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Not everyone can afford to hire a coach or personal trainer. Adidas miCoach for Android is a much cheaper alternative, allowing you to select a training plan, measure your distance, pace, calories burned and elapsed time, and keep a record of your individual workouts.
Before you get started, you have to select whether you're training indoors or out and what kind of workout you're doing — running, walking, cycling, Nordic skiing, etc — then choose your workout plan. As you run, a voice in your ear will tell you how long you have between intervals and what you can expect on the path ahead. It also occasionally will give you words of encouragement.
What's really neat about the coach-in-your-ear option is that you get to pick the voice. Adidas miCoach has lots of different voice options that are similar to what you might find when programming a high-quality GPS. These guys aren't quite human sounding, but they don't sound like a robot, either.
To keep things simple, so you don't have to worry about bumbling around with your phone while on a run, miCoach has music options embedded on the top of the screen. This way, you can quickly and easily change what you're listening to without having to leave the app. The one downside to the convenience of having music on hand is that it often overpowers the voice of your coach.
To get the most out of this app, users should first take the time to set up an account. This way, all workouts will by synced with an online miCoach account for personal reference and bragging rights. The app allows you to easily share workouts on your favorite social networking sites. I personally didn't encounter any issues saving and then looking up my workouts, but I did see that a few people made mention of their runs disappearing.
If it's hard to self-motivate and get to the gym on a regular basis, this is a good resource. Not only will you receive words of encouragement, but you'll also get to see the fruits of your labor.
If you're not used to someone yammering in your ear, though, there are several other apps out there that track your statistics just as well, without speaking to you.