Version Reviewed: 1.01
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch
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So, recently I noticed that I had started to develop that distinctive computer guy shape, and as a member of the female persuasion, that übersexy slouch and roll looks even better on me. By better, I mean worse and by worse I mean shockingly awful. So what better opportunity to test a Couch-to-5K app then to get me out from behind my keyboard and into the sunshine with aerobic activity? I am happy to report that Active.com’s Couch-to-5k has gotten me on to the treadmill and running (technically not outdoors yet...baby steps).
In Active.com’s Couch-to-5k, the runner can choose a coach to guide thme through the program: Constance, a couch-to-5k alumna that is upbeat sounding but the most minimally involved persona; Billie, a personal trainer that really sounds like a personal trainer; or Sergeant Block, a cartoony and heavy-handed persona. For 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week, for 9 to 10 weeks the runner can track progress on the iPhone or iPod, listen to music and sync the app with playlists stored in the device, make notes, and even have the option to share progress on Facebook or on the Active.com Trainer site. The Couch-to-5k app even includes GPS to track running routes, distance and pace for the iPhone (3Gs and newer). Active.com’s Couch-to-5K even makes signing up for local 5Ks easy with links directly to the sites and discounts for going through the app to sign up.
The app itself is easy to use. The interface is straightforward and the graphics and organization makes it visually interesting yet keeps it simple, especially for having so many features. Having the option to choose between character voices is great and being able to repeat the runs makes easing off of the couch and onto the pavement that much nicer.
It would be better to have a shuffle function for the playlist and a 30 second notice or warning, maybe a ping or a vibrate before the coach gives the next direction. Us treadmill runners can’t really change speed that abruptly without risking that awkward high knee hop and arm flail as the fear of tripping and then being flung across the room at high speeds washes over you.
Activ.com’s Couch-to-5K is one of my favorite couch-to-5k apps, with it’s customizable features, interactivity, and well rounded interface I may actually stay off the couch this time. Well, except when I have to write reviews and watch new episodes of House.