There was a time, in a previous life, when I was able to run an hour daily without breaking a sweat. Then I injured my foot, couldn’t exercise for a year, got lazy and gained weight, until I was eventually unable to walk for more than 10 minutes without complaining of fatigue. I’ve been trying however, for the past 10 months, to find the glory of old. I started with swimming regularly, then added walking, hiking and eventually decided to ease back into running.
I had heard of the Couch to 5K program — commonly referred to as C25K — and figured it would be the perfect way to go back to my runner routine. I looked on the Play Store for C25K apps, found many that seemed way too complicated or expensive for the purpose, then I landed on C25K Trainer. It is the most simplistic app you can find but it is essentially all you really need if you want to start running.
With your Android phone in your pocket, you have access to one of the most advanced and flexible pedometers available –- all you need is the right software. There are various apps that have been released designed with runners and cyclists in mind that make it possible to monitor and record your exercise regime, and the updated My Tracks is the latest offering from Google.
This free app makes use of your phone’s GPS receiver to determine your location and monitor your movements as you walk, cycle or otherwise move around. Sessions can be recorded individually so you can monitor any exercise regime you stick to over time.
Zombies, Run! is a exquisitely fun and hugely original fitness app. It’s essentially a running game supported by an audio adventure, which itself comes across a little like a radio play. All you have to do is put your earphones in and go for a run. The story unravels as you progress and the audio elements play in between your own music playlist.
A couple of years back, a Flash game called Canabalt became an unlikely smash hit, proving wrong a lot of theories about what made a good game. The concept was very simple – you control a man running over rooftops, jumping over hurdles and across buildings. You didn’t control how fast he ran or whether he stopped or did anything at all. The controls were a single key that made him jump. All you could do was to make him jump at the right time. The distance he traveled was your score. Tons of games have tried to rework the magic of Canabalt since, including vertical variants like Abduction.
Sandstorm Rush is a new mobile game for Android that takes the Canabalt idea and adds some twists of its own in am attempt to keep things interesting. Like its inspiration, there is not much in terms of a back story to the game. In Sandstorm Rush you control a prince running in the desert to avoid a tornado. Reach the palace before the tornado catches up with you and you have completed a level. Rinse and repeat.
We are now three weeks into 2011 and there is one thing most of us have in common: the fading of our New Year’s resolutions. Many, including myself, pledged to either “be healthier” or “get in shape” this year. Luckily, RunKeeper knows we may need some help keeping our resolutions and is here to lend a hand.