UPDATE (6/20/14): You might want to also check out my review of the app I’m currently using – Zombies, Run! 5K.
If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I started walking as part of an fitness program. I’ve mentioned before that I’m using the Ease Into 5K app from Bluefin Software on my iPhone. Since I’m sidelined from walking this week while my heel gets better, I thought it was a good time to review the app.
Originally called Couch to 5K, the Ease Into 5K app is part of the RunHelper family of products. They also make Ease Into 10K, Bridge Into 10K, PowerWalk, RunHelper and apps geared towards half and full marathons plus the Susan G. Komen 3-day events. Each app costs about $2.99 and there are free trial versions available of some of the apps (including Ease Into 5K). You can use the app four times before you have to pay for it. Most of the apps are available for Android as well as iOS.
They also have a RunHelper Connect feature. For a small fee (as little as $4.99 for three months), all of your workout information is automatically backed up to RunHelper Connect. So, as soon as you finish, you can see your pace, distance, calories burned, etc. There’s even a map of your route. You can see this on your phone or, in more detail, on your web browser.
When you fire up the app and get past the initial start screen, you see the information for the next workout you are scheduled to do. Tapping the green Go button doesn’t start your workout. That happens on the next screen. But, you can set your playlist, check out the journal or the settings from this screen.
This is where you actually begin by hitting the Start button on the left. The image in the lower left corner is the album art for the song that’s cued up to play on your chosen playlist. The lock image in the lower right hand corner is just that: touch it to lock your screen while you’re walking. (Learn from me… you’re going to want to do that.)
As you work your way through, a voice tells you what to do (you can pick between male and female). The female voice has such an urgent tone when she tells you to “Run!” You also are notified when you are half way through and when you are about to begin the last run segment.
As I mentioned before, after you finish, you can see how you did by clicking the Journals tab at the bottom of the main screen. If you select an individual session, you can add information like your current weight, how you felt, the weather and the terrain. Then when you look at the main Journals page, you can compare some of this information at a glance. The Journals page also keeps track of your total miles and your fastest mile. You can also share this information to your favorite social networks, but please don’t be that person.
One of the settings is a workout reminder. You can set it up for three, four or five days or never. What I like about this feature is that if you ignore it the first time, the next day’s reminder is cute.
All in all, I highly recommend this app. After trying RunHelper Connect out for a bit, I went ahead and subscribed for a year. It’s on the main screen of my iPhone and it’s going to stay there until I replace it with Bridge Into 10K.