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Best Running Apps for Runners.
Hello, Welcome! Today we’re going to be running through some of the best running apps for this year that are out there for runners. There are 100s if not thousands of running and fitness apps out there that you download and start using right away.
Most of the apps are free to use for the basic features such tracking your location, distance covered and calories burned among others. But if you require advanced features such as professional coaching lessons, finding running buddies and other features, you may have to upgrade to a premium subscription.
So whether it’s logging miles, tracking your routes, staying social online with your running friends or whatever it is you want to do, we’ve looked into it.
Becoming a runner is certainly not a walk in the park. If you’re just starting out and researching for some beginner runner tips, you would discover that things can get pretty confusing quickly.
Besides your running gear, food and other tips, one unmissable item (or gadget) almost every runner has these days is a running app on their smart phone or smart watch. These are for tracking routes, calories burned, listening to music or motivational speeches during the run, just to name a few.
A Review of the 13 Best Running Apps Today
So here are the best running apps for both beginner and advanced runners.
Strava is by far the most popular running app out there so if you use Strava, you’re not alone. There are more than 50 million athletes on the app with over 3 billion activity shared. Now there are lots of features on Strava on both the free and paid for (Summit) versions.
You can plot routes on the desktop version and some people even go to the extreme and plot routes that look like things more affectionately known as Strava art.
You can record your runs directly in the app but it also links with a whole host of GPS devices. So you can record on your watch and then upload to the platform later.
It offers all kinds of metrics like elevation, pace and an even more detailed breakdown as well as training plans if you opt for the Summit premium membership.
Once you upload your activity to the app you can give it a name, add photos, notes and sit back and watch as all the kudos roll in. And of course you can show your appreciation for other people’s hard work by giving them kudos or commenting on their posts.
If you’re secretly a bit competitive, there’s a segment’s feature. With this feature can see how you compare to other runners running on the same segment of your route like when we run up the world’s steepest street.
As long as taking part in challenges that pop up and earn you badges and other rewards. Strava Summit users also get access to ‘Beacon’ which is a safety option that allows three designated contacts to monitor your location while you’re out running. Super useful for safety. You can download the Strava running app here.
#2. Garmin Connect
Next on our best running apps for 2020 the Garmin Connect. It’s the app that links with your Garmin device and of course there are other running watch brands out there each with their own apps. However, Garmin dominates the running world so don’t be surprised to hear this is very high up in the list of running apps runners use.
Once you record you run on your GPS watch it then syncs via Bluetooth to the Garmin Connect app on your phone. You can then have a closer look at all of the data you’ve acquired and that doesn’t just focus on running it takes a holistic approach to all parts of your life.
So there’s info on your step count for the day, flights, climbed and sleep info. Depending on the model of Garmin you have, it can also tell you things like your heart rate, stress levels and body battery.
There’s also a community aspect to Garmin Connect so you have the ability to connect with your running friends who can see your activities. You can also go head-to-head in challenges against them.
It also has an ‘Insights’ feature that lets you see how your level of activity compares to thousands of other Garmin Connect users around the world. There are badges to be earned – some of them are obvious ones like running a set distance, others are one-offs like a leap day badge for recording an activity on the 29th of February.
Plus if you want to be coached by your app, no problem. ‘Garmin Coach’ lets you set your goal and work through a plan with specific running sessions to follow that you can send straight to your watch.
For safety there’s Garmin live track so you can email your trusted contact a link to your activity and they can see you as you’re on the move. Also a useful tool if someone you know is supporting you at a race and easy to see we’re on the course you are.
#3. Couch To 5K
Couch To 5K (C25K) is the next on our list of best running apps. It is an app, exercise plan and podcast set up by the NHS in the UK to encourage an active lifestyle. It’s a nine week program designed especially for beginners, mostly people who’ve never run before, to go from no exercise to running a 5k.
The app gives you the nine week plan that consists of three runs a week, breaking it all down and telling you exactly when to run and when to walk via audio commands. The goal is that subscribers would run 5k without stopping by the end of the program.
It’s perfect for beginners. Many people who are beginner runners find it to be best app to get started on their running journey for fitness. It’s the one to pass on to friends and family members you might be looking at joining you in your hobby.
#4. Nike Run Club
The fourth of the best running apps is the Nike Run Club app. It’s your virtual running buddy in your ear. This app features guided runs some of them with the best titles I have ever seen. Titles such as Don’t Want to Run Run and Running on Empty.
These recordings help you push through runs when the going gets tough. The coaches are in your ears asking you to think hard about why you’re running, why you didn’t feel like running that day, as well as how proud of yourself you’ll be once you’ve done it.
It logs your miles, split times and average mile pace, tracks your route and stores all of your workouts in the app. There’s also a social sharing platform where you can post your runs.
The Nike Run Club coaches give you shouts of recognition after each run; a nice little motivational touch.
RunKeeper by Asics is also really popular among the running runners. It has a wide array of features and is really easy to use as well. Whether you’re a beginner runner or an experienced marathoner this app has something for everyone.
You can use the GPS capability to track your distance, pace and overall time and mix up your running routine by following one of RunKeeper’s pre-created routes. RunKeeper also lets you set goals and watch your progress to stay motivated.
If you also into biking or fitness, walking or other activities you can track those too.
For runners training for races RunKeeper offers personalized training routines complete with helpful reminders to keep you on track. It also syncs with other apps and devices like Fitbit as well as Apple watches.
All of these features are available for free. The paid version gives you access to training plans for all abilities across most distances that are also customizable.
MapMyRun by Under Armor is also one of the best running apps for both newbie and advanced runners. It’s perfect for someone with a busy lifestyle and relies heavily on planning and scheduling runs right down to the time, distance and location.
It tracks runs using GPS data from your phone or with your favorite device like a Garmin or Apple watch. Similarly this is great if you’re in a running rut and bored of doing the same old runs.
Want to look for ways to spice up your running routes? By using your location ‘Route Genius’ within the app allows you to look up new running routes in your area that have been run by other users of the app.
This is can be filtered by distance. MapMyRun links direct with Apple music so you can play your PowerUp playlist as you go along through the app itself. And there’s more.
There are some great additional features within the app too, like setting personal goals linking it with My Fitness Pal to track your nutrition and adding the details of your running shoes to keep track of their mileage.
There’s a free version but if you want to dig down deep into your stats or use their training plan feature you can also pay for premium version.
#7. Running Heroes
If you’re looking for one of the best running apps that rewards to motivate you to keep going, you gonna want to take a look at the Running Heroes app. Running Heroes is an app that rewards you with points the more you run. And you know what points mean right? Prizes!!
As you accumulate points you can then use them towards rewards within the Running Heroes app itself. This is one of several of the best running apps out there that does this but Running Heroes works with 13 different running apps, watches and GPS trackers.
As such it works really well alongside your favorites. Just select what you use the most when you sign up. The rewards range from discounts on big name brands to experiences. There are also group challenges too that have prizes up for grabs for completing them.
Within the app there are tons of running stories and articles for you to get your teeth into when you’re not running. This apps currently available in the UK, France, Australia and New Zealand.
We know that running with others can help our performance and our mental health not to mention motivate us to get out more. Countless studies have shown that. However, we also know that life and work commitments means sometimes you’re not able to join a regular running club or crew station.
So if you’re looking for one the best running apps that caters to this problem is the MyCrew app. MyCrew running app is where you can find other like-minded runners to run with. How does it work?
Just set your location and MyCrew lists for you the distance of the sessions that are taking place, when they are and how far away they are from you.
There’s also extra info available on most of the runs like whether there’s a backdrop available, the route and of course whether there’s a post run smoothie, coffee or feed to be had with your new running buddies.
Right now there are options in the UK, big cities in the US and Canada as well as a couple of other countries like Spain, Australia and France. This app makes it easy to meet and connect with new runners in your area.
#9. Adidas Running (Runtastic)
Adidas Running used to be called Runtastic and this is an all-in-one run tracking app that map’s your runs and keeps tabs on a variety of metrics like times,speed and distance. It also also provides customized voice coaching and cheers to help motivate your progress.
You can connect it to your GPS watch currently Garmin, Polar and Apple watches are supported on the app. This one has loads of challenges you can take part in too. These challenges are all set to be completed within certain time frames.
You can also add your own goals and what shoes you’re using to keep a track of how many miles they’ve done. Adidas Running app also links up to Apple music to let you pick your own tunes or select one of their own curated playlists to listen to while you do your run.
This is a free running app but it has a premium subscription which includes training plans, route planning, interval training and more.
#10. Zombies, Run!
One of the best running apps this year that brings the fun to running is Zombies, Run! We all love a bit of fun when it comes to running right? Okay maybe not everyone because I know I said running is not a walk in the park, at least not for everyone. Let’s move on!
This app includes all the usual tracking features that comes with most running apps and trackers. What makes it unique is that it aims to motivate you with stories and drama rather than data and targets.
Instead of runs you go on missions and collect rewards with the sound of rather athletic zombies pounding the pavement behind you. There are six seasons to work through. When you’re tired of the undead you can download interval training and race activities to follow as well.
All the running apps we have been talking about so far are of course intelligent in what they do. However, Relive take clever to the next level. It’s super clever app that takes the GPS data from your running route recorded on your watch or phone plus all the photos you took along the way during that activity and generates incredible 3D flyover videos of the whole route.
You can also choose to add friends to it, who you ran with, add music and change the type of landscape you can see. You can then download the file and share it to social media as a video to document your epic adventure or loads and loads of laps around a track.
I like the name of this running app. Komoot is one of the best running apps that is super handy. It’s suitable for those of us who enjoy an active commute. If you had not had time to plan an actual route and just want to get from A to B, not a problem.
With Komoot you can just whack in your current location, search for where you want to go, pick your level of ability from a sliding scale of five, starting from couch potato to pro and Komoot plans the entire route for you.
It tells you how many miles it is and has a rough guess at how long it’ll take you to get there. You can easily see the elevation profile of your route at a glance.
Komoot also gives you any tips on extra features you might encounter on the way. It also rates the technical difficulty of your route and the fitness required out of three.
Once you’re happy with your route you start the navigation and then get turn-by-turn instructions as you go. The free version gives you the info for the city you’ll set up for. If you want info on somewhere new maybe you’re traveling or on holiday perhaps, you can pay a one-off fee for that country’s maps.
The next on our list of the best running apps is Eastnine. Think of Eastnine as a coach in your phone. This apps specifically is designed to deliver professional audio sports coaching while you workout. You can train with some of the world’s top coaches and personal trainers.
There are different sessions for long and short runs all aimed at improving your speed, endurance, strength and mobility. You just choose a session and press ‘Start’ and new sessions added every week.
You can also listen to your own music playlist through Apple music and Spotify at the same time. There’s an Apple Watch version of this app too so you don’t need to take your phone with you.
It integrates with Health Kit and Strava to save store and share your workout data. Eastnine is a paid-for app. You can access the first of their sessions for free though.
These are the top 13 best running apps for both beginners and advanced marathon runners. Most of these running apps have free versions which would okay for beginners. However, as you advance in running, you way want to extra features, in which case we recommend you get a paid subscription.
We hope this review has you some inspiration for some apps to download to help your running. What’s your opinion? Did we entirely miss your favorite running app? Tell us in the comments below.