Geekery of all stripes

Couch to 5K

· David Bishop

Today was my second ‘run’ (really, walk/jog) in the Couch to 5K program (C25K to its friends). The basic concept is that you can go from being a couch potato to running 5k (about 3 miles) in 9 weeks. Seeing as it would take me about 9 weeks to run 5k in my current condition, I was intrigued by the premise.

The basic concept is that most people try running, get very sore, see no immediate improvement, and give up. There’s a chance I saw myself in that description. Combined with the fact that I was always very bored while running, and I have never done much of it.

However! C25K is here to solve all my woes. Well, actually, my iPhone plus practically unlimited free podcasts solved problem #2. I have many more things to listen to than I do time to do the listening. I have actually been looking forward to my runs this week, so that I can work on my backlog of ‘This American Life’ and SModcasts.

So, what is this marvelous program? This wonder-of-wonders, miracle-of-miracles, that can get even my fat butt off the couch and onto the mean streets? It’s the program to end all exercise programs! This will change the very course of human history! Or, it could just be another interval running program.

But, and this is important, it’s a popular interval running program. Which means that it has an entire ecosystem built up around it, including lots of iPhone apps and podcasts that help you know when to start and stop your walking and jogging. And as an inveterate iPhone app consumer, I had to use one of them. Merely counting, or using a stopwatch is too bourgeoisie for me.

After reading reviews and looking at screenshots, I decided on Get Running, an app out of the U.K. that has a nifty interface and a British lady that talks to you, encouraging you as you exercise. It is also very polite about pausing your music or podcast in order to give you directions, so if (like me) you’re already listening to people talking you don’t miss anything. All in all, it’s a pretty cool app. My only gripe is that it doesn’t save gps tracks for you. If it did that, it would be the perfect running companion. But seeing as I would never do anything with the gps tracks, other than think they’re cool, I can live without.

So, as I am about to go to sleep, my legs are not too sore, and I’m feeling good. Hopefully I can keep with this regime better and more faithfully than I’ve ever updated this blog…