What does this App do?

This app accompanies the Couch to 5K aka C25K running plan from Cool Running, which—I believe—is hands down the best way to get someone who's never run before to become a 5K runner in 9 weeks. It uses an alternation of running and walking and slowly gets your body used to the idea of distance running. It worked for me, and for thousands of others.

This Android app times your workout and let's you know through audio clips when it's time to switch your pace (from walking to running, or from running to cool-down for example) while listening to your own music or podcasts.

It also contains a description of all the stages in your nine-week program, and keeps track of which days you've already completed. Short signals for intermediate milestones can be added through the preferences (two blips for halftime, one blip for "one minute left", three blips for "5 minutes left").

Why should I buy the "Pro" version? 

C25K was a nice weekend project that I originally wrote for myself, to keep me on track with my C25K. It was rudimentary and free, and will remain so. However, after thousands of people downloaded it, there were some complex features that more and more people requested. 

So, after some development I released a "Pro" version which includes some of the most requested features from its thousands of users, practically a re-write of the software. 

I encourage you to start by using the "Lite" version, which has all the basic functionality, including all 9 weeks of the program.

But as you're getting more into the training program, consider upgrading to "Pro", where you can put the app in the background, switch tasks while you're training, change the music you're listening to, add custom notifications, and choose your own sounds to notify you. It even updates your facebook status when you're done with a workout. It's only $1.99 on the Market.

Why would I want to use it?

For the same reason I wrote it: when I started on the program I used Robert Ullrey's great podcasts to time my running intervals, but after a while I realized that I much prefer listening to my own music, and also found that - for me - spoken word podcasts make the time pass much faster. So I wanted the possibility to time my workouts while listening to my own stuff in the background. This app does exacty that.

Why don't I see C25K Pro on the Android Market?

C25K Pro is only available in geographical locations and on phone models that support copy-protected apps. Not all paid apps are copy-protected, so you might see some paid apps, but not C25K Pro, and not most other paid apps. First off, please refer to the list of countries supporting paid apps.  Also, paid apps might not work if you rooted (hacked) your phone, or on some unsupported custom operating systems.

In addition, and quite annoyingly, there are some mainstream Android phones that don't support copy-protected apps, most notably the latest T-Mobile MyTouch 3G 1.2 (with 3.5mm phone jack). 
This is an issue that T-Mobile, HTC (the maker of that phone), and Google need to resolve. Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do about it. Not to fan the flames, but If I owned that phone,
 I would be quite annoyed with T-Mobile for distributing a phone under their brand that does not support the complete Android Market. T-Mobile should pressure HTC to resolve this issue with Google as soon as possible. 

If I understand correctly, the issue is that Google needs to approve any operating system as "safe" to allow copy-protected apps to be downloaded into it, in order to prevent illegal copying of those apps from the phone to the rest of the Internet. HTC didn't get that stamp of approval from Google for this model, so Google (rightfully) blocks those apps from the Market. Obviously, this problems causes many developers like me to lose customers. 

You can read more about this problem (perhaps to commiserate) here, here, and here. Maybe once this will be fixed, these threads will update to reflect th
at change. 

Why does the integrated music player not work?

Connecting to the music player is using an undocumented API that—in almost all cases—works. However, some phone models and operating systems use their own music player and make it difficult to connect to their information from external apps. In addition, Google and subsequent manufacturers blocked this connection starting in version 2.3, C25K Pro will usually notify you if this is the case, but until these manufacturers open up their music player API, there's not much I can do to hook up to their music playing service. Usually opening the player works more often than the play/next buttons or "currently playing" field. I am currently investigating alternative ways to provide the same functionality. I am sorry for any negative experience resulting from this problem. 

C25K Pro crashes with custom notification sounds.

In rare cases, on some models, C25K can crash ("Force Close") after custom ringtones have been set for some of the notifications. This is something I'm working to resolve, but in the meantime it seems that resetting to the default sounds helps. To do so, click the "Menu" button and choose "Settings". Then, in the settings screen, click the "Menu" button again, and choose "Reset Sounds". Please let me know if this fixed the problem for you, or if not. 

What features are currently supported?

C25K Lite: 
  • Plan list with descriptions
  • Start/stop the countdown timer
  • Different audio cues for running, walking, cool-down, and completion
  • Audio cues for one-minute-left, five-minute-left, and half-time
  • Keeps track of your completed days
  • Must run in the foreground—any interruption (phone call, message, music access) stops the clock
C25K Pro:
  • All the features of C25K Lite, and in addition:
  • Background mode—switch tasks, answer calls, text, while the clock keeps running
  • Music control straight from the app
  • Custom markers—for example, every 3 minutes
  • Custom sounds—for each of the notification types
  • Volume control
  • Free future upgrades

What's planned for future versions? 

  • Facebook/Google Buzz integration
  • GPS distance tracking