Guest post by Jackie Moore
Getting ready for The Color Run? Don’t sweat it. If you’re new to running, you’re in good company. The Color Run is the first running event for about 60% of the people who participate. Check out these five apps to help you train for a great 5K experience.
1. C25K FREE by Zen Labs
If you do a quick search in the Google Play or iTunes store for C25K apps, you’ll be flooded with options to choose from. Make sure you opt for the C25K FREE app by Zen Labs. This is the original Couch to 5K program app that boasts millions of success stories. It’s also the only C25K app that’s partnered with MyFitnessPal for seamless integration between the two apps.
Essentially, the app provides you with an eight-week program that requires just 30 minutes, three days a week to complete. It coaches you through walk and jog sequences, gradually increasing your jog time so that by the end of the eight weeks, you’re prepared to run the entire 3.1 miles.
Studies have shown that listening to music while exercising can improve performance while making your workout feel easier, so why not listen to music that’s specifically crafted for runners? The RockMyRun app available on iTunes and Google Play features DJ-created playlists designed for running. You can choose from a variety of genres, tempos and times so the music you listen to matches your goals.
RunKeeper isn’t designed specifically for 5Ks, but the LifeHacker 2012 Best Running App has lots of features worth considering. For instance, you can use one of its built-in training plans, or build your own plan, complete with audio coaching. You can also track your pace, distance, and calories burned with the real-time audio cues, and find planned routes near you for your outdoor workouts. You can even track your other workouts, such as cycling and gym routines, all from this one app. Download the latest version from iTunes or Google Play.
4. Strong Runner
Strength training can have amazing benefits for 5K runners. It might sound counter-intuitive, but by supplementing your running workout with leg and core-strengthening moves, you can improve your overall running time and help you avoid injury.
Strong Runner, available on Google Play and iTunes, features workouts that include everything from strength and flexibility training to 5K and 10K running routines. Just keep in mind that while the app itself is free, including 10 full workouts, there are additional in-app options that cost money.
5. Daily Running Quotes – Milepost
Beyond the training plans and playlists, there’s this little thing called “motivation.” It’s probably the hardest factor to maintain as you work toward your goal, which is why the Daily Running Quotes – Milepost app is so great. It delivers a motivational quote to your phone every day, and enables you to set reminders for your training runs each week. While the app is available via iTunes and Google Play, only the iTunes version has great reviews. You can try the app on your Android device, but if it doesn’t work, you might want to try the Motivational Quotes app instead.
When it comes to training for The Color Run, to keep things fun! Focus on small improvements over time and celebrate what you’ve accomplished at the Happiest 5K on the Planet!
Jackie Moore is a running enthusiast who writes about health and fitness, entertainment, and technology.