If you’re like us, your smartphone is your go-to for just about everything. Capturing memories, getting directions, keeping up with loved ones – the list goes on and on. It goes everywhere with us, and that includes our workouts. Whether you’re someone who prefers an at-home workout session or you’re a gym rat, there are countless apps out there to help you exercise more effectively.
Apps make it easier than ever to stay motivated and stick to your routine. When it comes to running, they can track your pace, distance, calories, running routes and more, all to help you reach your fitness goals.
Here are the best running apps, available for both iOS and Android. The best part? They’re all much cheaper than hiring a personal trainer. In fact, these nine smartphone apps we’re about to mention are free.
One of the first running apps on the scene, Runkeeper is a straight-forward easy to use app that tracks your pace, distance, calories burned, time and more. Look back on past runs to track your progress and use set route within the app to discover new routes near you. This app is great for beginners looking for basic run data.
This app offers all the basic functionality of a running app: pace, distance, calories burned and time, with the added benefit of linking to fitness trackers and heart rate monitors. You can also input more robust data like food consumption and track the distance logged on your running shoes. The app will alert you when it’s time for a new pair. A cool function of this app is the ability to specify the type of run—are you on a treadmill, on the trails, in your neighborhood or walking the dog, which can be helpful when analyzing your performance.
Another popular app, adidas Running App by Runtastic, is your basic running app that links to Google Earth for easy route-mapping, especially if you’re in a new city. The analytics in this app are great with graphs and charts depicting your progress and easy social sharing. It comes with built-in training schedules and even syncs up with Spotify and Pandora for easy music streaming. This app is great for travelers constantly running in new cities and those looking for more robust reporting of your run data.
Pumatrac offers a sleek interface with all the perks of a basic running app, but with several bonus features to give a holistic view of your workouts. The app pulls in additional information that may impact your run like weather, time of day or day of the month and synthesizes to determine personal insights. For example, you may find you run best on Friday mornings before 10, or that you run faster when listening to rock music.
You don’t have to have Nike products to enjoy the benefits of this app. Set your running terrain (treadmill, trails, sidewalk) and the app tracks your pace, distance, calories burned and time. The thing that set this app apart are the gamified options to share your personal goals, challenge friends and beat your personal record. You can also upload a “Power Song” to play when you need an extra boost on your run.
If you split your fitness routine between running and cycling, the Strava app is a great choice. The unique dashboards track more detailed aspects of your workout like elevation gained plus more traditional metrics like pace, distance and time. Another unique feature are the leaderboards, achievement badges and challenges to push you to reach your goals. This app is great for those who like to run off the beaten path and thrive with a little friendly competition.
Perfect for the novice runner looking to get in shape and build up their running regimen, this app gets you off your couch and able to run a 5K in just 9 short weeks. It provides built-in training schedules with 20 – 30 min routes three times a week until your race. The built in pacing tells you when to walk, when to run, and coaches you through your route while gradually building stamina and strength. Chose 1 of 4 virtual coaches to keep you motivated.
With some pedometer apps, they won’t track steps if your phone isn’t in your hand. That’s not the case with Pacer. As long as your phone is with you on your walk, run, workout or if you’re just running errands (hand, pocket or even purse) – it’ll track your steps. If you’re looking for a guided workout, Pacer some free options like Intro to Interval Walking, Full Body Strength and Daily Stretch. You have the option to join Pacer Premium for access to all of their guided workouts for strength training, walking and stretching. Pacer is also compatible with other fitness monitoring apps like Fitbit and MyFitnessPal.
This app is in its third season and continues to grow in popularity. For $3.99 you become part of a zombie apocalypse and have to run to escape the lifeless-monsters chasing you. The more miles you log, the more supplies you win to help your village survive. Run too slow, and the zombies catch you! This is a fun app for those looking for an exciting way to spice up their runs.
This basic running app lets you help others while taking care of yourself. Before you start your run, choose the charity you want to donate to that day. There are multiple charities to choose from like the Wounded Warrior Project, Stand Up to Cancer, the ASPCA and more. For each mile you run, walk or bike brands like Timex and others will donate to the cause of your choice. The more you run, the more they donate. Typical donations are $0.10 per mile biked and $0.25 per mile run or walked. Get the kids involved and see how much you can earn for the charity of their choice on your next family walk.
Download your favorite app and hit the road. But before you do, make sure your phone is protected. Nothing ruins a good workout like dropping your phone while taking a running selfie and busting the screen. Visit Asurion.com or check with your wireless provider for more information on comprehensive protection plans.