last week I tried using the RunKeeper app to log my training. I found it a bit clunky to use and it was a pain to have to start & stop both it and the C25K app at the same time so I looked around to see if there was anything better available. I came across a demo video of an app called iSmoothRun at
which looked good so I downloaded it for £2.99 and tried it on today's run. It is absolutely brilliant!
In about 10 minutes or so you can program it with all the various C25K interval combinations to build up your complete 9 week C25K program. It then completely replaces Laura so if you are in love with her dulcet tones read no further. Like Laura it will tell you when you need to get ready to run / slow down etc. Unlike Laura it will also tell you how far you ran in each interval, what your average pace was, even what your cadence (strides per minute) was. It will also tell you to speed up & slow down to help you hit your target paces for each interval. If you are repeating a run (eg W2R1, 2 & 3) it can tell you if you are going faster or slower than last time as you go around.
It doesn't congratulate you when you finish but it does show you where you ran on a map, colour coded according to your speed and gives a whole ream of fascinating stats such as average pace, net pace (ignoring warm up & cool down), average speed, calories burned, cadence, steps run, height climbed/descended etc. It also gives 1km split & interval stats so you can see if/where you started to flag in the later stages. There are graphs too if you like that sort of thing.
Naturally you can listen to any of your playlists as you go around and when you have finished it will even tell you which tune you ran fastest to. How cool is that?
Clearly there is a small investment in buying the app and then in the time to program it but I think that for people who are serious about progressing and improving their speed & distance it will repay in spades. I really like the way you can tell it what pace you want to run each interval at and have it tell you to speed up / slow down. There is also a built in metronome for people who want to learn to quicken their stride. If you are planning to run/walk a 5k ParkRun you can program it with the specific run/walk pattern you want to follow on the day. If you are progressing to 10k or more you can program the full range of long runs, gentle runs, speed intervals etc that now make up your training.
iSmoothRun is very well designed and fantastically easy & intuitive to use - one of the best apps of any sort I have ever seen. And no I am not associated with the company that designed it in any way....