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  • From the Couch to 5K
Technology Articles > Cell Phones > iPhone > From the Couch to 5K

The Couch to 5K app was designed by Josh Clark, in order to ease people into a healthier lifestyle. This app is, as the name suggests, intended for runners with little to no experience. It is for people who sit on their couches, dreaming of a more active lifestyle. Many inactive people want healthier bodies, but feel too overwhelmed at the thought of where to begin an exercise program. Some of them may have started and stopped many exercise programs, either because the activity was unenjoyable or too difficult for their current physical condition.

Having a plan is a very important aspect of any goal, including losing weight and/or becoming more active. It is difficult, however, for someone with zero knowledge about fitness to develop a sensible fitness plan. A personal trainer is a great resource for motivation and good planning, but many people just can't afford a gym membership, much less a trainer. The Couch to 5K app is perfect for people ready to take action to improve their health. The app lays out a week-by-week plan, and guides its users throughout each run, much like a trainer would.

The Plan

The Couch to 5K application guides users through a 9 week running program, transforming couch potatoes into endurance runners. Each workout session is 30 to 40 minutes long, with a 5 minute warm up and cool down at the beginning and end of each training session. This plan only requires 3 workouts a week, taking breaks to recover between days. The user has the freedom to choose which 3 days out of the week he or she will run.

During the first week, the Couch to 5K app guides its users through a 60 second run, followed by 90 seconds of walking. This pattern is repeated for 20 minutes, which brings the total workout to 30 minutes, including the 5 minute warm up and cool down. The second week involves 2 minutes of walking, followed by 90 seconds of running, repeated for 20 minutes. The running time is gradually increased throughout the 9 weeks, until the user is able to run for 30 minutes straight, which accumulates to approximately 5 kilometers.

The Features

Of course, you don't need an application to start a running program. Like a good pair of running shoes, the Couch to 5K app isn't necessary for success, but it sure can help. The app has many cool features that simultaneously guide the user through each run, while making it as easy and enjoyable as possible. Starting the program is as easy as opening the app, plugging in headphones, and starting the warm up.

Runners can enjoy their favorite motivational music during training. When it's time to switch from walking to running, or from running to walking, a voice command will briefly interrupt the music to give instruction. The volume of the music and voice commands are adjustable. At any time during the run, users can check the screen, which displays the total time of the workout, as well as the time left in the running or walking interval. The screen also displays current and average pace, as well as total distance traveled.