexibility also. If any given week's workout is particularly tough, you can repeat it rather than advance to the next week. Slow and steady wins the race.

The app consists of 3 workouts per week for 9 weeks. At the end of the 9th week, I will be able to run 30 minutes without stopping. I do most of my running on a treadmill, but the app is GPS-enabled if you're an outdoor runner. You can also log your progress, track calories burned, distance logged, and sync with your playlists.
If you are a beginner runner and need motivation, this app is perfect for you. It is currently on sale for $.99 at the iPhone App Store.

Keep track of your fitness goals with the Fitbit fitness tracker.

Increase performance with a great pair of running shoes.


This post was originally published in February 2012 and has been updated.

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