Cardio fitness is one of those things that is important but also very monotonous. When we think of cardio fitness we immediately think of jogging and long distance running. Two things that I’ve never personally liked to do. They’re boring as hell. I have a murmur and my cardio fitness has never been that great. Even when playing basketball or tennis consistently, I have struggled with it.
It’s kind of funny, I resistance train constantly, and I’m now 6’3″ 240 and resistance train constantly, yet I’ve never been able to run for a longer time and distance in my life at 35.
How I’ve done it is actually pretty simple to my surprise. An app… and a free app at that.
C25K – Couch to 5k
This app is amazing. It’s designed for people who really have no current physical fitness to speak of and prepares them physically for a 5k run. The app features a tiered approach to getting into shape, by doing timed run/walk cycles 3 times a week. Each week the running gets progressively longer, until at the end, you’ll be able to jog for a half hour with no problem.
Now one minor flaw is that the system doesn’t account for distance, so for example, when you run for 5 minutes vs 3 minutes, it doesn’t force you to jog at the same speed. It allows you to “cheat” and run at a slower pace. This is only a minor issue and one you can correct yourself, by committing to the same pace of running as the times get longer.
When you complete the entire series, you can use it as maintenance or work on your distance. Try to go further in the same amount of time, this will increase your speed. I’m working on the first tier of c2k to sprint/run fast as a sort of interval training. This will really get your cardio up.
Some other features are a built-in music player (which is an add-on cost) and links to other fitness apps.
I HIGHLY recommend this app for people who struggle with cardio fitness and need something that is challenging but time efficient and effective. I give if 5 out of 5 stars.