For the past few months I have been quite unwell, feeling very lethargic and sluggish. Turns out I had low iron and folate levels and after taking vitamins for a couple of months to balance those levels out I am finally feeling back to my old self again. I am feeling a happier me too! So I got back into my fitness with a bang in February: gym classes, eating habits, sleeping habits and of course my lunchtime runs. I use two apps when I am out on a run, Aaptiv and Strava, they work brilliantly together and I find Aaptiv great for motivation when you are out on your run.
Aaptiv – how it works?
The app is really clean and very easy to use and they are offering 30 days free so you can trial it and see what you think. When you open the app you can choose from different kinds of workouts. In my case I choose the outdoor running section and at lunchtime, I get about 20/25 minutes for a run. So I started off with a run that was around 20 minutes. The “focus on pace” run is just over 17 minutes and I thought a perfect one to start with, its a HIIT session too which means I am working my heart efficiently on my run.
Meghan has a really nice voice, which sounded really calming but at the same time encouraging. She made me laugh quite a bit too! She starts off explaining what she is going to do in the session, so this particular work out you are running for 3.30 minutes, then walking for a short break, then running for 3 minutes, then walking for a short break etc. The idea being that you run for a shorter time but cover the same distance – you are picking up your speed each time.
She explains the position that you should be running in, which I found incredibly helpful, her description about running with your feet hitting the floor quickly helped me a lot. I have always gone for bigger strides over shorter, quicker ones. Little tips like that are really helpful and make your workout more effective.
This app downloads the workout to your phone and then it plays it as an audio file, so my iPhone treats it as a song when I am running. I can lock my phone and have access to pause and rewind bits if I needed to. I ran with my phone and this workout on speakerphone. It was great motivation. The trainers are really good and the encouragement along the way is just what I needed. I am better at classes and being told by someone what to do, so this is really helpful.
Now, what this app doesn’t do is track your actual movements. So it cannot tell you if you are running at the right pace or not. You have to use your own judgement. What I did is open up Strava at the same time and plotted my run with Strava to see if I did the right distance or not.
Strava – how it works?
You start your run in Strava and it plots where you run, how fast and the distance you run. So as you can see the time of the run was accurate, it matched the Aaptiv workout time. The distance on Strava was 2.3km, the workout said it should be a distance of 1.5 miles and I should burn 250 calories. Now if my maths is correct, 1.5 miles in km is 2.41km. So I ran a little further than I should have, which means I possibly ran slower in places than I should have.
Next time I will make sure I do the same route with this workout and I will set my pace a little quicker to get the right distance.
I love Aaptiv, it is a great idea, especially for people like me who want that motivation and encouragement throughout the workout. You can download Aaptiv through the AppStore and Google Play. I would definitely recommend trying this with the 30 days free trial.
I bet, like me, you will not want to stop using it!