Talk to anyone who’s ever run a marathon, a 5K, or any of the other Ks and they will tell you the best motivation is the crowd on the sidelines. The applause, and shouts of “come on, you can do it” are sometimes all the push they need to hoof it another mile.
Now, thanks to apps like Nike+ Running that sync with Facebook, runners can experience the same race-day rush during their daily trek through the neighborhood or park.
Angela VanBuskirk is an avid runner who participates in several races per year. She competes because they make her feel strong, alive, and also, she admits to being a medal hoarder – the bigger the better. The best thing by far, she says, are the cheering crowds.
“It’s a thing where your body is working so, so hard,” VanBuskirk explained. “You push harder than you ever knew you could and then seeing that finish line, hearing people who have never met screaming ‘YOU GOT THIS! GO! FINISH STRONG!’ It’s better than anything.”
“Out of nowhere you will hear the roar of a crowd, then another, it’s friggin awesome.”
She was introduced to the Nike+ Running app by her buddies in the Ozark Mountain Ridge Running Club. It offers the option to sync with your Facebook account and each time you run, the following message is delivered to your followers: Angela is out on a run with Nike -Send me cheers along the way by liking or commenting on this post.
Angela says it was a surreal but wonderful experience to hear the applause and cheering noises through her ear buds as each like and comment came in.
Even though she plans to continue to use the app, she does wish it were a little more user friendly, saying, “It’s got a lot of bells and whistles so it takes some fiddling with until you get used to it.”
More Interactive Apps to Beat the Workout Blahs
Zombies, Run! 3 – “Get Fit. Escape Zombies. Be a Hero.” App lets you run different missions, allows you to use your own music and train for a 5K.
Virtual Runner – Perfect for treadmill running. Using the screen of your iPhone or iPad, you can be transported to the route of the Boston Marathon and other iconic race courses.
Teemo – Travel adventure fitness app. Pick missions like Climb Everest or Desert Dash, then complete Amazing-Race-ish challenges in the time you choose.