Tuesday, January 15, 2013

One of My All-Time Favorite Apps: Run 10k

Every year, one of my New Years Resolutions is to get in shape and obtain my ideal weight. One year it might mean focusing on eating healthier. The next year it might mean taking more spinning and Bikram yoga classes. Some years it might even mean working to work instead of driving. This year, my get-in-shape resolution is to get into running and run a few marathons.

I've never been much of a runner. My early experience with running seemed to always involve a cranky gym teacher and being outside in the cold. How could anyone associate this bad memory with anything remotely fun? Even though I've never been a huge fan of running, I've always secretly wish I were. People who run seem to have all the right muscles in all the right places and have a ton of energy. Who doesn't want that?

A couple of years ago, a girl I worked with introduced me to the Couch to 10k app. Now it's called Run 10k. The app acts as a coach on an iPhone or iPod for someone who's never run before (a couch potato) to someone ready to run a 10k (6.2 miles), in just 13 weeks. This 13-week, voice prompted journey consists of a combination of walking and running, three days a week, with workouts lasting about an hour at each time. Every workout starts off with a five minute warmup and ends with a five minute cool down. Each week during the program, you'll gradually walk less and run more, eventually leading you to run the entire duration of the workout. If you're someone like me who gets motivated by music, there's an option to run the workout while listening to a playlist of your choice, even while the voice prompts still guide you through the workout.

When first starting the app, it might seem a little too easy. It's tempting to overdo it in the beginning and skip ahead to the harder workouts. Don't! You can injure yourself. In week eight of my training last year, I skipped ahead a few of the workouts while running at a pace that my body wasn't ready for. I ended up seriously injuring myself for over three months. I was so bummed. I ended up running the race I had signed up for anyway, but I was in a lot of pain several months after the race.

This time around, I decided to take it easy and pace myself. I haven't missed any of the prescribed workouts and haven't a skipped ahead in the program. Sometimes week one and two seem so easy that they're not worthy of completing. Trust me, they are. It's all about building up your stamina. Even when I went on vacation in week five, I managed to stay on track. I packed my running shoes and ran while I was on vacation.

This week marks week eight for me in my training with Run 10k. I just registered for two upcoming races-a 12k in May and a half marathon in June. Thanks to the Run 10k app, I'm now a huge fan of running. The Run 10k is one of my all-time favorite apps. I recommend it to anyone I know who wants to train to run a 10k or just get into running safely.

Click HERE for more information about the Run 10k app and how you can download it to your iPhone.