Two weeks ago we told you about a reader who used the Zombies, Run! app ($1.99) to get into shape to run 5K races; last week, we relayed the praise for MyFitnessPal (free), which tracks food intake and exercise to help with weight loss (see newsobserver.com/fitness). This week, we look at the recommendations we got from runners and walkers.
• Laura Levine of Raleigh used Running Mate 5K101 similar to the Zombies, Run! app we wrote about a couple weeks ago to train herself to become a runner.
The 5K101 couch-to-5K program requires a commitment of three 30-minute sessions per week for eight weeks. The workouts alternate between running and walking, and Levine said by the end of the training program, youre running for the whole 30 minutes nonstop.
I thought this was going to be impossible, and some days were more difficult than others, she wrote. But by the end, not only had I met my goal, but I had turned running from a hatred into a habit! To this day, I still run several times a week, anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour. I have even been able to surpass the 5-mile mark!
Levine said program focuses on the time you spend running or walking, not your speed, so the user can progress at their own pace. Running Mate also has 10K101 and Fastest 5K apps for runners who are a little more advanced.
The apps are available for iPhone ($2.99) and Android ($4.99). (You can download a free 5K101 training schedule at the MyRunningMate.com website.)
• Speaking of advanced runners, Richard Merchant of Raleigh uses a popular app called RunKeeper, which has built-in trainers to help you prepare for upcoming races. Like most runner apps, RunKeeper tracks your time, distance, pace and calories burned. It also uses the GPS in your phone to record the route you run. Its available for both iPhone and Android.
But RunKeeper isnt just for runners it also works for those walking, cycling, hiking and biking.
• A similar app is called MapMyWalk, which is recommended by Karl Owen of Chapel Hill. Owen says the app seems overly generous in terms of calories burned, but he uses it to track his daily walks and enters that data into the Lose It! app, which tracks food intake and exercise to help you lose weight. Owen has lost 40 pounds since Oct. 1.
RunKeeper, MapMyWalk and Lose It! are all free, but also have pro versions that offer more features for a price.
• Merchant also uses a weight-loss app Noom Weight to track his eating habits. Noom Walk is a related app that works as a pedometer, which Merchant has tested on his treadmill and says is very accurate. Both apps are free but have pro versions that offer more content for monthly subscriptions. Noom Weight is for both iPhone and Android, but Noom Walk is currently Android only.