Want to take your running to the next level? Downloading and using a running app can help!
Nowadays, running is more fun because of the many mobile apps that are available. Not only do these apps track your pace, they also provide coaching, motivation, and other special features to help you achieve your running goals.
To give you a more detailed view of what running apps can do, here is a short list of their other benefits:
Inspires you to keep running. Running apps motivate you to reach your maximum potential. Motivation is an essential element of working out. If you don’t have enough of it, you’ll find yourself discontinuing your workout regime. Because of this, you need to find the app that works best for you and keeps you excited about running.
Monitors your running progress. If you can keep track of your improvements, you will know how much more effort you need to exert to achieve your goals. Likewise, you’ll be able to check if you have been stagnant for a while. Having the ability to see your progress is both rewarding and motivating.
Helps you get real and accurate results. Since most apps run through a global positioning system (GPS), you can be sure that you are getting the right statistics. This can also help you explore the neighborhood or your city without worrying about getting lost. Also, you will become more aware of your progress.
In this article, we will give you a list of the 15 best running apps that you can use to track your pace, speed, and heart rate. Some are designed to strictly focus on your running exercise, while others contain some other fun factors, such as gaming and social networking.
Let’s get to it.
This is one of the most widely used fitness apps. Like other apps used for tracking runs or cycling, Strava records your time, distance, speed, location, and other factors about your workout in real time. Additionally, it will show you your ranking among other Strava users who run or cycle your same route. Strava is able to sync with other fitness trackers and running watches, so you don’t necessarily need to carry your phone with you while you exercise.
Like several other fitness apps, Strava offers a freemium version, meaning you can use the app without paying for it, but this version has limitations. However, if you are simply looking for an app that can record basic data from your run and help you navigate new places to run, the free version may suit you just fine. You can still compete using the freemium version, but you aren’t able to see your advanced stats or enjoy several other features. One premium feature is Beacon, which is a safety feature that allows you to share your location with whomever you choose while you’re out running. At the end of your run, Strava’s data will upload to your Strava account, where it will be analyzed in more detail and turned into helpful charts and graphs.
Most Strava users are attracted to the competition component of the app. After analyzing your data compared to other people’s who ran the same route, it creates a leaderboard showing the fastest runner, with other people ranked in descending order. It is also free from advertisements, which is a huge plus.
Strava might be the right app for you if you’re competitive and want a running app that offers the social aspect of community competitions.
Strava Premium is $7.99 per month, or $59.99 for an entire year when paid up front.
This app offers a combination of traditional and modern fitness workouts. Runtastic isn’t just for runners—it can be used to track almost any outdoor activity, from biking to skiing. It can even be used to track leisurely activities, and it collects a large amount of useful information regarding your location, time, elevation, pace, calories burned, and distance.
When you complete your exercise, the app offers a page to record additional details about possible varying factors of your workout, such as weather, your mood, and surface (pavement, wooded trails, gravel). It also offers an integrated music player, which allows you to set a “power song” to play if you need a boost. This app also has social networking and gamification elements.
Runtastic PRO is $4.99.
Nike+ Run Club has a large user base that is in keeping with its brand recognition. As far as features go, it has everything you’d expect from a running app, plus it guides you in implementing your running exercises and provides you with distance challenges. It also offers customized coaching plans to help you achieve your goals.
The interface of the app is very clean and easy to use, offering buttons that are large enough to touch while you are running. You can set up the app in several different ways, including an open-ended basic mode, a distance mode that lets you set your goal distance, a duration mode that lets you set up your run for a certain amount of time, and a speed mode that helps you do interval training.
This app even offers a virtual coach with three progressive options: “Get Started,” “Get More Fit” and “Get Ready for Race Day.” It also has a basic leaderboard function, which displays a list of your friends who have completed runs in a chosen week, month, or year. Nike+ Run Club also offers an Instagram-like feed, where you can choose a picture that you took on your run and share it to your feed. If you choose to add it, your route will also appear on the picture as a colored outline (not a full map view).
This app is free.
This app allows you to track any fitness activity that you choose, whether that is running, walking, cycling, or anything else. It comes with a slick user interface that even displays the strength of your GPS signal so you know if you are getting good reception or not. The buttons are large enough to use as you’re running, and they are arranged vertically instead of horizontally, which makes them easier to tap as your arms swing sideways while you run.
This app allows you to have access to a detailed report of your statistics (e.g., pace, distance, and time) both during and after your workout. Likewise, Runkeeper offers built-in audio cues and coaching services to keep you motivated during your run.
This app is free.
Like most running apps, MapMyRun uses your phone’s GPS to track your speed, distance, and route during your workout, whether you’re walking, biking, running, or hiking. During your workout, you can use the app to play songs from your phone’s music app, and choose a course based on routes that you have previously created and saved, or new routes that other users have uploaded.
The free version of this app comes with unlimited mapped routes and workouts, lifetime stats, personal goal tracking, achievements, and splits. If you choose to upgrade to an MVP version of the app, you will have access to your heart rate zone settings, tempo, and personalized coaching services to help you achieve your goals. It also helps you become more socially active by reaching out and finding motivation from other runners.
MapMyRun MVP is $5.99 per month or $29.99 per year.
This is a great app for those who are just beginning their running habits. It eases users in by incorporating walking with short bursts of running, gradually increasing in difficulty as the weeks go by. The app tells you through your earphones when to start and stop, and allows you to choose from four virtual coaches, including Johnny Dead, Constance, Billie, and Sergeant Block. These coaches will guide you through your nine-week running program, and provide you with motivation to finish.
Just as the workout that is provided with this app is foundational, the interface is as well. It offers a simple layout that is easy to use and customize to your liking. The home screen has large touchscreen buttons and only shows you the required information that you need to get started. This app also gives users plenty of stats at the end of the workout, as well as the ability to share your run on social media.
The Couch-to-5k app is free for a few workouts, and costs $4.99 to unlock the full plan
iSmoothRun is an app used on the Apple platform that can export the data from your runs to just about any other smart device you own. You can use this app either indoors or outdoors. It offers heart rate-based training, cadence tracking, and a built-in metronome. You can also upload features from other running apps that iTunes supports. It has a minimal but very functional design, but offers a great amount of detail that many runners appreciate.
Users have found the data from this app to be more precise and accurate than some other leading apps. It also gives you the ability to play music from your iPhone’s playlist while still announcing every mile in your headphones, along with other data such as your previous mile and overall run’s distance and pace. This app also uses your iPhone’s built-in accelerometer to measure your cadence, which helps you improve your running form and efficiency.
iSmoothRun costs $5.99.
PUMATRAC provides you with a unique user experience that is absent from other apps. It is designed to keep you motivated by providing you with insights into surrounding conditions using Tictrac technology that may improve your running performance so your workout is more fun and rewarding. For example, it can tell which music that you listen to makes you run faster, or if you tend to run longer on certain days than others.
This app offers an attractive and clean interface. You are able to link this app with your Facebook or Twitter account, or simply sign into your account using email. This app sends you customized running and training content. It also allows you to get access to exclusive events and offers of the Puma brand.
Once you are logged in, you can see where you are, the current weather conditions, and a clean slate with your running data so you can start your run right away. You can add anything that you want to listen to, from playlists to podcasts, directly within the app. Finally, if you are tired of running the same route, this app can help you find a new running route in your city to switch things up a bit.
After every run, you can see your distance, speed, conditions, calories burned, and running score all together. It also offers personal insights, such as telling users to run in the morning if their average speed is faster during that time, which means they are able to burn more calories. This well-designed app works effortlessly and needs almost no user input to be effective.
PUMATRAC is a free app.
This free mileage tracker app donates money tocharities based on the distance that you walk, run, or bike. Before eachsession, you are able to choose the charity from a list of over 40 well-knownoptions that you will be raising money for. Some of these charities include theASPCA, Stand Up to Cancer, World Wildlife Fund, Girls on the Run, and theSpecial Olympics. If you are biking, you can earn up to 10 cents per mile,while running or walking will help you earn up to 25 cents per mile.
You can choose to use this app to accumulate yourmiles solo or as part of a team. The money that you raise comes from the app’scorporate sponsors, such as Humana and MasterCard.
It is easy to start using this app. Simply selectyour charity and your activity, and go! GPS tracking will start right away.Once you are finished with your workout, hit the “stop” button andyou will be given the option to share your data in your social media instantly.On your profile, you can view your total miles and the charities that you’vefunded. Charity Miles can inspire runners to get moving, or it can give peoplewho already stick to a running regimen a larger purpose for their exerciseroutine.This is a free app.
10. Zombies, Run!
This running app is a combination of fantasy and reality. It combines the excitement of a serial zombie show, a game, and running. It offers an immersive drama audio, making you feel like you’re really in the game. While running, you can also collect supplies to take care of when you go back home.
The game is simple. Select an episode, personalize your settings, and start running. The zombie radio program is played in clips, interwoven with your music of choice. As the main character in the game, you interact with other characters as you embark upon missions, collect supplies, and avoid zombies.
You can choose to listen to any of your playlists while using this app, whether they are on Pandora, Spotify, or even a podcast. In order to enable zombie chases, you must choose the method in which the game will track you. GPS is the most accurate method, and it will offer you maps of where you ran. You can also choose a “constant pace,” which lets you play with zombie chases, but uses less of your battery and data. The final option is “step counting.” This will be the right option for you if you’re running on a treadmill.
When running with zombie chases, you have the ability to alter the difficulty and frequency of the chases. If you get tired of the main storyline, or you run out of missions before a new mission is released, you can choose up to five other ways to play Zombies, Run!
A one-year membership for this app is $7.99.
This well-designed app offers its users fun challenges and precise data insights, such as the number of steps you’ve taken in a day, as well as your weight, blood pressure, and general activity level. Users can see this data on charts in the Trends section to help them monitor their progress as they go.
Pacer offers a neat and clean interface that shows you everything you need to set up your fitness plan and hold yourself accountable. This app also offers fun challenges, personalized fitness plans, and guided workouts for users to keep you motivated. It also lets you play music from your own music library directly from the app, and allows you to designate a power song for times that you need an extra boost of motivation.
Pacer is a free app.
This app can be used for a wide variety of training exercises, ranging from aerobics to scuba diving and weight training. It allows you to track and analyze your workouts freely, meaning that you can set it to focus on a specific element of your workout. For example, if you have a calorie goal or you want to surpass a friend’s previous workout, you can set it and go. It also lets you sync with the other apps and wearable items (e.g., heart rate monitor or other mobile fitness apps) you may have.
The social media portion of Endomondo can give you some additional accountability and keep you motivated. You can connect with your friends, share your progress, create challenges, track a newsfeed, and more. After your workout, you have the option to share your results with friends.
The workout summary section offers you all of your data in one place. Depending on the activity you did, you’ll see things such as your average speed, average heart rate, calories burned, and total duration. The audio coach feature of this app is also helpful. The coach will announce your start times and let you know when you have completed laps.
Endomondo has a free version, and the premium version is $5.99 per month or $29.99 for one year.
13. RunGoThis is a very easy app to use, as you just have to hit start and then go. No matter where you are, this app will keep you from getting lost, and will even let you know what the road conditions look like up ahead. You can even use this app without using data by adding a route to your “favorites.” You can see other people’s favorite routes on the app if you are in a city that is unfamiliar to you. RunGo features turn-by-turn voice navigation, which allows you to find the best routes. It’s a good companion if you still want to do your running exercise when you travel to a foreign city. You can hop onto existing routes that are saved on the app, or start your own. The app will let you know if you go off-route, but it will still keep you aware of your surroundings. This app is $10 per year, and also has a free version.
14. RockMyRunThis might be the app for you if you enjoy listening to music while you run. It is a running music app that offers almost a thousand mixes that may fit into your workout routines. It plays songs and changes the tempo based on your speed or heart rate, while also tracking your runs. You can also set the tempo of the music if you want to try to keep up with it rather than having the music keep up with you. This app allows you to try it out for a week before committing to the premium version. This is great for people who like to explore new music and pay attention to how their bodies move with different tempos. This app has a free version, but the premium version is $4.99 per month.
15. Road iD
This might be the app for you if you enjoy listening to music while you run. It is a running music app that offers almost a thousand mixes that may fit into your workout routines. It plays songs and changes the tempo based on your speed or heart rate, while also tracking your runs. You can also set the tempo of the music if you want to try to keep up with it rather than having the music keep up with you.
This app allows you to try it out for a week before committing to the premium version. This is great for people who like to explore new music and pay attention to how their bodies move with different tempos.
This app has a free version, but the premium version is $4.99 per month.
Running apps are quite beneficial, particularly in this day and era. The world has evolved a lot through technology, and so too must your running routine!
Try one or more of these apps, and see which one is the most comfortable to use for you. If one doesn’t seem to fit your tastes and running activity, choose another and see if it will work. What is important is that you can find the perfect running app that can improve your exercise and keep you motivated. You have to enjoy your app in order to stick with it!
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