We have talked about 10K running training apps before. However, such a long length of distance is often aimed at by professionals. It also takes considerable time and energy to train for. If you’re like me and do not have much time on your hand or are a beginner, aiming at 5K is a smart move. There are tons of 5K running apps available in the market. But which one is the best 5K training app for smartphones? Well, let’s check out.
5K Training Apps for Beginners
1. Simple C25K (Open Source)
If you wish to stay away from prying eyes, Simple C25K is a good choice. It’s an open-source 5K training and running app available on F-Droid (Android). The app is based on Josh Clark’s couch to 5K exercise program created in 1996. It has a daily workout section spanning over 9 weeks. Moreover, it indicates each successful interval with a vibration. So you don’t have to look at your phone all the time.
The UI of the app seems dated. In comparison with present fitness apps, you might find them outdated. But for someone who is looking for a bare-bone app without any ads, subscription, or multiple planning programs, it’s a great choice.
2. Just Run: Zero to 5K
Although it’s not open-source, Just Run is very similar to the previous 5K running app in terms of UI. You have to pick between Zero to 5K or 5K to 10K training program depending on your fitness level. The app also follows Josh Clark’s couch to 5K program. Moreover, brisk walking, warm-ups, and runs are color-coded for a better overview.
Other features that come in handy are the halfway progress vibration, trainer voice options ($2.5), and the delete data feature. Apart from that, it has a FAQs section to answer all your questions as a beginner such as, is 5K right for you, how to warm up, what if you can’t finish a day’s progress, etc.
3. 5K Runner
If you often find yourself struggling for motivation, an audio coach might help you out of the rut. The previous 5K training app only gave audio instructions after completing one interval. On the other hand, 5K Runner constantly showers words of motivation at regular intervals. You also have a Spotify and YT Music button at the top. So you can also listen to your favorite playlist while running.
As a 5K runner, you can gain achievement badges on every successful run. The app has a history section which details all your progress. So, should you install 5K Runner right away? Well, if you wish to pay. It offers an 8-week training plan, but the free version only gets you to the second week. You can unlock everything else with a $3 one-time payment which also removes banner ads at the bottom.
4. C25K – 5K Running Trainer
C25K is the official Couch to 5K training and running app used by most of the running community across the world. If you’re still not convinced, check out C25K app’s user testimonials. Coming to the app, it features an 8-week training schedule. You can also connect it to the MyFitnessPal app once you’re done with the work the workout.
The best part is that you can listen to the Zen power playlist to amp up your run. It’s a native feature so you do not need any other music player either. C25K Running Trainer comes at a cost of $4.99/month which unlocks calorie tracking, unlimited music, and pro running apps (10K,13.1K).
5. Zombies Run! 5K Training
Imagine a post-apocalyptical world where you are one of the few survivors of a zombie epidemic. Yes, Zombies Run is precisely themed like that and embarks you on an 8-week training program similar to the other 5K training apps we discussed above. However, it contains an audio guide that is based on the zombie storyline. I bet it will keep your adrenalin high all the time.
The popular and unique 5K running and training app also has an interactive map that tracks your runs along with a progress report after every run. Apart from that, it supports WearOS so you can pair it up with your smartwatch. So, if the storyline and gamification interests you, you can unlock all 25 workouts for $7.15/month.
6. Nike Run Club (GPS Tracking)
I’m sure not all of you want a guided 5K training coach. Most of you just need an app that records your daily running progress with your phone’s GPS. We’ve talked about the best running apps for Android and Nike Run Club was our top choice. The app has audio guides from pro athletes. There are three goals you can choose from such as distance, time, and speed. Simply feed in 5K and you’re good to go.
The only hassle I found was the manual sign-in. If it introduced a one-tap Google account sign-in, that’d be great. Besides that, you can load music from your local library and even enable milestone cheering to keep you pumped.
7. RunGo Voice Guided Training
All these 5K training apps are a waste of time and effort if you’re not running on a good trail, consistently. Say you’ve moved to a new city or just looking to experiment with road/gravel or offroad running. RunGo has hundreds of verified routes by runners across the world. Moreover, you can create a custom route as well.
There is a pretty nifty search feature where you can look for and download a trial beforehand. If you’re specifically looking for features like social feed, running challenges, social feed, etc. check out these apps to find running trails around you.
Closing Remarks: Which 5K Running App Should You Choose
I hope you found a 5K training app for yourself that suits your needs and keeps you going. You can pick any of the 5K running apps as long as you stick to the 8-week program as suggested. However, I suggest trying the Zombie Run which comes with a storyline twist. It’s a very unique concept and makes the runs more fun.