Gipis is a running app that is a lot like having your very own running coach. Except that she doesn’t understand hills.

I started using this app a few months ago. I liked it because it was pretty flexible, didn’t expect me to run every day, had a variety of run types and in-run verbal cues.

 Gipis makes you a running plan based on your history and your goals. The plan includes four phases and a bunch of different workouts including easy runs (anywhere from 15 minutes to 2+ hours at a nice, slow pace), interval runs (1-3 minutes of super fast running with jogging breaks in between), and threshold runs (which I always think of as training runs because they are close to my goal race pace).

All the runs are based on time length rather than distance. In theory, that really bugged me. But it turns out it is really nice to just know I would be running for 35 minutes or whatever, rather than thinking I needed to get in 3 miles but hoping I could run really fast and be done in 25.

I love the app because there is a lady inside who keeps track of your pace. She’ll chime in and say “slower” or “faster” or “keep this pace”. This is where I wish she had eyes instead of just a voice. Most of my routes are pretty hilly and she is always giving me a hard time, telling me to go faster when I’m running up a hill or to slow down on the way down. I finally started ignoring her on hills – I figure it all evens out eventually.

The plan it creates is pretty nice. It starts with a “Building Up” phase full of easy runs. At first I gawked at the 11:13 pace they had set for me. I usually run about 10:00/mile and I would like to be running closer to 9:00/mile. Why should I bother running so much slower? But I figured I’d give it a shot to test out the app at least.
Turns out, running at a slower pace was really nice. The Gipis site says that the Building Up phase is good for improving your heart and muscles and for getting you to focus on the time spent running rather than the intensity. And it did just that. I felt great after every run and was able to easily pull off 6.5 miles.

By the time I got bored with the easy runs, I had hit the next phase and opened up a world of interval and threshold runs. It was pretty exciting to try these. In fact, I actually looked forward to them! It was fun to challenge myself to see how fast I could run. But also really exhausting. Partly because the pace doesn’t update fast enough so the lady is always telling me to speed up during the fast stages even though I already feel like a cartoon character with legs spinning like a propeller.

 I especially like being able to check my workout details after my run. The app breaks down each interval – the pace I should have been running and the pace I actually was running. I love looking into (and obsessing over) every last detail of my run so this is perfect for me!!

It would be a perfect app if there were more customization options. Like if you could add in any type of run so you could do X type of run even if it wasn’t scheduled. It would also be cool to be able to set your own custom paces. I spent a long time changing the options to get the paces I wanted.

Overall, I really love this app. It is keeping me interested in running and, if how exhausted I am after each run is any indication, it’s super training me.