What activity should I use when running with a beginner?

I am helping my girlfriend start runing. She is doing a Couch to 5K plan at the moment and being winter here in the UK she wants me to run with her when its dark etc. 

Obviously being a beginner she doesn't run too quick yet and stops a few times. What do people recommend I use to track my activity but that won't affect my running statistics, like VO2. Would just a Trail Run suffice?

Thanks for any help. 

  • Trail run won't affect VO2max but it will affect training status etc. You could just record the data, review it afterwards then discard it rather than save it.

  • I would use the Walk activity. Like Trail Run, it won't affect your VO2 max, but more importantly it won't really affect anything else, either, that you don't want it to. It has the basically same effect as going running without using any activity at all. Your heartrate, calories, steps, etc will still get logged and count towards your daily totals, but your training status, recovery time, etc won't be affected in any negative way, and you'll still get to save the activity to view it later.

    There's no rule that says you have to actually walk when you use the Walk app, it won't hurt anything Smiley

    I use "Walk" any time I want to record any random activity I do on foot that isn't specifically hiking or running. I use it when I take my kid Trick or Treating, when I take a date on a long walk on the beach to pick up seashells, etc. That way I can save the activity and view it later, while not messing up my training metrics due to the extraordinarily slow and irregular pace and effort I exerted.

  • Do you think it would affect your VO2 Max values anyway? My recent long and slow run yielded a higher value than my normal runs. I would just try tracking it normally, accepting it as a different type of run workout, and see what happens.

  • Why not just do the run activity if that’s what it is? 

    VO2 should not be negatively affected by taking it easy, as it is factoring in how high your HR goes (and maybe HRV?) relative to speed/distance. So if you go easy and your HR stays low, you should be good

    As for Training Status, if you really did the activity, what’s the harm in it counting it as low aerobic?

  • Very slow running is fine, but C25K typically involves run/walk intervals, and the motion is different. I'd be tempted to track it as walking in the early weeks of C25K (where it might only be 20-30% running), and Trail Run in the later weeks (70-80% running).

  • Thanks all for the suggestions. I went for a run last night with my partner and used the 'run' activity with the custom training plan she wanted to use. It is a C25K plan, whcih does involve running for a few mins and then walking for 1 or 2.

    After about 1k the watch did its normal information popup and informed me my VO2 was -4. Never had it say that before! I discarded my activity at the end of the run last night. I don't really want to affect my stats too much so will try a 'walk' as some have mentioned when I run with her on Saturday. Will report back if anyone is interested. 

  • Unfortunately I can say from my own experience from running with my 7yr old son: it actually does affect your VO2max values as well as training status in a negative way. When running with my son I'm running very slow (about 7:30-8:00min/km) compared to my usual pace. The heartrate doesn't rise that much and is about the same as when walking but anyway it seems to confuse FB-algos.

    So I do the same as when running hills/trails: use TrailRunning

    PS: with "negative influence" I mean the software. Of course it doesn't hurt my real condition :-)

  • So 'Trail Run' or 'Walk' seem the best way to get round this. I will give it a go this weekend. Thanks 

  • The same problem when I'm running with my 7yr old son. It's usually 7:50-8:10 min/km pace. Will try to use technic of "Trail run".

  • Walk can affect your VO2max. Use trail run.