I’m starting to let life get in the way of my blogging. One would think that would think that I am just accumulating more life experience about which to write, but it’s not shaping up that way. Oh well!
Anyway, I realized today that when I was writing about gear in this post, I completely forgot to mention a very crucial tool I use while running: my phone. My phone has really been instrumental in getting me back into running mainly because of the running apps I’ve been using.
10K for Pink
The first and most important app is the Couch to 10K app called “10K for Pink“. I’m not sure if anybody is familiar with the “Couch to 5K” concept but the idea is to start runners off from the very beginning and gradually increase intensity until people are eventually able to run for a more extended period of time. The end goal of this 14 week program is to get you running for an hour straight, which should then lead to the completion of a 10K. In the very beginning, the workouts are pretty easy. For example, the first work out is a 5 minute warm up run, then alternating 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes, then a 5 minute cool down. I love using this app because while you listen to your music, the app will run in the background and alert you whenever you need to walk or run. There are three workouts per week and I think the increase in intensity is pretty appropriate in that it feels challenging, but it’s not so challenging that you can’t do it. As I write this, it’s kind of cool to look back at the previous workouts and remember how difficult they used to be for me compared to what I’m doing now. Yesterday, I finished my last run for week 10 which was a 5 minute warm up run, alternating running 15 minutes and walking 1 minute (3 times), then a 5 minute cool down. I’ve come so far!
There is a 5K version of this app called C2KFree. I think the Couch to 10K app is basically the same as the Couch to 5K app from week 1 through week 8. By week 9, you’re progressing past the distance of a 5K. This app is probably the biggest reason why I am able to run right now. Starting slowly helped me get into shape at a gradual pace so I was less likely to get discouraged and give up. It also helped me conquer a hill I never thought I’d be able to run.
This app isn’t crucial, but I like to use it. All you really have to do is have it running in the background and it will track your speed and your distance. You can set it up so it will periodically let you know how far you’ve gone and at what speed. I don’t really like my phone to talk to me too much while I’m running, so I have mine set up to just tell me how fast I’m going at each mile. Since I’m running for time and not distance, it’s not really important for me to know how far I’ve gone. I can see how that is a helpful feature for people who are running for distance though.
Something I like about the app is that it will congratulate you on milestones. Things like farthest distance, fastest 1K/5K/mile, etc. They will also have celebrities praise you, which I think is pretty cool. I told my dad the other day that Jeremy Lin congratulated me on my run. He was all sorts of confused.
So, for now I’m just working on getting in 10K shape. Once I get there, I figure I’ll start working on some sort of half marathon training. I have a lot of time since the race is on September 1st, so I feel pretty good about taking the extra time to prepare for 10K. I haven’t decided if I want to do another app to train for a half marathon. A lot of the ones I’ve looked into cost money, which I’m not too into. What I’m considering doing is after I finish my 10K program, I’ll just start doing a long run each weekend with shorter runs, speed training, and cross training during the week. Each long run will increase by about 10 minutes or something like that.
Yesterday I stumbled upon this cool thing called Nike Running Race Coach which allows you to select a distance to train for (5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon). You can select a day to start training or the day of your event, if you have one, and it will create a training plan for you which you can sync to your calendar (Google, iCalendar, etc). It’s a nice way to keep yourself on track and the plan looks pretty good. I haven’t done any research on the Nike Training Club parts of it, but I’m sure you can find some cross training alternatives if you want. Here are the PDFs for Half Marathon and Full Marathon training:
I’ll try and let you guys know what I end up choosing to do when I finish my 10K training in a few weeks 🙂