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Interval Running

Effective Exercise Routine for Runners


Runnow is a specialized interval running app that helps runners exercise in a more efficient way in the same amount of time. It allows people from beginners to advanced runners to set goals, record metrics, and track their progress through the app. Runnow provides not only pre-programed route but also their own customized program so that they can boost their fitness levels and endurance under the pandemic.


Research from Ipsos Global suggested that one-third of people don’t exercise as much as they used to, and have gained weight during the pandemic. The challenge was to create the solution that ensures people would take more effective approach to their health and wellbeing.

My Role

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I worked with a developer and my role included the whole process. - project management, UX research, analysis, strategy, ideation, prototype and testing


There are already lots of apps for exercising and running out there. I tried to find out the users’ needs and constraints, and focused on addressing their pain points to set this app apart from competitors.  

Then I proceeded to prototype and test our ideas.


Since the COVID19 began, 

How your health habits have changed? 

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The world is in crisis because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between government lockdowns, layoffs, work-from-home mandates, and sports facility shutdowns, I wanted to find out how this situation has been affecting the exercise habits.

In order to learn about the newest trend in exercise routine since the pandemic, I referred to the survey that was done in 2020 with 500 online participants asking about their exercise routines and how their health habits have changed since the COVID19 occurred. 

User Research

To get to know more about users, I conducted two rounds of interviews throughout the design process. 

I asked them various questions about their exercise and the app they are using now.

During the first research phase, here are my goals.

- Find out runners’ purpose and motivation of running 

- Determine users’ biggest frustration in other fitness apps 

- Figure out people’s running patterns and experiences

I wanted to

User Interview

  • What exercise do you do? 

  • What is your purpose and goal of exercise?

  • What motivates you to exercise?

  • What is the most difficult part about 

  • trying to stick to exercise?

  • Do you use any app for exercise?

  • Tell me about a time you had some difficulty when using the app.

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Time Constraint

-  Not enough time to exercise 

 since starting work from home

- Busier to take care of their kids all day

How to Follow

-  For beginners, no idea 

 how and what to do first 

- often overwhelming to follow


- Hard to stick to it

- Demotivated without any noticeable result

User Journey Map

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I then plotted exercise behavior onto a journey map to further understand the user’s tasks, feelings, and experience. This map shows a typical user’s of exercising cycle.

From the user interviews, I mapped out how the user might feel during the process and when they are most likely to quit. I mapped out two journeys. (Ideal path and negative path)


Idea path : User maintains the routine and sees the results which keeps them going but has moments where they struggle or might have potentially quit. 

Negative path : In which the user increased the frequency and difficulty of exercise and ended up quitting. 


I fount that people are most susceptible to quitting when they didn’t see the noticeable results and when they feel bored to keep doing it.


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Busy Bee

Behavior: Time-poor, has a strict schedule, and is new to exercise

Goals + Motivations : Start exercise and live a more active lifestyle and build stamina whilst developing healthy habit

Need: Something effective and accessible that can help getting started and sticking with daily exercise routine




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Behavior: Want to loose weight and build a new exercise routine to get their health back on track

Goals + Motivations : Loose weight in a healthy, effective way

Need: Something effective and accessible that can help getting started and sticking with daily exercise routine





How can we get the most out of exercise time?

What is interval Running?

Interval running involves periods of high intensity running alternated with low intensity running, walking, or rest. These cycles allow greater intensities within the workout but reduce the overall total training time. Ideally, the intervals should last for 20-25 minutes.

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  • Sprint Interval Running (SIT) resulted in a 91.83% higher reduction in body fat percentage than Moderate-Intensity Continuous Running(MICT).

  • SIT significantly outperformed MICT in Body Fat Percentage (BF%) reduction 

      while requiring 71.17% less time spent exercising.

  • SIT participants conducted 15.54% fewer workouts every week on average 

      compared to MICT.

Competitive Analysis

There are already a lot of exercise apps out there targeting runners. The three main apps I looked into were NRC Nike+, Strava Running, and Runkeeper. To gain insight into their products and main features, I mapped it out competitive Analysis so as to understand where the product or service would stand in the market.

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Most of the running apps connect to users’ running watch or fitness tracker for accurate data, some provide advice, motivation and just make heading out for that daily run a little bit more fun. Not many apps provide specialized interval running programs and customized features.


Make runners stick to their exercise

routine by maximizing the effect?

How might we

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Interval Running

Experts say that interval training increases fitness and burns more calories over a short period of time than the normal way. Even though its advantage is widely known, many people do not know how to do it properly. Introducing interval running programs will be helpful for runners. 

Flexible program

By user research, they feel bored about following the same program everyday. That's why they want to skip running at the day when they feel tired, which is one of the reason that makes people discourage to stick to exercise. By showing the task differently based on user's condition can fix it.


Users can design their own program by either using the prepared programs or starting from scratch. What users designed can also be shared in public. It is not easy to present a program suitable for every single person. By letting users be able to design their own program can give them satisfaction. 


After summarizing the information from users and the competitive analysis, I sketched core screen pages roughly.

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Based on the user needs and user journey, I created wireframe for major pages to ensure that I was heading in the right direction before creating mockups, and shared with our engineers if there were any modifications to be needed.

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User Testing

After I created high-fidelity mock-ups, I did the second round user testing to collect information about usability and overall user experience. I gave them a certain tasks and observed their behaviors.

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What they like

▷ Various programs that they can choose 

    depending on their needs

▷ Show pace comparison on running page

▷ Seems more specialized for interval running

What they want

▷ Simple and intuitive page while running

▷ One-stop workout process

   (Stretching, warm-up and cool-down

   walking before and after running)


How Do You Feel?

​​​​​​​Once a user opens the app, 

the first thing they come across is the screen 

asking their simple physical information and how they feel. 

Users will be introduced the programs that they 

have to do on that day based on this information. 


From Warm-up to Cool-down, 


Although stretching and slow walking before and after running are an essential part to prevent from injury, there are many people who just skip this phase.

This app lets people know this important part before starting running and they can do all series of exercise in sequence.


Easy to Check While You Run

Most of the time, users use this application while they are jogging or running for exercise. So the main task should be intuitive and easy to read and play. 

The dark back ground intensifies striking visuals, has better contrast and improve legibility.

Track the Records

According to the result of user research, one of the reasons people use running app is to track their running records. 

It will show the information of their running in detail.


Concluding Thoughts

Even though I came up with the idea of this interval running app by hearing one of my acquaintance’s complaints about a running app that he uses, it was quite challenging since I did not any data or knowledge background about running apps and had not even used running apps before. So I tried to find out the features of each app by using one after the other for several days in person. It took quite a long time but I was able to learn a lot of things through the whole process. 

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