A running app that does (almost) all the work for me
September 24, 2013 7:07 AM   Subscribe

Can you help me find a running app that does all of these things?

I'm a new runner (a few months now), but am still struggling with the motivation to help complete my runs. Can you help me find an app with all of these features?

- Lets me customize warm-up walk times. I've used a Couch to 5k app that has a default 5 minute warmup walk, but I like 10 warmup walks. I don't want to have to walk 5 minutes and then hit start - I just want to begin a program as soon as I head out the door so I don't have to fiddle with anything.
- Tells me when to start running, when I'm halfway, when I have a minute left, and when I'm done running (I'm currently doing 30 minute runs every other day)
- Provides motivational coaching scattered throughout - even a cheesy "you're doing awesome!" or "great job, keep it up!"
- Lets me customize a final song on every run. I'm TERRIBLE at guessing how far into my run I am, but hate whipping out my phone (tucked away in a SPIbelt). If I have an audio cue, particularly if it's set to a final "power song" - I think this will help keep me going.
- The more common features like tracking distance, timing, etc

Basically, I want an app that does all the work for me after I hit start, and acts as a kind of personal trainer, but then I just do the running part. Does something like this exist?
posted by raztaj to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have an answer (and will be watching keenly), but it might be helpful to know what kind of phone you have.
posted by Etrigan at 8:15 AM on September 24, 2013

I don't know an app that does all those things, but I've used a few different ones for running. Nike Running is my favourite and I can tell you what it can do:

- It can be set to give you pace, time and distance updates at specified intervals (every kilometer, every 5 minutes, etc.)
- You can set "power songs", but you have to activate them (ie. you would have to hit the power song icon when you're almost finished the run). Alternatively, you can make a playlist of 30 minutes and make sure that the last song is your "power song".
- I'm pretty sure you can turn on cheers at random times... haven't used that option in a long time though.

For warmup walks, I would personally just use a timer on the phone then turn on my run after that. YMMV.
posted by Paper rabies at 8:20 AM on September 24, 2013

I've tried a lot of running apps and the closest I've seen to what you are describing is the Jeff Galloway Easy 5K app.
posted by JuliaKM at 8:31 AM on September 24, 2013

Zombies5k starts the first 2 weeks with 10 minute walks then on the 3rd week has 5 minutes walk followed by 5 minutes "free form run" so you can walk or run, whatever you feel like. Its the couch 2 5k mini-app prelude to Zombies, Run! (you don't need zombies run though to have zombies5k). So there's a story that goes along with it, in Zombies5k the Abel town doctor is getting you in shape to be "Runner 5" so each "mission" stars with a little chat with some of the characters from Zombies, Run! then you start your warm up, the doc tells you when you x minutes or whatever into each part and tells you you're doing well etc. After the warm up you'll have walk/run drills so in week 1 you run for 15 seconds then walk for 1 and so she talks you through those. I'm only on week 3 but the runs are 1 minute now and she tells you ever 15 seconds, on the 30 second ones she told you when there was 10 seconds left. After the drills there is another free-form run and she tells you at various intervals how much you've done or how much there is left.
You can sort of customise your last track - you know how long each workout is and you can set up a playlist to use for your run so you could create a playlist that lasts the same time as the run (obviously you wouldn't be able to shuffle so if you wanted it random except the last track you'd have to shuffle the playlist yourself before you started your run)

You do just turn it on and go though, it has GPS and accelerometer tracking (and the accelerometer mode you can choose hand, pocket or arm). If you link with the website it tracks distance, steps, pace, calories and time.
posted by missmagenta at 8:33 AM on September 24, 2013

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