I had the most amazing race season this past year! I ran 6 races/runs (3-50K’s, 2 marathons, 1 Grand Canyon Double Crossing) in 6 months. By April of this year, I needed a little break and had to tend to some minor/nagging injuries. Coming back has felt a little sluggish and I knew I needed something to get back into the game!
Just as I was starting to increase my running volume, I was asked to be a beta-tester for a new app that was soon to be released called HEAT Running! It sounded easy enough to use and the only drawback was having to run with my iPhone which I don’t always do. However, this is not an app that you would have to use on every run, so I was game. Basically, you pick the distance you want to run and you are racing in a “heat” of other runners from around the world. How cool is that?! The distances range from 400 meters to 13.1 miles, so whether you are a sprinter or a distance runner, there is a distance that will work for you!
After downloading the app, the first thing you’ll do is set up your user profile and then you’re ready to run! Just press on the distance you want to race and you’ve got 5 seconds to “GO!” If you keep the audio on while you run, it will alert you when you “hit a mile marker” or when you’re .25 of a mile to the finish and it will tell you to “unlock your animal”! The first time I used this app, I didn’t know about this feature and it really startled me on the first mile marker. It startled my friend on the second mile and we had a good laugh! If you run with headphones, it will update you while you listen to music, too! Of course, you can go into your “settings” and under “notifications” you can remove this feature.
Another cool feature with the audio is that once you repeat a distance, it will tell you if you are ahead of, or behind, your previous time. I’ve experienced this on the 10 mile run, twice! Both times, it pushed me to run a little harder! So, this is a feature of the app that I’ve really been enjoying!
This app will record all of your times for a certain distance which is an excellent training tool for every runner! You can find your personal times under your “profile”. It shows a graph and it also lists the date, average pace, time and rank for that distance. So even if you aren’t going to be placing top 10 against all of these other runners, you still have your best times all in one place for each distance! To be able to look back and record the progress on your run can be very motivating!
For each distance, if you hit the “trophy” icon, it lists the top ten in that category with their time and the animal that they have “unlocked” over time. If you are a competitive runner, this will drive you to run harder and earn your name up there on the leaderboard! Remember, this app is global and you will be racing against others in your “heat” from around the world! That is so amazing!
When you first use the app, your icon is an egg. As you use the app more often, you will “unlock” your spirit animal. I went from an egg to a rabbit and now I am a cheetah! What a nice surprise after a tough run to see that you have “evolved”!
Overall, I found this app to be reliable when it came to both time and distance. It is incredibly motivating to get you running at a faster pace and so easy to use! Just click on your distance and go! The only drawback for some runners would be carrying your iPhone on a run if you aren’t used to doing that. I just place mine in a waist pack and I can still hear the audio and it is accessible. The audio feature will alert you and congratulate you once you complete the distance and it also stops timing you at that point. It’s so nice not to have to worry about pressing stop or it not getting an exact time if you’re still running!
I hope that at some point, it will not only list top 10, but also break it down into men’s and women’s top ten lists! In real races, you wouldn’t really have men and women competing in the same heat, so maybe this will be considered. Although, I have no problem competing with men! I can beat some and others I know I wouldn’t have a chance against and that’s just fine.
So, if you’re looking to “unlock your animal” and want a little extra motivation on your next run, I suggest you head over to the app store or the website heatrunningapp.com and download it for free! Let’s race!
Although I am on a team of HEATrunning Ambassadors, I was in no way monetarily compensated to write this post. As always, all opinions are my own and I thank you for reading.