The problem I have with running is that my brain still belongs to a high school athlete but my body is ancient. Consequently I wind up pushing myself too hard. After three weeks it’s simply too painful to continue.
This changed when I started using the free Adidas Micoach app (pronounced My Coach). The core concept of this app is to give you interval training using four “zones,” Blue, Green, Yellow and Red. The zones are based on pace or heart rate, your choice depending on your equipment.
Micoach starts with an assessment workout that calculates the pace for each of your zones. You choose a workout plan and then work your way through a schedule of 30-some workouts.
I started with “Be Fit,” a beginner’s workout. Micoach would start me in the Blue Zone (15 minute mile) and then coach me when to pick up the pace to the Green Zone (13 minute mile). The user interface is clear, easy to read on the run and easy to use.
So far I’ve kept up with running three times a week for two months now. A personal best. One of the reasons Micoach works for me so far is because the workouts are so easy. No matter how rotten I feel in the morning I get a sense of “OK, I can do that” when I check in with Micoach.
The Adidas branded app keeps track of distance, pace, routes and calories burned. It also has a shoe log that I don’t use, seeing that I run barefoot-ish (Vibram Five Fingers). The interface for the Explore options looks very amateurish, as if it was tacked on as an afterthought which is too bad in such otherwise nice package.