App Review: Couch to 5K | webOS Nation
 
 

App Review: Couch to 5K 12

by Derek Kessler Thu, 23 Feb 2012 6:37 pm EST

App Review: Couch to 5K

One of the biggest challenges facing us for Mobile Nations Fitness Month is just getting our behinds up off the couch and exercising. Be it doing pushups during commercial breaks of going out for a run, getting off that couch is the first step. But what's step #2? That's what Infinite Appz's so aptly-named Couch to 5K aims to answer.

Couch to 5K provides a three-days-a-week for nine weeks program designed to get your from nothing to being able to run a full five kilometers (3.1 miles) nonstop. Sound impossible to do in just nine weeks? It's not as hard as you might think, and the simplicity of Couch to 5K will make it easier.

The app provides a evolving routine each day, starting with twenty minutes of alternating between jogging and walking on week one, day one to twenty minutes of jogging on day three of week five, finishing with a 30 minute jog set at the end of the nine week course. You're presented with a basic and linear interface that updates with the new day's course (assuming you finish the previous one) with a big countdown time in the center with a Start/Pause/Resume button below.

Hit Start and you're prompted by a disembodied male voice with a neutral American accent to begin your warm-up with a five minute countdown. Once the initial warm-up countdown concludes, Couch to 5K automatically moves to the next stage of the day's workout: "Jog Now." For the first few weeks you'll alternate between jogging and walking, with the voice offering audible prompts as you go. As you progress through the program the jog periods grow longer and the walks shorter and less frequent, until you reach the point where you're just running non-stop. Which is the goal, no?

Couch to 5K

There are a few qualms we have to register with Couch to 5K. Obviously you're not going to hear the voice prompts if your running with the phone in your pocket without headphones plugged in, and if you're wearing headphones, chances are you'll also be listening to music. The problem is appropriate running music is fast paced and typically loud and filled with voices of its own and the Couch to 5K audio coach doesn't do much to cut through the music (there's no independent volume control, as you turn down the music the app gets quieter too).

Also, as the name Couch to 5K would imply, this is an app meant to guide people with no real idea of how best to get up to that 5K level of fitness. As such, we're a little surprised by the lack of explanation for the various stages of the workout. Walk and jog are pretty self explanatory, but what should that five minute warm-up consist of? Couch to 5K offers no suggestion there.

Couch to 5K is available now in the HP App Catalog for $1.99. If you're feeling particularly audacious, you can buy its 13-week double-distance counterpart Couch to 10K for the same price.

12 Comments

This app would be perfect on the Veer.....

if you need 9 weeks to run 3.1 miles you got issues.

i can see a marathon or Ironman app. But really? 3 miles? Is America that out of shape? Wait scratch that cause of course they are but i suggest if you can't do 3 at first start with two, then add a half mile after two a few days. Boom 3 miles. 8 weeks ahead of schedule.

I say don't judge. It took me 13+ weeks to complete this. Perhaps we are that out of shape, but maybe people who put down those that are trying are part of the problem, too.

some people just struggle to hear the truth. Lots of Americans clearly do.

Are you offering some sort of truth?

The truth is no one, even an American, trying to address his fitness deserves your derision. I get that you are a snot, but I could give myself 5 minutes to answer your trolling.

Snot, the inability to run 3 miles is not a mark of being out of shape. Many people simply don't run. I am overweight but can run 4 miles because that was important to me. Before I decided to run, I would regularly hike 10 miles or more, but that really didn't help as much as I thought it would when it came time to condition myself to running. The C25K program is as much about getting yourself aerobically set as it is about conditioning your legs.

You're right, the program is conservative, but it can be completed faster or slower for each individual person, it is an excellent program that has helped many people, each of whom saw the problem you mock and decided to do something about.

The truth is if you need what was it 9 weeks to work up tow 3 miles you either have a medical condition or your slacking or you have serious medical issues. That could be poor diet or bad knees. But both are serious issues. That's not derision that's a fact. And if you're able bodied and just a slacker well that's an issue too. And the fact that most Americans won't face it is simply them looking for an excuse. Whaaa! Yeah it is conservative. I don't have an issue with the apps existence. It's great that it get's people active. That's fine if someone is severely overweight or has some serious medical issue. Again then that person has exactly what i've identified, a serious issue. People just don't like having their problem pointed out. And if someone identifying a problem keeps you from addressing it you're doomed before you even start. Whitney Houston was a drug addict. She ruined her voice. She had issues. The people that said, "Why Whitney you have a problem. You've let yourself go" Were not wrong. They were right. Blaming those that identified the problem is denial. Another thing if truly not out of shape and simply doesn't run, again, it shouldn't take 9 weeks to make three miles. People can't handle the truth. You can feel free to do you're name calling. it doesn't bother me. I'm done.

"some people just struggle to hear the truth."

Nobody asked you.

Ha! Yes, we as a society are generally that out of shape. I'd wager that the vast majority of Americans couldn't run a mile without stopping, much less two or three.

I don't doubt it. Judgmental or not it's a damn shame.

What's the name of the patch Derek has for the Battery Icon?
I cannot find one with the Percentage in Colours! :(

Advanced System Prefs - Framework

Is this available in the Aussie catalogue ? I looked for it but the search function is complete !@#% eg: When I type "couch", it comes up with a lot of apps that don't have anything to do with the word. I'm sorry to say I bought it on my iphone although it is perfect for my little veer. I love webOS but .....