IPhone App Review: 5K Runner

Category: Health & Fitness
Price: $2.99
Release Date: Updated April 21, 2012
Version: 3.0
Seller: Heavy Duty Apps
Rated: 4+
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Link to app

TiP Rating: 4/5 Stars

App Store Description:

This is the Official & highly praised 5K Runner app. The app that keeps you running! You only need this app to guide & motivate you, and 35 minutes, 3 times a week, for 8 weeks.

5K Runner gets you in shape with an awesome Walk – Run – Walk routine. You start slow, and the running gradually increases to a full 5K. Just plug in your headphones and play your favorites music, and the app will tell you when to Walk and when to Run.


5K Runner provides novice runners with an easy and achievable walk-run-walk program. You start out slow and gradually increase to a full 5K.


With Spring officially upon us, running season is in full swing. Although veteran runners have already crossed several finish lines, many of us are lacing up our running shoes for the first time. And what better way to start than with the Couch to 5K program?

What’s most appealing about this app, at least to me, is that it tells me exactly what to do and when to do it. I have a hard time getting out there and just running. I don’t know the first thing about it, so I’m grateful that 5K Runner helps me break down training into easily manageable segments.

The app itself is very straightforward. The main screen features your exercise plan. It’s broken down by days, which can be navigated by scrolling across the lower portion of the screen. Up top you’ll see an overview of that day’s training broken into 5-, 15-, and 5- minute sessions.

To get started, tap the Run Now button. If you’ve enabled coaching, he or she will tell you to begin with a walk. The audio coaching is a nice touch. You can switch between a male or female voice, beeps, both, or nothing. Personally, I’m quite fond of the voice. Your audio coach will prompt you when it’s time to walk, time to run, and when you’ve reached the halfway point.

On the screen, you’ll be able to see your progress as the app tracks the time left in this current session, what activity is coming up next, how much time has passed, and how much time is left for the total workout. You can also pause or skip ahead if you’re so inclined.

Throughout the program you’ll notice badges randomly sprinkled in with your exercises. I haven’t gotten far enough to know what they all are, but it’s an appreciated form of encouragement — and those that love the gaming aspect of apps might have fun trying to unlock new ones.

At the end of each day, you’ll receive a Win summary that shows which badge you’ve earned, as well as your progress — total minutes of session, total run time, and max run time.

If you’re a fan of bringing your friends along, you can share your Wins with them via Facebook, Twitter, or email. You can also view past triumphs by tapping on the Wins tab at the bottom of the app.

If you’re trying out the free version — which only offers the first three workouts — switching over can kind of be annoying. It doesn’t automatically update the app; instead, you’ll have to download another one, which means your first three days will appear to be un-finished. It’s an easy fix though. Just scroll through the days and click on the Did It button for each day that you’ve already accomplished.

5K Runner runs in the background so you can listen to your music or use a GPS app in tandem. Your audio coach will chime in when it’s time to change up your activity, which can briefly lower the volume of your music, but the interruption doesn’t last long.

As someone who’s currently participating in Couch to 5K, I really love this app. The only thing I wish it did differently was provide more information about each run, such as an average pace, calories burned, or distance. I’ve had to have a separate app running in the background to measure all of that stuff, which doesn’t help my battery.

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