There are so many running apps available for download these days that choosing which ones will best support your fitness journey can be a tad overwhelming. To make things easier, we’ve broken down five apps that our experts feel are the most helpful, highly rated and best at giving you the data you want, so that you can improve your performance. These apps sync easily with smartphones and multiple tracking devices, and present data in user-friendly ways.
Strava uses your smartphone’s GPS to help track your runs, which is perfect for novice runners who are just starting out and don’t have all the professional gear yet. Simply press the start button and the app will record your run (or cycle). What adds to the app’s appeal is that it not only tracks distance, provides performance information and records data but is also a social media platform for athletes. One may connect with and follow other runners, offer congratulatory kudos for activities and goals reached, and comment on each other’s performance. Strava clubs also exist where communities set running challenges. Bonus: Strava creates a cute personalised year-end video with all your data.
TrainingPeaks keeps records of your runs and performance, lets you know what heart rate zone you were training in and when you’ve reached a new threshold. It syncs to the aforementioned Strava app, as well as other apps and smart watches. Sports coaches use this app to set weekly programmes including training zones for their clients. Of course, you can use it as a tracking app too, but it certainly plays a big role in our new-age online coaching world.
Owned by world-renowned running brand, Asics, Runkeeper is a running track app that helps users set goals, train for them with customised training plans and monitor runs and progress along the way. Its tracking feature and audio cues help with monitoring a runner’s pace, distance and keeps one motivated along the way. Coach in your ear? Yes! There’s also a great running community accessible via the app.
The MapMyRun app, owned by sportswear brand Under Armour, maps your running route while offering popular routes to keep your routine wherever you are in the world. Bonus feature: the app syncs with your Under Armour “smart” running shoes. Track everything from pace, stride length and cadence, plus get personalised coaching tips along the way. Get real-time feedback while you work and post-run tips to get better. Analyse your data in the app or on the web page, then conquer that 5km challenge.
5. Zombies, Run
A fun app that motivates and tracks your runs, Zombies, Run works by motivating you to run away from fictional zombies. The premise of the story:
You are a runner en-route to one of humanity’s last remaining outposts. They need your help to gather supplies, rescue survivors and defend their home. And you have another mission, one they don’t know about! Intrigued? Walk, jog or run anywhere in the world and hear your mission through a set of headphones. If you’re chased by zombies you’ll have to speed up. Good luck!