Ever had one of those dreary rain-lashed jogs where you’d rather be somewhere else or at least with someone else? Well if you’re looking for company on your runs the new Heat running app solves that problem – virtually anyway. Developed by personal trainers Arya Farzin and Joseph Phillips this app allows you to engage with other runners across the globe in coordinated virtual runs where you gain that competitive edge by participating in a race or alternatively in pursuit of that personal best against runners who give you extra motivation. Co-founder Arya Farzin was inspired to develop the app after transforming his own body through a running programme, losing over 200 pounds in the process.
The competitive element is the app’s unique appeal because unlike other basic running apps which for example just let you know when your pace is slowing, Heat actually gives you a reason not to let it drop! You are running against real people so your final heat time means a lot. Any runner seeking either personal bests or to smash through that comfort zone into new peaks of fitness will appreciate this virtual sports arena. I, for one, know that a combination of that lactic acid in the legs moment plus that creeping overfamiliarity with some aspect of the course often equals lazy, uninspired run times. The Heat app feeds that primal desire to fight on. It quite literally brings out the animal in you because you can signpost your progress through markers from gazelle through to cheetah. Each is a specific spirit animal you ‘unlock’ as you go up the rankings. You actually start the app as an egg then gazelle, mustang, coyote and eventually the coveted cheetah. Hence the company’s slogan “Unlock Your Animal.”
Eventually there is the opportunity to head the global leaderboard if you’re good enough. Have you what it takes to line up against elite runners all over the world? If not there are others further down the rankings to set your sights on. The social aspect is a clever angle and Heat remains the only app that operates in this way. It is tailoured by the developers to suit both novices and more seasoned runners seeking new inspiration.