I’ve been a runner for many years but with virtually no formal training or coaching. I reviewed the Joggo app while attempting to resume running after recovering from a knee injury. I noted these details when taking Joggo’s online quiz before signing up for the app, specifying that I could comfortably run two miles and selecting “fitness” as my overall goal.
I had some technical issues during my initial assessment run and accidentally ended the workout before completing my run. Unfortunately, the app didn’t allow me to restart the assessment run, though I did complete a free run—a run that doesn’t follow a specific workout plan and tracks your time, speed, distance and location free run—hoping the app would use my performance during this run to create my running plan.
Joggo assigned me to the Level 6 Beginner running plan —a level for runners who can run a distance of 1.5 miles—which seemed consistent with my answers in the initial questionnaire. Joggo running levels range from Level 1 Walker, which assumes you can walk fast at 100 steps per minute pace for 10 minutes, through Level 14 Pro, which assumes you can easily run more than 6 miles and are looking to improve your speed and distance.
My personalized plan projected I’d be running 13.2 miles in four months. It also estimated I would lose percentages in my body measurements, even though weight loss wasn’t my overall goal.
In one of my first workouts, Joggo instructed me to run slowly for 20 minutes as a warmup before beginning a fartlek run/walk as my workout. This felt daunting, as 20 minutes of running in my current state of fitness is often my entire workout, not my warmup. However, I appreciated that Joggo pushed me beyond what I would’ve done without the app, and my running fitness and strength has certainly improved during my training.
I paid the additional fee for a strength training plan, so on non-running days, Joggo assigned between 5- to 15-minute bodyweight workouts consisting of exercises like jump squats, double leg donkey kicks, planks, lunges and push-ups. The app provides videos for each exercise and audio cues when it’s time to move on to the next exercise.
Joggo did well creating varied exercise plans, whether I was running outside or on my treadmill, and it helped me explore outside of my usual routine of only running for 30 minutes.
Joggo offers virtual trophies for completing workouts, which motivated me to stick with my plan. However, the app doesn’t offer much motivation during the workouts. During some segments, the only form of encouragement was a computerized voice stating pre-programmed phrases, such as, “You’re halfway through. Keep going.”
I also found the Joggo software to be glitchy at times. The app shut down in the middle of my workout, causing me to restart, and in instances when I skipped ahead to another section of my workout accidentally, I wasn’t able to go back to the previous exercise.
In regards to my nutrition plan, although I noted that I wasn’t interested in weight loss in the app’s online quiz, Joggo recommended a nutrition plan that was about 500 calories lower than a person my age, height, weight and activity level should be consuming for weight maintenance, according to research.
I appreciated the resources Joggo provided, such as running advice, food and nutrition tips, and health and safety articles, which were interesting, easy to understand and science-based. From articles explaining how to breathe correctly while running to proper arm position and why recovery is crucial, the information was enlightening to a runner like me without any formal training.
Overall, Joggo helped me improve my running fitness, made my workouts more interesting and well-rounded, and improved my strength.
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