C25K iPhone App Review

See if this Couch-to-5K running app is right for you and your goals

Friends jogging at sunset
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Running apps are quite popular nowadays, and there are plenty to choose from. The difference between C25K (Couch to 5K) and many of the best iPhone running apps is that while those apps can track your run, they don’t tell you how much to run or how often. The C25K app is a great choice for new runners because it combines an easy-to-follow beginner’s plan with the iPhone's GPS capabilities.

What Is C25K?

The C25K app delivers a respectable beginner's plan with the goal of getting you off the couch and running a 5K -- 3.1 miles -- in nine weeks. The training plan includes three workouts per week. Starting on the first day of week one, you alternate 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes, plus a five-minute warm-up and five-minute cool down. As the weeks progress, you’ll start running more and walking less until you are jogging for a full 30 minutes.

When you launch the C25K app, you can select the appropriate workout along the bottom of the screen. Tap Start on the workout page and voice prompts guide you through your run. The app tells you everything, including when to walk and when to run. After you complete a workout, a small button at the bottom of the screen turns green, which makes it easy to keep track of which workouts you’ve already completed.

Playing Music While Running

The C25K app integrates with your Music app, Pandora and Spotify so you can listen to music while you run. You control the music right from the workout page, including skipping songs or pausing your playlist. You can even control the volume without interrupting your workout. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram integration is another plus. The app automatically shares your workout progress with friends if you enable that feature in the Settings menu.

Tracking Pace and Distance

By taking advantage of the iPhone’s built-in GPS, the C25K tracks your distance, pace, and calories. The app is accurate and quick to establish a connection. Some runners may find one or more of the weekly increases hard to handle. Runners are allowed to repeat difficult weeks if this occurs.

The Bottom Line

The C25K app for ideal for beginners. The training plan is a smart way to gradually build up your running mileage, and the app includes a bunch of nifty features, such as an integrated music playlist. It’s also easy to use and is affordable. However, after you complete the program, you may want a different running app. Also, leaving C25K running in the background depletes the battery life of your phone.

What You’ll Need

The C25K app works with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad running iOS 8.0 or later. Integration for indoor treadmills is included for the iPad.