Get a guide. No coach? No problem. With the new Skyfit app ($10 per month, Android and iOS), a trainer leads you through a 34- to 44-minute run. Or check out the Story Running sessions on the Runtastic app ($3 and up, Android and iOS), in which a narrator tells a gripping tale (like you're running to escape from Alcatraz) to encourage you to speed up when cued.
Zone in. Now you can keep tabs on your heart rate without a chest strap. The Jabra Sport Pulse wireless headphones ($200, jabra.com) track your ticker through your ear and display the digits on your cell or announce them. Some sport wristbands, such as the new Microsoft Band ($199, microsoftstore.com), use a light sensor to monitor your heart rate.
Pace yourself. Find that perfect playlist to push you, no DJ experience required. Tempo Run (free, iOS) organizes your tunes from slow (1) to fast (10), so you can quickly find a fit. RockMyRun (app is free, service is $3 to $5 per month, Android and iOS) tracks your cadence and automatically adjusts the mix you're hearing to match it.
Coach Lizzie Brenkus designed this accelerating run so you can follow along using the pacing gadget on your wrist.
|0:00 to 3:00||Warm up: Do a brisk walk or light jog at 3.5 to 5.5 mile per hour (17:09- to 10:55-per-mile pace), depending on your fitness level.|
|3:00 to 5:00||Ramp up: Increase your speed slightly every 30 to 45 seconds (4.0 to 6.5 mph/15:00- to 9:14-per-mile pace).|
|5:00 to 10:00||Gradually speed up: Continue increasing speed every 1 to 2 minutes (4.3 to 7.0 mph/13:57- to 8:34-per-mile pace).|
|10:00 to 25:00||Push yourself: Run at a steady pace that you can sustain (5.5 to 7.5 mph/10:55- to 8:00-per-mile pace).|
|25:00 to 28:00||Finish strong: Run fast; speed up if you can (5.6 to 8.0 mph/10:43- to 7:30-per-mile pace).|
|28:00 to 31:00||Cool down: Walk it out (2.0 to 3.0 mph/30:00- to 20:00-per-mile pace).|