Running is one of the best ways to keep yourself in shape and in good health. However, one of the most difficult things about running is staying motivated and engaged so you can accomplish your fitness goals. Luckily, technology can be a great tool to keep you engaged and motivated — especially when the desire to get off track or quit starts to kick in.
Here, we’ve rounded up 12 of the best running apps available for Android- and iOS-compatible devices. They offer GPS tracking, the ability to share stats with friends, and even the option to challenge friends to competitions. Many of these running apps are fully compatible with the Apple Watch and Android Wear, too. So, let’s dust off our running shoes and put on our best looking pair of shorts. It’s time to run our way to better health.
Exercise is just one piece of the puzzle to stay in good health. Check out our picks for the best fitness apps for the iPhone or your Android device, apps that help you stay healthy all year round, and the best Fitbit device for every active lifestyle.
This fun running app makes it feel as if you’re playing a game with your friends. It offers GPS tracking but also allows you to see a feed of your friend’s activities, allowing you to challenge them along the way. You’ll also be able to see how you stack up against others, set goals, see leaderboards, and join monthly challenges. You can also share your activities via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thanks to its robust community and the designer’s commitment to keeping it fresh, Strava remains one of the best running and fitness apps available.
Doctors recommend you should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. This makes Runtastic the perfect app for those who like listening to audiobooks or podcasts while exercising. Its Story Running features allows you to download stories for just $1 and each track is roughly 40 minutes, making it the perfect time for a good workout. The app is also optimized for both Android Wear and the Apple Watch.
Runkeeper is another great running app which boasts a user community of more than 50 million runners. Staying motivated is very important and Runkeepers social approach is perhaps its best feature. It allows you to stay inspired and motivates you with rewards, along with a host of sharing features. It has Apple Watch, iTunes, and Spotify integration and works with other health apps such as Fitbit or MyFitnessPal.
MapMyRun built a member community of more than 40 million people, due in large part to the fact it’s just a great running app. There’s a specific Routes feature which allows you to find nearby places to run, as well as tools for saving and sharing them with your friends. The app can also automatically track runs and you can sync any data with devices from Garmin, Fitbit, Jawbone, and Under Armour (who happen to be the brand responsible for the app these days). With its deep customization and rewarding social features, MapMyRun is a triumph.
Nike+ Run Club
Nike+ Run Club is a running app that takes an adaptive approach to your training. Based on your goals and fitness level, it adjusts the training to better suit your progress. Not only does the app help you stay motivated by integrating with social apps like Facebook but it also allows you to send a shoutout to a friend to help them stay motivated. There’s no denying how much easier it is to accomplish your fitness goals when you have someone working toward them with you and Nike+ Run Club further proves this.
This is a great, GPS-enabled app that allows you to track running, walking, biking, and a slew of other sports. Logged data is sent to Endomondo’s website so you can analyze your stats and progress — friendly competition with others in the community is also encouraged. While the baseline app is free, you can go with a Premium option which lets you enjoy the app ad-free while offering weather information and other added perks. You’ll also have access to more detailed statistics, including calories burned per month, running distance by year, and other useful metrics.
RunGo is the best app to use if you want to discover new places while you run. With turn-by-turn voice navigation, you can select more than 100,000 routes around the world, or build your own. The app clearly tells you where to turn, even if you’ve gone a bit off course. You can also use it offline and it’s fully compatible with the Apple Watch. It also takes advantage of ARKit for iOS 11, integrating augmented reality into its features. Monthly subscriptions cost $2 while a yearly subscription runs for just $10.
Couch to 5K
This running app dares to make a substantial promise. Couch to 5k asks you to spend 20 or 30 minutes training, three times a week and promises that in nine weeks time, you’ll be ready to finish your first 5k race (roughly 3.1 miles). A one-time purchase of $3 allows you to choose between four virtual coaches and the app also features GPS support, an in-app music player, and offers you the ability to share your workouts via Facebook.
Wahoo Fitness’ main attraction is its robust compatibility, which allows it to integrate with more than 50 third-party apps and 240 individual products. It allows you to upload workouts to a host of top-tier training websites, including MapMyFitness, Nike+, Strava, MyFitnessPal, and several others. You’ll also be able to use this app with heart rate sensors, bike speed sensors, and even some specialized gym equipment.
An incredibly unique fitness app, Zombies, Run!, turns your workouts into a real-life adventure. It’s a running game that casts you as the hero in a zombie adventure story — one where you must race to save your life and the lives of others. The first four missions are free but after that, you’ll need to unlock new stories on a weekly basis. The app does allow you to unlock more than 240 missions by upgrading to a Pro membership. If you want to work out while having fun, this is the way to go.
If music is your true inspiration for running, then WeavRun was designed just for you. This innovative app syncs your favorite music to your footsteps, increasing the beat as you speed up and decreasing the beat as you slow down. In addition to simply tracking cadence and making automatic tempo adjustments, you can choose to enter your desired steps-per-minute and challenge yourself to keep in tune with the music. The app also includes GPS run tracking, seamless sharing, and is fully integrated with Strava and other running apps. The best part? The app functions so that it doesn’t sacrifice the quality of the music — ever. It never distorts songs or stretches them beyond their original compositions.
My Run Plan
This is not just another running app — My Run Plan is an advanced fitness tool for serious runners. This application builds a training plan tailored to your needs. It really is all about you, too, as it focuses completely on your schedule, your goals, and your performance. How does it work? Set a running goal and input schedule information before letting the app’s algorithm give you customized training guidance. You can even reach out to USATF-certified coaches for questions regarding training, nutrition, or for help with injuries. It costs $9.99 for a monthly plan.
Update: We’ve added links to related articles and added the WeavRun and My Run Plan apps.