Do you need some motivation to get you going on your runs, especially when you’re up before the rest of your household? Maybe you have a hard time logging your miles because you’re using outdated technology. In both those cases, it sounds like you could use a running app, but which should you download?
Here are some of the best apps for running:
- Nike Run Club
- Adidas Running App
- Peloton Digital
- Zombies, Run!
- Charity Miles
In today’s post, we’ll go over each app on the above list, including its features, which smartphone it’s for, and whether you have to pay to use it. You’re not going to want to miss this, so keep reading!
15 of the Best Running Apps
One of the most highly-rated running apps around is Strava. Available to download on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, Strava is above all a miles tracker, but that’s far from everything this app can do.
If you engage in other activities, such as cycling or swimming, Strava can log those too. Its encompassing trail network lets you create routes you can then review later or revisit the next time you head out. If you use other tech on your runs, including power meters, heart rate monitors, head units, GPS watches, or even your smartphone, Strava syncs with them all.
As Strava begins to log your information, it creates a record of your short-term and long-term performance. It will also tell you such pertinent data as how many calories you burn, your elevation, speed, and the pace of your runs. When you have some running numbers you’re particularly proud of, post them to your Strava feed.
Strava also has a competitive side. You can share your records with your friends and motivate each other to keep outdoing the other. Each month, you can engage in Strava challenges to push yourself to the next level!
You can download Strava for free and use it without cost for one month. After that, to make the most of this app’s features, you might want to consider the monthly subscription fee of $5.
A second great choice is Runcoach, which calls itself an “online training program for runners of all ages.” Downloadable on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, you can get connected with USATF-level coaches through Runcoach. USATF, by the way, is short for USA Track & Field, so these are experienced runners who can help you overcome a troublesome plateau.
You choose a goal you’d like to achieve in the app, including non-race or race-related goals. Then you begin logging your mileage and running times. Once Runcoach learns your running schedule and capabilities, it will offer you customized training guidelines that work for only you.
By following these guidelines, you could run further and faster. According to Runcoach, in six months, 25 percent of its userbase “achieves a higher level of fitness.”
If you use Garmin, Runkeeper, Strava, Fitbit, or Apple HealthKit to maintain your health, Runcoach syncs with any of them. To motivate you to get out there and run, you can even earn rewards from Garmin, one of Runcoach’s partners.
The Runcoach app is $19.95 a month or $119.95 a year.
Runkeeper is an app by fitness brand ASICS that’s available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Since it appeared online in 2008, Runkeeper has been a viable option for tracking your cycling, walking, and running miles with your smartphone’s GPS. As you hit your favorite trail, Runkeeper shows your progress from start to finish.
Like in Runcoach, Runkeeper lets you set fitness and running goals. The app then makes a plan for success, recommending routines and routes you can take. Runkeeper even sends you audio reminders if you fall off track so you don’t lose your will to run. To also keep that will alive, the app features shareable running achievements, regular challenges you can join, and even exercise rewards.
In the Running Groups feature, you can chat with your fellow running buddies, see who’s going the furthest or fastest, add new friends to the group, or make your own friends-only custom challenge.
You can even sync Runkeeper with the other fitness apps you might already use, among them MyFitnessPal, Fitbit, or even Spotify for enjoying your favorite tunes while you run. Runkeeper costs $9.99 a month or $39.99 a year.
Nike Run Club
Nike lovers will much prefer the Nike Run Club app, which you can download on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
This app is full of all kinds of useful features. For instance, if you own Nike running shoes (which you probably do if you use this app), you can tag your running shoes. If you wear one pair of Nike shoes and run X miles today then tomorrow it’s a second pair of Nike shoes and you run Y miles, Nike Run Club logs it all. Oh, and that goes for other running shoe brands too.
The coaching through Nike Run Club is based on your level of fitness, running speed, and pace. As you get better at running through the app, it will offer different guidelines so you can continue growing. Nike Run Club even lets you use Apple Music from within the app, curating custom playlists you can listen to that will get you in the mood to run.
Once you log some impressive miles, the app lets you share and personalize the details of your run. You can add stickers, stats, photos, and other fun little details and then send your running data to those who use the Nike Run Club app or your other friends.
You can download Nike Run Club free for a week. After that, the app costs $14.99 a month or $99.99 a year.
From Nike to Under Armour, next, we’ve got their app called MapMyRun. You can get started with this app by downloading it from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. Under Armour Performance Specialists create the workouts included with the MapMyRun app, some of which require equipment and others that don’t. Now it’s easier than ever to stay fit between your runs.
Make a Training Plan to prep for success. This customized plan accommodates for your running speed and abilities and is adjustable. Those Under Armour running shoes you’re wearing can even sync with the app like in the Nike Run Club, letting you log miles by shoe.
MapMyRun shares some interesting metrics about your run, including audio, haptic, and visual progress that updates with each step you take. The app also links up with MyFitnessPal, Suunto, Fitbit, Garmin, Android Wear, and Google Fit to offer more encompassing information about your runs. You can import your run data as well to further analyze how many calories you burn or which routes you run on the most often.
A social Activity Feed gets you stay excited to run each and every time, even on those days when you’ve had a lot of work to do and you barely want to lace up your running shoes. Challenges will also push you further, as there are prizes on the line!
The MVP subscription for MapMyRun costs $5.99 a month or $29.99 a year.
Adidas Running App
Adidas of course didn’t miss out on the chance to create its own running app, which is downloadable in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Known as the Adidas Running App through Runtastic, the app includes GPS tracking, a customizable dashboard, and plenty of awesome features that should appeal to you.
Each time you run with the Adidas Running App on, you can access a real voice coach who gives you audio encouragement and feedback. All the personal goals in the app are those you set, making them attainable. If you do want to take your skills even further, challenges in the Adidas Running App are useful for doing just that.
As was the case with the Nike and Under Armour apps, Adidas has a shoe tagging feature where the app logs miles per each pair of Adidas shoes you run in. The app can even indicate if your shoes are old and should be replaced.
If your friends also use the Adidas Running App, you can make groups with them in it. Otherwise, join a preexisting group. In the groups, there’s a leaderboard among all the runners. You’ll have lots of fun trying to top the leaderboard among your friends. We also quite like the live cheering and tracking feature. If you’re running when your friends are online, they can cheer for you to keep you running to the finish line!
The Adidas Running App is available by subscription only for $9.99 a month or $49.99 a year.
Moving away from apps by running companies, next on the list is Human, an app on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. More geared towards beginners, Human encourages you to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, especially by running (although other activities are okay too). As the app says, “the world is your gym.”
Human tracks your running records and then lets you compare records with those nearby as well as across your city. Motion sensors within the app, when combined with your phone’s location services, will track your runs. That said, to fulfill your goals, you have to run in bursts of one minute or more, says Human.
The app even suggests the number of calories burned on your run by looking at your activity intensity, duration, and your current weight. The calories are just estimates, not necessarily set in stone, but the info should still help you determine what you’re burning on your runs.
Human also creates streaks, so by exercising through the app every day, your streak builds up more and more. You can get started with Human for free.
Zwift is, as they say, all about “serious training, made fun.” This is more than just an app, but a game as well. When you cycle or run using Zwift, you can pass through different virtual worlds, engaging and even competing against (or cooperating with) Zwift’s many users.
It’s not all fun and games. Using Zwift also gives you access to elite coaches who can formulate runs and other workouts that will help you become your healthiest version of yourself yet. All workouts are intended for your level of fitness, so expect that your routes will get a bit tougher as you advance.
Zwift even offers real prizes for some of its tougher competitions. If you’re in the mood for something a little easier, such as a group run, that’s an option as well. Between its fitness tracking and the rich digital landscapes it offers, Zwift is a fun take on the average running app.
When you download Zwift, you get 25 kilometers worth of free miles. After you use those, the subscription is $14.99 a month.
Those who swear by Puma athletic gear will not want to miss Pumatrac, the running and fitness app by that brand. Available for the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, Pumatrac offers 120+ workouts for free once you download the app.
Connect with the app’s Puma Global Athletes and improve your training with their tips and techniques. The app’s smart learning engine will suggest personal workouts for you as well, including runs. Follow along with videos for warming up and getting started on your runs, then track your miles and more through Pumatrac. The app even recommends a cool-down routine so you expend your energy wisely.
If you prefer listening to music on your runs, you can sync Pumatrac with Apple Music and Spotify. The app also features leaderboards for competing with your friends and sharable workout and run data among buddies. Pumatrac syncs with Apple Watch and Apple HealthKit.
To use Pumatrac, it costs $28 a month.
Peloton has taken the fitness world by storm, and now you can see what all the fuss is about with the Peloton Digital app. Download it on the Roku Channel Store, the Amazon Appstore, the Google Play Store, or the Apple Play Store.
Like Pumatrac, Peloton Digital isn’t exclusively for runners, but every and all types of exercisers. Choose the type of workout you’re most interested in, such as outdoor running, and then watch streaming workouts anytime, anywhere on your smartphone or mobile device.
The app features goal-setting and keeps your records so you can see how you’ve gotten better at running as you go. Each month, Peloton rolls out new challenges you can join and conquer. When you smash through your goals, you get achievements for your efforts.
The Peloton Digital app is free to use for a month, then it costs $12.99 each month.
As the “personal trainer in your pocket,” Endomondo is yet a second Under Armour fitness app we recommend. Get your hands on it today in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, then get ready to go!
Endomondo is great for running and walking, and it supports more than 60 other sports and physical activities too. Your phone’s GPS tells Endomondo what you’re doing, including your speed, pace, distance, and time. The app will take that information and use it to calculate how many calories you might have burned.
As you run a mile, you’ll receive audio feedback telling you your running time, speed, and distance. You’ll then feel ready to push forward for another awesome mile. If you need even more motivation, you can set goals, such as to burn X calories or run Y miles. Endomondo’s audio coaches are happy to help you reach your goals and set new ones for next week.
In-app challenges and weekly commitments will also get you on-board with running on those days that you’d rather veg on the couch. Do you have friends who also use the Endomondo app? You can watch them as they workout, send them audio motivations and pep talks, comment on their newsfeed, and send pictures!
Endomondo pairs with all sorts of smart devices, including Fitbit, TomTom MySports, Polar Flow, and Garmin Connect. The app costs $5.99 a month or $29.99 a year.
We’re sure you’ve probably heard of Zombies, Run!, which definitely deserves a spot on this list. This Google Play Store and Apple App Store app transfers you to a game world, much like Zwift. Unlike Zwift, in Zombies, Run!, you’re not experiencing any idyllic landscapes, but rather, a run-down world rife with zombies. You have to escape by running as fast as you can!
The app is not a static experience every time. Zombies, Run! features several seasons and multiple chapters for each season. At current, you have more than 200 missions you can complete. As you run, you don’t only dodge zombies, but defend your homeland, help other victims, and find supplies.
The story of the game is so good it’s received awards, so you’ll be so immersed in Zombies, Run! that you’ll almost forget you’re getting exercise. You can even customize your own missions with interval training and share your run data online.
The cool part about Zombies, Run! is you can play it anywhere, whether you’re running around your block or on a trail. With more than a million players and counting, why not join? The app costs $5.99 a month or $34.99 a year.
Helping you “run like you never did before,” iSmoothRun is an iPhone-only app on the Apple App Store that grants you access to graphs, maps, health tracking, pedometer, and GPS so you can have more informed runs going forward.
The runners that worked on the iSmoothRun app programmed it too. You can gauge your calories, check the weather, generate audio reports, listen to music through the app, and review mileage according to your shoes. Make a custom interval workout or set up a race where you compete against your prior numbers to see if you can beat them.
iSmoothRun even has heartbeat tracking and a metronome for setting a running rhythm you can follow along with. You can also export your data to look at it elsewhere or brag to all your friends about how far you ran today.
You can buy iSmoothRun for $4.99. The app does have in-app purchases.
If you’re not so motivated by video games, that’s okay. Surely you can get behind Charity Miles, an app that lets you give back each time you put on your running shoes. You can download the app through the Apple App Store.
Okay, so how does Charity Miles work? You make an account and then select a charity that most resonates with you. Next, you do your thing, running as you normally do. Cycling, dancing, walking, and all other forms of movement are supported in the app as well.
As you reach a mile on your runs, Charity Miles will pull money to its corporate sponsorship pool that can go towards your charity. Other ways of earning money for charity include working with a company that’s part of the Employee Empowerment Program, getting donations, or partnering with a corporate sponsor of the charity.
Charity Miles is free to download and use!
Last but certainly not least is Aaptiv, which is available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. This audio fitness app is for outdoor runners, indoor cyclists, strength trainers, yoga practitioners, and treadmill/elliptical users.
When you download the app, you can access Aaptiv’s impressive cache of workouts, of which there are more than 2,500. All workouts use music and real trainers to guide you through doing your best exercise yet. Every week, more than 30 new classes get added to the app, which keeps Aaptiv interesting to use all the time. You can engage in training classes for 5Ks, 10Ks, and half-marathons.
If you’re out on the trail and you don’t have Wi-Fi, Aaptiv lets you download any of their classes and then watch them when offline. You can also sync the app with Apple Health to determine how many calories you’re burning during your runs.
Aaptiv costs $14.99 a month or $99.99 a year if you want all the classes.
Even if you’re running alone, you don’t have to be completely by yourself. The 15 running apps we showcased today can connect you with professional trainers and runners, let you pair up with your friends to cheer each other on, and challenge others in your neighborhood or beyond. Running will always stay exciting with apps like these!
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