There are many motivating apps, watches, and programs available to help you track your progress in running. If you’re just starting out and don’t want to invest in a fancy GPS watch, I suggest trying the Runkeeper app on your smartphone. It will map your run with your phone’s GPS and give you motivating feedback along the way. In addition, it will save all of your workouts and congratulate you on your milestones and accomplishments. You can even program it to remind you to do your next run. And best of all, it’s free!
What I like best about this app — which I haven’t found with any others — is that it’s great for interval sessions. If you’re just starting out with run/walk intervals, this app is perfect. For more experienced runners, you can also program timed or distance intervals for speed work.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to program intervals and share your workouts. Before starting, you will need to download the app and sign up for a Runkeeper account.
How to set up intervals for run/walk or speed sessions
Step 1: After you log in, on the Start screen, click Workout at the top of the screen where it says “No Workout”
Step 2: Click “One Offs” at the top of the screen and then click “Add New Workout” at the bottom of the screen.
Step 3: At the top of the screen, fill in a name for your interval session. I named mine “Run/Walk intervals. Then scroll down and select how many times you would like to repeat these intervals and if you want to add a warm up and cool down. Next, under Workout Details, select “Add new action…”
Step 4: Add an interval by selecting “Time” and then choosing the amount of minutes and seconds for your interval. Choose slow for walk and steady for jog/run. Or for a speed sessions, choose fast and slow. Click “Back” and then click “Save” at the top.
Step 5: Choose “Select this Workout” to follow this interval program.
Step 6: You’re now ready to go! You should see your selected interval program at the top of the screen under “Workout.” To start your work and begin recording, tap “Go Running.” You will be notified at the end of each interval, choose headphones or turn up your volume to hear the audio cues.
Step 7: Click “Stop” to finish your workout and record your session.
Step 8: The next screen will give you a summary of your run. Here you can add notes to keep track of how you felt or any tips you have for your next run. Fill in your details and then click “Save” at the top.
Viewing your results
After you’ve recorded your workout, you can go back and review your information. The app will tell you how many kilometers (or miles, depending on how you set it up in settings), the duration of your run, and your pace per km. Below that, you can few your notes as well as your “Splits.” Splits is your run broken down in different parts, either by kilometers or by intervals.
This is great feedback to let you know how you’re managing your energy. Often, you want to keep each run interval at more or less the same pace — depending on the type of interval workout you’re doing. If you notice that your last run intervals get slower and slower, this usually means that you’re running to hard in the beginning. Tip to improve your workouts: try slowing it down when you start to save more energy to finish strong.
Sharing your results
Step 1: After saving your results, you’ll see a screen below. You can choose “Options” at the top to share, but there is a bug and it won’t let you email. To be able to email, select “Back” at the top. You’ll then see a list of your workouts, with the most recent at the top. Select your workout to email.
Step 2: At the top of the screen, choose “Options.” then choose “Share.” You can then email your results.
Step 3: For others to be able to view your workout, you have to change your Sharing Settings in the Settings menu.
If you find the preset audio cues annoying, you can set them to your preferences in the Settings menu. You can also add a count down delay if you want to be given a few seconds warning before switching intervals.