Running Apps

Are You ‘App’y Now?

In the old days people used to pop their trainers on, limber up and head out for a run they’d mapped out.  Many people, like me, will have accidentally run a few extra miles or have included some accidental fartlek training whilst being lost in a dodgy estate with a group of youths watching on in amusement.  Now we have technology.  Clever apps and watches that can track your route through GPS, telling you how fast, far and high you’ve climbed at each mile and offer you coaching advice whilst you do it. We’ve compiled a list of some running apps on the market and what they can do for you: including building post-apocalyptic communities.


New Runner

For those of you who are new to running, there are some great apps that take you from zero to hero.  5K Runner and Couch to 10K, respectively provide 8 and 14 week plans, blending running with walking to help you build up to your first race.  They have integrated Facebook and Twitter communities so you can meet fellow beginners, share your experiences and motivate each other in the first few tough weeks.

In Your Stride is designed to help you prepare for a race.  It creates a training plan based on your current fitness, event distance and target time.  It also adapts as you progress through the plan depending on whether you are exceeding or not meeting your targets.


Experienced Runner

If you are looking for state of the art, there are some great options on the market many of which have features such as GPS, speed and elevation tracking, heart rate monitors, time pacing, friend racing, disco options…  

On Nike+ & Nike Coach it’s easy to see your pace variation throughout and it is compatible with various running watches, meaning you don’t need to take a phone out with you, just synchronise when you get home.  

Map My Run and Runtastic are very similar apps as they both owned by Under Armour.  Runtastic is Google Play’s editor’s choice and features a real voice coach whilst running, personal workout diary, custom made dashboard and training plans.


Community Focused

Strava, originally for cyclists, is now a favourite of runners too, winning the best app at the 2016 Running Awards.  It’s well known for its community feel, as you can join existing challenges and compare your stats with your friends.  It also has personalised coaching, live performance feedback and detailed analysis post run.

RunKeeper has 45 million users worldwide and all the features you would expect.  It’s intuitive, requiring you to input your goals, whether it be to build fitness/stamina, lose weight or increase your speed.  Renowned running coaches then provide advice on how to achieve these goals.  Links with big brands means potential to win kit too – who doesn’t want a free pair of trainers?  


Bored Runner

Zombies, Run!  Am I the only person who had never heard of this app.  Running missions whilst fleeing groaning zombies.  You are always the hero, the faster you run the quieter they become: slow down and you’ll hear them breathing down your neck.  As you run you collect virtual supplies which can then be used at home to build your own post apocalyptic community.  The audio drama feeds in between your own playlist.  That’s a whole new kind of fartlek training.  Imagine the variations you could have: whinging kids, your in-laws, that terrible one-night stand…

If you don’t believe us, check it out here.   You have been warned…

Spotify has introduced a running feature where it reacts to you, matching the speed of your pace to a beat tempo.  Rock My Run also matches your movement to the music it selects for you and has some great playlists to keep you motivated on those longer runs.

So which one are you going to chose to help your Run Reigate half-marathon/10K training?    If you see any of the team sprinting through Reigate High Street screaming that there are zombies chasing them, don’t panic … yet!


Glass of milk

Give Your Recovery a Natural Boost

There are times when we all need some kind of recovery drink.  Whether it be a strong cup of tea after a tough morning meeting or, a drink (or two) in the pub with your mates after a testing week at work.  However, as essential as these beverages may be, these are not the kind of recovery drinks I’m talking about.  Sports drinks after a long run play an important role in restoring fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat, replacing muscle fuel and providing protein to help repair damaged muscles. That said, they don’t agree with everyone and are not the only options to aid your recovery.  Here’s a few natural options that you may want to incorporate.

For shorter runs, iced green tea can work wonders.  It has catechins (I promise I’ve not made this word up), a type of flavonoid and antioxidant that, as well as fighting disease, can also reduce muscle damage and speed recovery.  The key is in the steeping – the longer, the better.  If you drink 5 cups a day it becomes like a liquid superpower, but I’m not sure many of our bladders could contain that.

If you’re planning to run for 60 minutes, coconut water might be just what you need.  It provides a similar level of re-hydration as a sports drink, except it’s up to 10 times higher in potassium, an electrolyte that plays an important role in regulating blood pressure and muscle contractions (also found in bananas).  The best kind of water is straight from the nut, with a straw and umbrella.  This may pose a problem for those of you who don’t yet have coconut trees in garden, so perhaps best to stock up the next time you are holidaying along the Equator.  If not, the shops have some pretty good varieties.

Tart cherry juice drunk either before, the day of, or a couple of days after a really tough run, has been shown in studies to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress and muscle damage.  Cherries have the highest antioxidant level of any fruit and are a good source of melatonin – happy days!  

Another favourite is vegetable juice, with some combinations containing 3-5 times the amount of sodium and 10 times the potassium of a sports drink.  If it includes tomato, but not vodka (I’m not sure if there have been any studies on the recovery benefits of a Bloody Mary), you’re on to a winner.  Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that protects muscles from oxidative stress.  Other helpful veggies include beetroot, spinach and carrots.  Beware of the side effects of beets though – many an unsuspecting person has almost called for an ambulance after a trip to the toilet.  Just like these people: 

911 Beets

Last but not least is … milk.  Our lovely friends at the British Red Cross told us this last year.  The best drink you can have after a half-marathon is a drink of the pearly white stuff.  Studies have shown that milk is better than both water and sports drinks at restoring fluid levels after running in extreme heat – a common problem in Reigate.  If drunk regularly it also increases the time it takes to reach exhaustion during subsequent exercise sessions.  Couple that with the vitamin D and calcium it provides and you can see why it comes highly recommended.  Yes, this includes chocolate milk too.  What better way to treat the kids after their Run Reigate Kids Race miles!

As I said at the beginning, there are many benefits to sports drinks and it’s definitely worth incorporating these into your running regime.  These alternative recovery drinks are purely suggested as a means of complementing them, plus now you’ll get to use that new juicer you got for Christmas too.



Fuelling your running

TORQ supplies fitness services to clients and a range of performance nutrition products. They have created this overview on how to adapt your diet to fuel your training.
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