Developer: Benjohn Barnes, Updated 19 August 2010, ₤0.79
In the usually futile quest to become a physically fit human being, everyone has attempted jogging at some point. I’ve found that the main obstacle in achieving this is usually myself, or rather the lack of someone telling just what the hell I should be expecting from myself.
Is a 30-second sprint followed by a minute of wheezing and gasping as good as a 30-minute jog? Is warming up before a jog a necessity or an urban myth? What does it even mean to ‘warm up?’ These may sound like foolish questions, but the fact is 95% of people just don’t know where to start with getting fit.
Luckily, Get Running is here to show us the light. It is an extremely simple app, and best suited for jogging beginners. It’s essentially a 9-week program that takes you from running 8 1-minute bursts all the way to a half-hour non-stop jog.
Accompanying you on your runs is a female voice that tells you how long to warm up for, reminds you how long you have left, and even gives you ‘encouragement prompts.’ Sadly, the voice has as much personality as Microsoft Sally – or the female equivalent of Stephen Hawking – and its encouragements fall flat. It may not be patronizing or over-eager like your average gym PT, but some voice varieties would have been nice.
An essential feature that compensates for the voice is the option to play music while the program is running. The new IoS4 makes it particularly easy to flick between your music and Get Running should you get bored of your current playlist.
There are several basic options to play around with, such as the frequency of voice prompts and leaving the backlight on if you’re using a treadmill or armband. You can also access the Get Running website and forums, where you can exchange tips, advice, and tales of your jogging adventures with fellow runners.
In the likely case that you get sloppy and don’t adhere strictly to the 9-week program, you can re-run any run of any previous week that you ran. On the other hand, if you’re halfway fit and don’t suffer from Achilles tendinitis when you Get Running (nudge nudge), you can skip the first few weeks and start at the level you think you’re at. Check out Runnerclick for more information on this. If you’re already capable of running 30 minutes non-stop, then look elsewhere as this app really has nothing to offer you.
Although the look of the main interface isn’t central to the running experience, it’s hard not to feel that it was either done in a rush or in a mental asylum. It’s just a picture of a house in a field, but the house is geometrically confused and the paths seem to lead to nowhere. It’s incredibly senseless, but at least you won’t spend much time looking at it.
Get Running is strictly no-frills jogging; no GPS monitoring your progress, no calorie counter, and no emergency contact option should you collapse and have a heart attack (Fitnio offers that, for the record). However, beginners most likely won’t be looking for such features, and Get Running is a good way to see if you enjoy jogging enough to take it to the next level.