Starting Today: Active.com’s 5K-to-10K App

Active 5k to 10k Android App

So I’ve decided to kick my running training up a notch. Instead of doing what I did last year–listening to my body and taking my time to get in shape–I’m going the geeky route to running a 10K in May.

I’m using an app on my phone to teach me to run. #geektastic

Now, I haven’t picked which specific 10K I want to run yet, but the important thing here, folks, is that I know what app I want to use!

Priorities? What’s that?

After researching a few different plans and apps, I’m going with Active.com’s 5K-to-10K app, despite the issues I had with their Couch-to-5K program (it wasn’t tailored to someone who was running with asthma).

Now, I could do this on my own. I know that. I could very easily be ready for a 10K in May by running 3x-4x each week and adding 10% distance every week. And it wouldn’t be that bad, or that hard.

But because I’m working toward a half-marathon at the end of the year, I want to actually start training like a runner. Like a real runner. Like the runner I want to be, not the runner I am.

The main reason I want to use the 5K-to-10K app is that in addition to being a steady ramp-up in distance and time, the app also introduces tempo runs, fast runs, recovery weeks, and steady runs–none of which were included in my simple add-10% plan.

Like I said, I want to train like a real runner. Not a geek who fancies himself a runner.

Also, I hope that training with an app like this instead of by myself keeps me accountable. I’m really good at making myself feel terrible if I have a plan and don’t stick to it. So with the 5K-to-10K app, I have at least three workouts a week just staring me in the face. If I don’t run them, I am electronically shamed into doing better. (Kind of like me writing this post.)

I hope starting a simple plan like this will help ease me into the more rigorous plan I’ll use for my half-marathon training. If everything goes as planned, this entire week’s runs will be done with the 5K-to-10K plan as a base.

Once I’m through with Week 1, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Have you ever trained for a race using an app or training plan? What advice can you offer?

B.J. Keeton

B.J. Keeton

B.J. is a geek, gamer, podcaster, and livestreamer. He has been the co-host of the Geek to Geek podcast since 2016, and he helped start the Geek to Geek Media Network. His biggest pet peeve is when someone spells Wookiee with only one E. One time, he told his friends he liked vegetables maybe more than he did Star Wars, and they made him put a dollar in the jar. That should tell you everything you need to know about him. Find him on Twitter as @professorbeej or on Discord as @professorbeej#1337.

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12 Comments

  1. Craig

    Not directly related to using an app to train for a race, but I highly recommend Runtastic as a GPS running app to track your time and distance. It’s always worked well for me, as opposed to some others like the Nike Running+ app (I love the big numbers on the screen, but the GPS isn’t so accurate, sometimes showing on the map that I took a physically impossible route).
    Good luck on the 10k!
    I’ve given myself a week to recuperate from my first race and now I need to convince myself to go back outside and run some more despite the cold weather.

    Reply
    • B.J. Keeton

      I used Runtastic a few times, but the interface wasn’t nearly as straightforward as Runkeeper. I never tested the GPS next to Runkeeper’s, so I can’t comment on how accurate it was. I stuck with Runkeeper because of how it syncs automatically with Fitocracy, mainly.

      Maybe I should give Runtastic another shot since I bought the Pro version when it was on sale on the Play Store.

      Reply
      • Krys

        I agree that Runkeeper is more straightforward than Runtastic. I think it also has more information post-run, without paying for an upgrade. Additionally, Runkeeper offers free training programs for many different race distances.

        Reply
      • Craig

        I have RunKeeper too, and I’m honestly not sure why I don’t use it more often except that unlike Runtastic and even Nike Running, it doesn’t have any widgets I can use to keep recent stats up on one of my home screens. Maybe I should give it another try.

        Reply
  2. Sohei

    I have used several now, Guy Hoffman’s C25k and B210K apps are simple and easy, but now I’m getting into the science more, the runnersworld app tailors a running plan to you, your past results, your goals and your target distance. I’m finding it really really good, espcially as I don’t have the history in running so have a lot to learn.

    Reply
    • B.J. Keeton

      I thought about trying B210K, but I had used the original C25K from them, and I hated the app part of it. The Active ones are much more straightforward from others I’ve used, especially Ease-into-5K (the namechange of the original C25K when they lose the license.)

      Reply
      • B.J. Keeton

        I haven’t tried the Runnersworld App, but maybe I should. That sounds fantastic!

        Reply
  3. Krys

    Thanks for linking to my running post. Best of luck to you on the 10k training!

    Reply
  4. WildaboutScotland.com

    Thanks for linking to my post.

    I’m also a novice when it comes to running. I’ve done one 10k and now stepping up to a half marathon in May.

    I think the real issue you’ve identified is how to keep yourself motivated – as you say, apps shame you electronically into keeping up the training. My wife used Couch to 10k and has now moved on to Map my Run, and she really likes MmR. However, I’m not really a techno geek so I use a simple A4 training schedule (BUPA Intermediate half marathon). I can’t be bothered with iPhones, headphones and all that paraphernalia – I stick to the old world KISS principle.

    Reply
    • B.J. Keeton

      I’m not sure if I’ll use an app when I start running for the half-marathon after this. I intend on using a plan, but I might have to invest in a GPS watch at that point, and the phone will just be there as an MP3 player.

      I write that and realize just how much of a techie I am. I can’t give up tech in almost any part of my life, though I’d love to downsize some in running. I’m just so used to GPS and music and automatic audio cues and all that.

      Reply
  5. Stefan Perla

    Hey, I find runkeeper better app, don’t know why, it simply matches me more, i think

    Reply
    • B.J. Keeton

      The more I use I, the more I agree with you. I do like Runkeeper’s simplicity.

      Reply

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