The Best Running Apps for Every Type of Runner
UPDATED: Check out how to get the best of your apps at the foot of this blog with two recently-created running services - straight to your devices!
Running apps these days can do it all: track your progress, manage your goals and even share your running journey with your friends. We've reviewed and compared some of the most popular apps out there to help you choose the right app for you.
Best for Team Players
Pros: Strava is designed to be a social running app. You can follow other runners, join challenges and create teams, making it by far the best app for building team spirit - and a little healthy competition! If you run regular routes, Strava will also automatically compare them so that you can accurately track your route-specific progress. It can also sync with a number of popular running watch brands such as Garmin, FitBit and Samsung.
Cons: Some features which are common in the free versions of other running apps, such as goal setting and annual progress stats, are only available in the paid version of Strava.
Best for Stat Lovers
Pros: Run Keeper shows weekly, monthly and yearly progress stats, including miles run, calories burned, and elevation gained. You can also sync iTunes and Spotify playlists to listen while you run, and track your treadmill runs using the stopwatch feature.
Cons: RunKeeper's GPS isn't quite as accurate as its nearest competitors, so not great for those who like to run off the beaten track.
Best for Planners
Pros: If you're unsure how to even start making a training plan, try MyAsics. It has a really useful tool which creates a custom training plan for any race based on your goals, what you can currently run, and how frequently you can fit running into your life. It will also give you an estimated finish time - really handy if you're unsure what a realistic goal would be.
Cons: While it's great for creating a training plan, the run recording features don't live up to the likes of other apps. It's also not as intuitive to use, and isn't very smart looking. But you can always use MyAsics to create a training plan, and another app for tracking.
Nike+ Run Club
Best for Stylish Runners
Pros: Nike+ has always been one of the more stylish running apps, and is very user friendly. Its coaching feature is also little more diverse than other apps, with so many different guest coaches and workouts you can download, it's like having a PT in your pocket! Like RunKeeper, you can integrate your playlists and, if you are someone who likes to listen to music during a run, it's definitely worth checking out the Nike Running Playlist on Spotify.
Cons: Unsurprisingly, Nike use their app to advertise their products, meaning your personal feed is filled with the latest overpriced trainers and gadget watches. Unlike Strava, their voice prompt feature gives average pace as opposed to the previous mile or kilometre, which works well for steady runs but isn't great for interval or progression runs.
Best for Explorers
Pros: MapMyRun is useful if you like to mix up your routes or often run in different places. It has a handy route planner which you can use to create your own routes, as well as a route finder so you steal routes from other runners. You can then use the app to follow your planned route whilst out running - and make sure you don't get lost!
Cons: MapMyRun lacks many other features found in most running apps, and the app isn't particularly stylish or user friendly.
Getting the best of your apps…
These supplementary applications will let you get the best out of your running apps. Whilst mostly recommended for the elite runner, they have uses across the board, and will benefit anyone looking to improve their running ability.
TrainAsOne - Free.
Running is all about data. And realistically, it’s very difficult to find the time to effectively analyse your running data and improve as a result. TrainAsOne does it all for you. The service takes data from all runners with similar metrics and physical measurements to you, and adapts your goals and plans to suit. If you have a bit of cash to splash, they’ll even adjust your workout to weather and elevation!
SmashRun - Free.
Where TrainAsOne will help provide you with all your data, SmashRun will help you visualise it all. There’s also a bunch of helpful tools which help motivate you to get out there, even on the worst of days!
Is your favourite app not featured? Let us know in the comments!