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PreCentral: App Review: Couch to 5K

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App Review: Couch to 5K

One of the biggest challenges facing us for Mobile Nations Fitness Month is just getting our behinds up off the couch and exercising. Be it doing pushups during commercial breaks of going out for a run, getting off that couch is the first step. But what's step #2? That's what Infinite Appz's so aptly-named Couch to 5K aims to answer.

Couch to 5K provides a three-days-a-week for nine weeks program designed to get your from nothing to being able to run a full five kilometers (3.1 miles) nonstop. Sound impossible to do in just nine weeks? It's not as hard as you might think, and the simplicity of Couch to 5K will make it easier.

The app provides a evolving routine each day, starting with twenty minutes of alternating between jogging and walking on week one, day one to twenty minutes of jogging on day three of week five, finishing with a 30 minute jog set at the end of the nine week course. You're presented with a basic and linear interface that updates with the new day's course (assuming you finish the previous one) with a big countdown time in the center with a Start/Pause/Resume button below.

Hit Start and you're prompted by a disembodied male voice with a neutral American accent to begin your warm-up with a five minute countdown. Once the initial warm-up countdown concludes, Couch to 5K automatically moves to the next stage of the day's workout: "Jog Now." For the first few weeks you'll alternate between jogging and walking, with the voice offering audible prompts as you go. As you progress through the program the jog periods grow longer and the walks shorter and less frequent, until you reach the point where you're just running non-stop. Which is the goal, no?

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