As I mentioned recently, I’ve been working on recommitting to running and finding my love of  the sport again after a few years (omg, years!) of what I would call more of a love-hate relationship. So, a few weeks ago (or maybe a month or more, who knows – I’m in a time vortex), a reader suggested that I try a new app called Aaptiv (not a sponsored post!!) to spice up my running. I’ll be the first person to tell you that, generally speaking, I really don’t care for running and workout apps. I don’t really know why. I just never remember to use them, or get bored with them, or whatever. I’m asked to review them all the time but I always say no. Anyway, after getting that suggestion, I thought “Why not try it?” and downloaded the app for my free trial. Note: This post is NOT sponsored by Aaptiv in any way.

I really had no intentions of writing about my experience with Aaptiv, but then someone commented on my Instagram and asked me to review it, so here we are! Anyway, I really had no clue what to expect when I downloaded the app. I thought it was just running workouts and was shocked to find all the options. There are workouts for the treadmill, outdoor running, the elliptical, indoor cycling, yoga, strength training, and then various distance running training programs (5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon).

Screenshot of some of the workout categories. I’m so intrigued to know what elliptical workouts are! And yet, I never want to get on an elliptical again to find out.

Each workout is categorized by either “green” (meaning beginner/easier effort), “yellow” (intermediate/moderate effort) or “red” (advanced/hard effort). You can read a brief summary of the workout, see how long it is, and see who the trainer is that will be coaching you. It also usually gives you an idea of what type of music you’ll be listening to – for example, the other day, I did an interval workout set to 90s music!


  1. It gets me out of bed.There are a lot of things I like about Aaptiv, but probably the thing I like the most is that it gets me out of bed on days when I don’t really know what type of workout I want to do and even thinking about it is enough to make me go back to sleep. As much as I like going for an easy run, it is really easy for me to just roll back over and say I’ll do it another time. Having something where I don’t have to really think about what I’ll be doing is huge for me.
  2. It’s nice not to have to think about what to do. I really like being told what to do! I can just focus on what the trainer is saying and do it. I am definitely working harder than I would on my own, and I personally find the trainers encouraging and not annoying at all (although there is one that says “WOO!” every time she tells you to pick up the pace, which I find suspicious because I certainly do not feel like saying “WOO!” when I pick up the pace).
  3. The variety is huge: There’s everything from walking programs to tempo runs and then sprint intervals. There are even runs that incorporate full body strength training into the run (think walking lunges, squat jumps, pushups, etc)! Obviously there are also other categories too, but I have only really tested out the running ones so far. I have yet to be bored during any workout I’ve done. There are also workouts ranging anywhere from about 15 minutes to 1 hour (or more, for the marathon training long runs), so no matter what you have time for, you can find something.
    Casually doing pushups in the middle of a run because the app told me to. Just so we’re clear, it is way, way harder to do pushups in the middle of a run than it is to just do pushups in general (and pushups are hard as it is). Leggings by DanaLou Fit! Use code DCA15 for 15% off!
  4. It makes me stretch: After finishing each running workout, the app automatically recommends starting a short post-run yoga/stretching class. It’s only 5 minutes, so when I see it pop up, I can’t help but do it. Normally, I would never take the time to stretch, and I’ve really enjoyed it.
  5. I’m actually doing speed work: I can probably count the times I’ve willingly done speed work without being told to on one hand. When I worked with a coach, I did it all the time, but now? Never. The app has broken me out of that habit because, well, it tells me to do speed work. I’m doing a lot of interval training and even though it’s kicking my ass, it’s also quite satisfying.


  1. It costs money: To be fair, this app should cost money, but I hate paying for apps. It is $10 per month if you pay by the month (there is a one week free trial), or there is currently a sale for $25 for 3 months or $50 for one year. I just purchased the one year membership while writing this! I think it is a good value if you use it regularly.
  2. The workouts are on the shorter side: The vast majority of the workouts are around half an hour, which honestly is probably good because most of them are pretty hard! However, sometimes I just want to do something longer and have someone tell me what to do, haha! Yes, I could add on miles myself as a pre-or-post workout option, but I like the encouraging voices of the trainers ringing in my ears the whole time.
    I’m a little afraid of the Jumping Jack Run, tbh.
  3. There are not many steady-state options: Of course, it makes sense that most of the workouts are actually workouts and not just steady-state playlists, but now that I’m accustomed to working out with the trainers, I would love to have them just randomly encouraging me to keep running. I have not tried the distance programs yet (although I plan to soon!) so it might just be a question of using those occasionally instead of just picking from the “outdoor running” category. I need to play around with the app more!

I have been getting back on my bike lately (inside, using my bike trainer since it is cold), so I definitely plan on testing out some of the spinning workouts soon as well! It had been so long since I had ridden my bike that the idea of doing any more than just pedaling and trying not to fall off (even while not actually moving) was intimidating enough, but now that I’ve been doing it for a few weeks, I think I’m ready to pick it up.

Overall, I think Aaptiv is a really great resource and I’m so glad it was recommended to me! I think it is really going to help my running and help me get back in good shape. I’m excited to see how I’ll use it in the next year! I am definitely planning on starting one of the distance training programs soon and seeing how that goes, and I’d also like to start using more of the other workout categories on the app. We’ll see where it leads!

LEAVE A COMMENT: Do you ever use apps to help you workout? Which ones do you love? Have you tried Aaptiv yet?


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