After 2 months of training I can now run a 5K! A review of C25K, MapMyRun and a few audiobook recommendations.

As I mentioned back in June, I’m training to run a 5K (3.1 miles) using C25K and MapMyRun. It’s great that C25K supports Pink and I found the app very useful, but it’s not exact in how it calculates distance. I’m glad I was running both apps (C25K for the training plan and MapMyRun for GPS) because with MapMyRun I discovered that C25K includes the 5 minute (~.4 miles) warm-up and cool down in it’s 3.1 mile calculation. So don’t believe C25K when it tells you that you can now run a 5K…you actually only ran 2.3 miles (3.1 miles - .8 miles)…that’s almost a mile less. The fundamental problem is that C25K is strictly time based, not distance based, but real races are the opposite.

When you run an actual 5K race it will be for 3.1 miles, so don’t depend on C25K to prepare. Use MapMyRun to get an exact time and distance. I recommend doing the 5 minute (.4 mile) brisk warm-up and cool down regardless, but don’t count it as part of your 3.1 miles. Depending on how fast you walk the final distance will be about 3.6 to 3.9 miles.

Now that I can run a 5K I plan on continuing to train for the 10K. I could use the free ZenLabs Couch to 10K Trainer app or I could pay $6/month for the MapMyRun training program, or use on the many other apps in the AppStore. It would be great if C25K modified their app to not include the warm-up and cool down, then I would just keep doing what I’m doing now with running both apps at the same time.

For now I’m going to keep running the 5K to get my time down and run a few official races, like the SnoqualmieRun coming up on Aug 18th.

Running turns out to be a great time to listen to audiobooks, which you can get for free from your local library. Over the past couple of months I listened to these books while running and commuting…all very good books.

Enjoy you time on the road!