Couch to 5K is a running regimen designed for people who struggle to run around the block. It consists of a nine-week routine in which the runner alternates running and walking, gradually building up to running a complete 5K. C25K by Alex Stankovic makes it a little easier for out-of-shape technophiles to complete the program.
C25K is extremely minimal; the app is little more than a list of running days and a preprogrammed timer for each day. Couch to 5K itself is about encouraging new runners to meet challenges, and the app reinforces this by emphasizing what a runner has accomplished—checkmarks appear next to completed runs, and the timer prominently displays how much of the run has been completed. Smartly, the application gives auditory instructions, which work well even with music playing. C25K also integrates with Facebook Connect, so completed runs appear as stories in your timeline; for more private runners, this can be turned off in preferences.
C25K is not the equal of comprehensive running trackers like RunKeeper, nor is it meant to be. Moreover, if you’re already comfortable using either the iPhone’s clock or a stopwatch to complete Couch to 5k, then this application may not be worth its $3 price tag to you. However, C25K is a worthwhile application for new runners who would rather focus on the run, instead of their watches.
C25K is compatible with any iPhone or iPod touch running the iPhone 2.2 software update.
[Kate Dohe is a freelance writer and mobile UI designer based in San Diego. She holds a Masters degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Hawaii.]