Vanessa has been on a 2-year journey to improve her health and is determined to run a half-marathon. As a former track runner in high school and college, she sought a more holistic approach to exercise, and she found the perfect balance training with Joggo.

Although life inevitably happens – sending kids off to college and having surgery on her leg – Vanessa continues to make small steps toward her running goals. Read Vanessa’s story and learn about her experiences with the Joggo app, how it has impacted her mental health, and the features she loves the most. 

Joggo: Hi Vanessa! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Vanessa: My name is Vanessa, and I live in the United States. I have been on a journey for about 2 years, trying to get healthy and lose weight, and currently, my goal is to run a half-marathon in the spring. I came across Joggo, and I really like the step-by-step program. I feel like I’m improving and meeting many of my health goals. I’ve also changed the way I eat to focus on healthy eating. So it’s been quite the journey, but so far, it’s been successful. 

J: Glad to hear that. How did you start running? Did you enjoy running instantly, or did you have to break through a so-called wall before you liked it? 

V: I ran track in high school and college, but then life happened, and I drifted away from it. It wasn’t my favorite sport, but I enjoyed it when I was younger. Last year, I was lifting weights at the gym, but it only targeted specific parts of my body. Running and training with Joggo, on the other hand, engages all areas, so it might be a more holistic approach for me. I decided to add it to my routine to improve my overall health.

I really enjoy training with Joggo’s setup. The warm-up exercises are so important, and the variety keeps me engaged. Some days I sprint, some days I jog, and some days I run long distances. It’s never boring, and I always look forward to seeing what’s on the schedule for the day. If I were just running on my own, I don’t think I would enjoy it as much, but with Joggo, I find myself motivated to continue. I may not be the fastest runner, but I’m working on improving my speed.

J: A lot of people run for mental health benefits. Have you noticed if running helps clear your mind? 

V: Definitely. Running is when I listen to my favorite music, and it helps me gather my thoughts and prepare for the day. I work from around 5 AM until about 9–10 AM, and then it’s my Joggo time. It helps me separate work and personal life. Post-run, I feel great and ready for the day. It’s a satisfying way to start, knowing I’ve done something to meet my goals. The voice prompts in the Joggo app keep me motivated, and having a goal stops me from running aimlessly until I’m exhausted. It guides me through the routine, making it more enjoyable. 

J: You actually answered the next question – does the app help keep the motivation up during runs and inspire you to go running?

V: Yes, definitely. The app is very motivational. It allows me to run in increments, and my philosophy in life is that you can do anything for a little while. So, if I know that my fast run or my fast walk is only 3–5 minutes, I can do that. Over the last three assessments, the app has moved my level up. But I don’t feel ready yet, so I bump myself a level down. It’s because I am really enjoying where I am currently, but I like how encouraging the app is. And I like that I don’t have to decide for myself – the app lets me know when I’m ready for the next level. But it’s nice to have a choice. I want to stay at this level because a higher level requires more time. And my life is a bit hectic at the moment – I’m getting my kids off to college. So once that’s finished, I’ll have more time during the day, and then I can move on to the next level. 

J: Yes, overthinking can get in the way. It’s helpful to have someone guide you, identifying the correct pace and optimal heart rate.

V: Exactly. I can’t hire a personal trainer, that’s money I just don’t have, but Joggo acts like a personal trainer. It tells me if I’ve done a good job, reached my goals, and when I’m ready to push harder. I definitely use the app as the expert in the running area to help me know what to do.

J: Have you seen a steady increase in your running time and stamina?

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V: Yes, I have seen a huge improvement. When the app bumped me up a level, I stayed on that level for a couple of weeks. But the surgery on my leg slowed me down. I couldn’t do vigorous exercise, and I needed to bump back down and go back to an easier pace. 

But before that, when I was moving to a higher level, I was amazed. The last time I ran was in high school. And now, after two months of training with Joggo, I could run for 25 minutes without stopping. I couldn’t believe I could do this! I just gave it a try and kept going until the app said, “You did it!”

J: Have you tried any other apps before Joggo?

V: I’ve tried an app that combines yoga and cardio training. And that’s one thing I’d love for Joggo to incorporate – strength exercises. I know there already are some, but they use body weight only, which is a good place to start. But my doctor recommends lifting weights for stronger bones, and that’s the only thing I use another app for. 

J: Do you have a favorite feature on the Joggo app?

V: I think it’s how it breaks up my daily workout. It includes a warm-up, workout, and then a cool-down. It’s unlike some other apps I’ve seen that just tell you to go run for 20 minutes. When training with Joggo, it feels like I’m getting a complete workout. In fact, I got my daughter and my son on Joggo because of my experience. My son likes to run, but he’s not sure what to do, and he thinks it’s boring just to go running. So I told him exactly what I told you! The app has everything you need to get a complete workout, and you need to give it a try.

Check out our other customer stories and get running and training with Joggo!

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Written by

Chris Zibutis

Chris Zibutis is the Head Running Coach and founder of Joggo – that one person on earth who loves interval runs.  He holds a degree from Copenhagen Business School and is an avid runner – having participated in numerous marathons and triathlons, Chris brings substantial fitness and running experience to the Joggo team.