Monday Made – Run Apps and other things I never used to think about….

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“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” ~Oprah Winfrey

I have previously been a real advocate for the C25K program. It helped me learn how to run. I really thought I could never do it. But now I can. I’m not great, but like most things, it is something that you gradually get better at (but not without effort).

I had settled into a nice little running track, but I couldn’t see my improvement so much using the C25K app. It gave me overall run averages for the specified “Run” times all combined. This was ok while I was just trying to learn how to run for more than 2 minutes at a time.

Now I want to improve my pace and I also want to get a bit of kudos for my hilly running track! For this I have found Strava to be really useful. It uses GPS to track your run. It also tracks the elevations and at the end of your run it will break your run into km sections (or you can pin point segments on your track that you want data on) telling you about the elevation, your speed and even an adjusted speed taking into account the hills. This is all free by downloading an app to your phone.

I believe you can purchase certain brands of heart rate monitors that will connect with your phone and interact with the Strava app. You can also purchase an upgrade that I believe helps you improve your min/km by telling you to speed up a bit when you fall behind your desired pace in certain sections (I might be needing this).

You can choose to have a public profile so that other people can see your run data, or you can run other people’s tracks and compete with their times. While this is a really great idea (I’m aspiring to do a certain segment of my run at something near the pace my friend does it in) other people can see your run routes….other people know exactly where you run, maybe even when you run (stalker alert!!).

I get a bit paranoid about the internet sharing a little too much of my info, but I don’t really want people knowing where I live exactly. To combat this, I don’t turn on Strava until I have jogged about 1km from my house.

To people who haven’t yet started jogging, this probably doesn’t sound very interesting/useful. I admit, my husband told me about Strava months ago, but I told him that I was happy with C25K at the moment.  Which I was. But now I have gotten past my inability to run for any length of time and now I am on to the part where I get excited about my improving min/km.

Crazy talk. If you had said to me 18 months ago that I would go for 5km runs 3 times a week (more if I could) then I would have laughed in your face……never say never, hey?

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4 responses »

  1. I downloaded C25K a while ago but have only just started using it as I now have temporary use of a friends treadmill. Sunday was my first attempt and I got through a whole 10 mins of it. I’d be disgusted at how much I struggled, but I kept reminding myself that I haven’t done any cardio since breaking my ankle at Xmas. What is really going to hold me back is that I have shit knees. Running or doing any high impact exercise 2 days in a row will leave me crippled for about a week. While I’ve got use of the treadmill, I want to see how many times per week I can run before injuring myself. I’m hoping the even surface will prevent any adverse side effects.

    I really think that the C25K approach is really helpful when taking up running. It breaks it down into short little goals of 60 secs so it isn’t an intimidating venture. It’s exactly what I need because I hate running, but I’m also totally over trying to look after my health by being fussy with my diet. (God I miss beer!)

    Not sure what I’ll do when the treadmill goes back… Thinking of getting myself a rowing machine.

    • Well done, Kel. I too struggled through that first week. But then I got better. I found it really useflul (for my poor shell shocked body) to spread my 3 runs out over the week. Might help with the knee pain.
      When I got new shoes I was crippled for a day or so afterwards. They made my ankles, knees and hips align differently which then used different muscles!
      I think treadmills are good for less impact because they are sprung (well, good ones are). My dad’s treadmil is like running on a trampoline. Very low impact! Mine is middle of the road. You can hire them (for pretty cheap prices) for no fixed terms. That might be a good idea once your friend’s goes back.
      Rowing machines are a great workout, but I also think trying out different elipticals is really worthwhile. I had sworn black and blue they were rubbish until I joined a womens gym and they were set to the right size! Makes all the difference for that kind of thing, it seems.

  2. Awesome effort on the running! Yah! I use the Nike+GPS app which I think does a similar thing. It also syncs with my iTunes running playlists which is very cool. Today I forgot my headphones so had to run with no music which proved difficult!

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