Welcome to the thirty-seventh installment of Queer Your Tech with Fun, Autostraddle’s nerdy new tech column. Not everything we cover will be queer per se, but it will be about customizing this awesome technology you’ve got. Having it our way, expressing our appy selves just like we do with our identities. Here we can talk about anything from app recommendations to choosing a wireless printer to web sites you have to favorite to any other fun shit we can do with technology.
Header by Rory Midhani
This was a rough week for me in terms of feelings. Luckily, I recently restarted an old habit that has been known to make bad feelings into good ones.
I am talking, of course, about running.
Now, I am not very good at running. But nothing is better for moving you farther away from feelings of you’re not good enough or don’t even try because you will fail than using your own two legs to run away from them as fast as you can. Nothing is better at making you feel accomplished like sweating until you melt. And nothing is better at making all that even more satisfying than a few good running apps.
For Just Starting Out – Ease Into 5k
Ease into 5K uses interval training to take someone who spends more time on the couch and turn them into someone who spends more time in their running sneakers. This plan is 8 weeks long and increases the time your run over the time you walk every day. You run three times a week. It’s a lot like the Couch to 5k podcasts, except you get to listen to your own darn music (I’ve been doing a lot of Le Tigre). If you use RunHelper to keep track of your running, it connects directly with that. It also has a journal feature so you can keep track of your runs – when you did them, how you felt, what your fastest mile is. Super light and simple, perfect for a beginner. iOS, $2.99.
For Keeping Track – Nike +
No one can argue with Nike + Running. It’s so far the smoothest running app I’ve experienced – it keeps track of how many miles you’ve run, how fast you’ve run them, when you run them, your average pace, how you felt running them, whether or not you’ve run more than last week. It graphs things for you to see with your eyes and it syncs to Nike + online, where your friends can see your runs as well. I find this kind of motivating because you can see which of your friends is in the lead (and if you want to be friends with me on Nike +, I’m lovelyalio, just FYI, and you’ll probably beat me). You can also connect Nike + to Twitter and Facebook to brag just a little bit about your mad running skills. This app let’s you listen to your own music AND it runs nicely in the background if you want to keep track on Nike but use another app in the foreground, like Ease Into 5K. iOS, totes free. Also on Android, also totes free.
For Motivation – Zombies, Run! 2
If easing into a 5k isn’t what you need, bragging on social media isn’t enough of a reason to get up and go, Zombies, Run! 2 might be the pick for you. Basically, you run from zombies. Like, basically that’s it. But also there’s more –
You collect supplies, save survivors, and when you get home you build your base (called Abel Township) to fortify you during the zombie apocalypse. There are 33 missions included and over 60 more with a season pass. Everything syncs to Zombielink, where you can see your stats graphed (how fast do you run when there’s a zombie chasing you?) and share your runs with with your friends. On iOS for $3.99, also on Android for the same price.
If you’re easing into a 5k but still want the added motivation of a zombie apocalypse, the same company’s got a 5K training app. You still get missions and you still get Zombielink syncing. It’s also pretty perfect to train for Run For Your Lives, a 5k zombie-infested obstacle course. On iOS for $1.99, on Android for the same price.