I tried the Joggo running app for the first time — here's what happened

a photo of a man stretching
(Image credit: Joggo)

Whether you’re training for your first 5K, or looking to get in shape and lose weight by running, it can be tricky knowing where to start. With hundreds of running apps available to download at the click of a button, working out which one is right for you can be as tricky as choosing a new pair of running shoes. As a fitness editor and marathon runner, I’ve tried most of the best running apps on the market, so was keen to put Joggo, a running app that creates personalized plans for users, to the test. Read on to find out more. 

Joggo was founded in 2021 by Chris Zibutis, a former Ironman competitor. The app aims to help users reach their running and weight loss goals by offering personalized running plans and strength workouts. The app tracks your progress and adjusts every couple of weeks to keep up with your current fitness levels. There’s also nutrition information and meal plans on the app to help you make healthier decisions. 

To find out more, I clicked download on the app. The first thing to note is that Joggo doesn’t list its subscription costs on its website — 2-month running plan: $3.80 per week ($33 for the whole 2 months), 4-month running plan: $3.05 per week ($46 for the whole 4 months), 6-month running plan: $2.53 per week ($66 for the whole 6 months). Either way, it's cheaper than hiring a personal trainer and paying for a gym membership. 

Here’s what I noticed after running with the app for two weeks: 

The app felt personalized to me

One of the things you’re paying for with Joggo, compared to other generic running apps, is a plan designed to fit around you, your current fitness levels, and your overall goals. If you’re just starting, a plan that has you running five days a week might be too much or too tricky to fit into your schedule. When you first download Joggo, you’ll be asked to fill in a survey — this might feel like an extra step, but it’s super important, so be sure to take some time filling it out. 

As well as asking you for the basics, including your current running level, height, weight, age, and gender, Joggo will check your preferred workout time, how many days a week you can commit to running, and which days work best for you. I’m a morning runner, and I struggle to fit runs in on days when I have to commute to the Tom’s Guide office, so I was able to tailor my schedule to my diary. It’s also super-easy to reschedule sessions once you have your weekly plan, so your kid’s dance recital doesn’t have to mean you’ve missed your session entirely. 

Joggo gives your training plan a level — Level 1 starts with walking, assuming you can walk at a fast pace of 100 steps per minute for 10 minutes. Level 14 is named ‘Pro’ and assumes you can easily run more than 6 miles and are looking to get faster. Each session includes a warm-up and a cool-down, so you can be sure you’re looking after your muscles and avoiding injury. 

It was easy to switch between outdoor and indoor sessions

If you’re someone who alternates between running outside and heading to the gym to run on the treadmill, as I do, you’ll be as impressed as I was with the ease with which you can switch your sessions to indoor or outdoor. Regardless of where you’re running, the Joggo app gives you audio prompts during your workout, telling you how long you have left in your segment, and when you’re about to begin a new one. If you’re heading for an easy session and would prefer to get lost in your playlist or audiobook, you can switch these off. 

a photo of a man running

(Image credit: Joggo)

I enjoyed the strength training element

As a runner, I’m pretty lazy when it comes to strength training, however, I know how important when it comes to avoiding injuries and correcting imbalances. I enjoyed the strength training sessions on my Joggo plan, which were mainly quick bodyweight workouts I didn’t have to head to the gym to complete. There were really simple instructional videos and a written description of each exercise, which is helpful if you’re a complete beginner and want to ensure you’re moving with good form. 

The app synced to my Apple Watch seamlessly

If you own one of the best Apple Watches on the market, you’ll be able to seamlessly sync your app to your Apple Watch and follow your runs from your wrist. At the time of writing, Joggo only connects to Apple, so if you’re using a different device, you’ll have to use the app on your phone instead, but I found it handy having the option to view my plan from my wrist. 

The meal plan surprised me

You’ve probably heard the expression ‘abs are made in the kitchen’, and sadly, it’s true. While this isn’t to say you can’t have the odd treat if you are serious about your weight-loss goals, you’ll need to ensure that you’re in a calorie deficit — in other words, you’re burning more calories than you consume. 

While weight loss isn’t a personal goal for me right now, I was impressed with the meal-planning element of the Joggo app, which helped me make healthier choices throughout the day. I was able to tell the app I follow a gluten-free, vegetarian diet, and I particularly loved the bean and vegetable salad, which had an excellent 26g of protein, and will continue to be an easy lunch staple. 

Two weeks later, I had completed all of the workouts on my plan and loved how motivating the app was to follow. If you’re struggling to get started, often a training plan can make all the difference — it takes some of the stress out of planning your workouts and prevents you from doing too much too soon, and burning out or getting injured. Whatever your 2024 running goals are, Joggo is a good place to start.  

Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.