The simplest Couch-to-5K app/podcast/anything
September 27, 2015 10:30 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to start running (again). First thing tomorrow morning. Can you recommend a simple C25K app or podcast or something that I would just load on my (Android) smartphone and press "Start" tomorrow morning? I don't want to use my own music, because everything I have is too slow. Thanks in advance.
posted by gakiko to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have the resources on hand but when I did C25k, I just had this audio thing, like a podcast. One MP3 file for each day. It had music and it had a dude saying "OK, start running for the next 2 minutes" and then he'd say to stop and walk etc. Worked for me.

It... might have been an app? Man, I'm sorry, I don't remember exactly, it's been a few years.
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:32 AM on September 27, 2015

I think it was probably this
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:33 AM on September 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Similar to the above, Podrunner's First Day to 5k (was available in Apple's podcast app last time I checked, so probably somewhere in the Android world, too). House/techno music, which you might give a shot even if that's not your thing—it's not mine either, but it has the energy and BPM to keep you on track with the run.
posted by whiterteeth at 10:45 AM on September 27, 2015

There is an official C25K app on the Android store, I used it for awhile when I first started out.
posted by greatalleycat at 10:54 AM on September 27, 2015

The British National Health Service has a free Couch to 5K podcast, too, that gets good reviews.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:56 AM on September 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

Seconding ArbitraryAndCapricious for the NHS couch to 5k podcast. I've used it. The program is good, the music has a good variation between faster run segments and the slower walking and cooldown segments.
posted by Wysawyg at 10:59 AM on September 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

I would just use the official one.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:08 AM on September 27, 2015

Erm, Google Play Market has two "official" C5K apps, which one is the one you'd recommend? Couch to 5K or C25K?
posted by gakiko at 11:15 AM on September 27, 2015

Make sure the official one comes with music. I did the "Ease into 5K" app, and while it had lots of cool features, you had to use your own playlist.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:18 AM on September 27, 2015

Came in here to second Robert Ullrey's simple MP3's that RustyBrooks linked to.
When I did C25k, that's exactly what I used.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 11:20 AM on September 27, 2015

I enjoyed Chubby Jones's podcasts. I'm not sure if they're a hassle to get on Android, I got them through iTunes. The music is fast electronic dance music that doesn't thrill me but gets the job done, and she's pretty entertaining. She's done a fair few episodes for each particular week of the program.

I found the main iPhone app sucked out loud -- it just didn't work well, failed to play the prompts reliably etc. I don't know if the android apps are better, but listening to a podcast is more straightforward.
posted by mister pointy at 11:57 AM on September 27, 2015

I used C25K.
posted by greatalleycat at 12:35 PM on September 27, 2015

I used a stopwatch to do C25K, not an app or podcast, but I have heard good things about the NHS app that others have mentioned, and it's free (even if you're not in the UK).
posted by brianogilvie at 1:02 PM on September 27, 2015

Ease into 5K is a good app.
posted by mmf at 1:20 PM on September 27, 2015

Review after the trial run (hah):
- NHS app is "incompatible with my device" and I can't install it even though I have the required version of Android;
- Podrunners podcast is ok, but the sound for the change from walking to running is the same as from running to walking and there are no other cues, which can get a bit confusing if you're not 100% focused (especially in week 1 with the very short intervals);
- the Chubby Jones podcasts seem ok but I think she talks too much (ymmv).

I'll try Robert Ullrey's podcasts and the C25K app next. Thanks everyone!
posted by gakiko at 12:23 AM on September 28, 2015

I've used Suz's Couch to 5K podcast, which is a lot of hip hop - things I don't normally listen to, but work well for running.
posted by plinth at 6:25 AM on September 28, 2015

I used the Get Running app and can't recommend it highly enough! The calm, strangely encouraging British woman's voice is a nice bonus. It's also a lot easier to navigate than the other apps I tried. Good luck!
posted by gypsyhymns at 7:15 AM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Final update: the C5K app (free) coupled with the JogTunes Podcast (also free) is working out very well.
posted by gakiko at 3:23 AM on October 5, 2015

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