10 Best Apps For Runners

There are hundreds of fitness apps out there that aim to help you improve your running; here is our pick of the 10 best free apps for runners, available on Android and iOS devices.

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RunKeeper

Through this app, users can track their runs using GPS, monitoring the distance, speed and calories burned among other things. For a free app, RunKeeper offers a lot of features. There are options to follow pre-planned routes, or the app can track your own course as you run it. You can also follow training plans provided by RunKeeper or utilise the audio coaching option to create your own. The app cleverly integrates any existing music you have on your device, and you can then play this through RunKeeper, reducing the number of apps you have to use. The app includes training plans for 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon, so the app is great for all of your running goals. Another good feature of the app is that you can share your progress with friends via social media. You can also connect with and follow friends on RunKeeper and motivate each other in your fitness journeys. The app accommodates the use of external heart rate monitors and smart watches, if you wanted to gain a more comprehensive overview of your training.

Workout Trainer

The Workout Trainer app offers thousands of free workouts for you to choose from including a specific set of exercises with a running focus. The app offers users the choice of a voice-over coach feature, which is useful for going through workouts step-by-step. In the specific running section of the app, the voice over can tell you when to run, change pace and rest. Also the step-by-step video feature allows all users the access to easy to follow workout routines. The app will automatically remember your history, saving you the time of signing up and allowing you to begin your workout quickly. Its user-friendly interface is simple to use. There is an additional sign up fee to fully utilise the voiceover feature and to access more of the apps video tutorials, however the free version includes a good level of access. There is also a community aspect and a forum, which allows users to interact with one another. Workout Trainer is a good app for runners who want to vary their training routine.

Sports Injury Clinic

This app is a must have for any runner. It includes over 100 common sports injuries and gives users advice on how to deal with them. The information given is clear and concise and easily divided into body parts, making the app easy to navigate. There is also the option to select where on your body your injury is, using an interactive body image on screen. Sports Injury Clinic also includes videos to help with recovery. If you are not confident in what the injury is, there is also a symptom checker on the app, which then gives you a list of potential injuries. Although the app does not feature every potential sports injury, it is a good starting reference for common running niggles. But if the injury is serious, it is always best to get it checked out by a professional. Another good feature of this app is the inclusion of real sports injury clinics near you. So if you need to see a professional, the app gives a list of local qualified practices.

Strava

This popular app tracks the distance, time, pace and calories burned during your runs through GPs. It also allows you to compete with other users and challenge your way up the leaderboards. Users can also join up with other friends on Strava to offer encouragement and compete against one another in their fitness goals. Once you have downloaded the app and start to collect data, you can then upload your activity onto the Strava website and analyse your performances. There is also the option to share your progress through various social media platforms. The competitive aspect of Strava breaks runs down into segments and allows you to race against others for the fastest times in each section. Users can also chose to keep their information private if they don’t want to share, making Strava a good app for beginners to build confidence. The well-designed colour scheme and layout looks sleek and is easy to follow. There is an option to go premium with this app, to access more features for a set monthly price.

MapMyRun

This is a good all round app, if you want to track your calorific intake and explore your training stats all in one place, then MapMyRun is a good place to start. The app is owned by Under Armour and can link up with external heart-rate monitors to gauge a more comprehensive breakdown of your performance. Using GPS, the app can provide extensive detail on your; pace, route, distance and number of calories burned and includes over 600 exercise activities to supplement your workouts. With features such as an auto pause option, the capacity to saves runs for later and the ability play music through the app, the free version of MapMyRun provides users with a range of options. You can view the routes other people are running in the local area, and the app is also a useful tool to track any new routes you might be running. The app also gives users the option to view their information online. MapMyRun has a user-friendly interface and is easy to navigate.

Calorie Counter - MyFitnessPal

This app houses an extensive food database and claims to take less than five minutes a day to input your diet and exercise statistics. You can also use Calorie Counter in conjunction with third party apps such as Garmin and Strava. The app allows users to import recipes, scan barcodes, set their own goals and chart their progress. Using Calorie Counter is a good way to monitor your nutrition and if you specifically want to lose weight through your training, then this is a good app to keep track of your progress. It can also help you to measure your calorific intake and work out how much food you are burning during your running. On the app, foods are broken down into easy to read sections so that you can see exactly what types of nutrition are included in the foods. There is also the social option on Calorie Counter to add friends and view their food diaries and use the app as a platform to motivate one another.

Rock My Run

This app aims to increase a runner’s motivation, enjoyment and ultimately improve overall performance through its specialised playlist creations. The app works in synchronisation with trackers such as RunKeeper and MapMyRun, so that you can still monitor your progress while using the music service. The app allows the runners movements and goal cadence to match up with the tempo of the music, helping them to get the most out of their workout. But the makers of this app did not want to disregard the emotional impact a song can have on your workout. The reaction of a runner to the music is just as important as the number of beats per minute according to the people at Rock My Run. You no longer need to create a specialised running playlist with your own music, as this app does the hard work for you. The free version allows access to workout playlists of 45 minutes and under. Playlist can be downloaded using Wi-Fi and then used while you are out on your run, without the need for the Internet.

Zombies, Run!

This hugely popular alternative running app provides a fun way to complete your training. Essentially the app turns your running workouts into a game, where you as the runner have to face the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. It is a great app for people who struggle to find motivation while training. In the app, you take on the character of ‘Runner 5’ and the story is narrated to you through voiceovers and radio messages and progress displayed on the screen of the device. Users can still listen to music whilst using the app and information will appear in between tracks. The sound in your earphones of imminent zombies approaching is intended to spur you on to run further and faster. Gain supplies while you are out on your run, to expand your base. The free version of this app gives users four missions to complete, then a new mission can be unlocked every week. The app also incorporates GPs to track your runs and there is an option to share your progress online with friends.

Sleep Bug

This app is a white noise generator, which works by playing sounds to help eradicate background noise and can assist you in relaxing and aid better sleep. Sleep Bug is perfect for runners who want to help ensure a good nights rest before/ after training, or to relax someone before a competition the next day. It would also be useful to play in the background of your stretching or warm down session, to relax you after your workout. The free version of the app gives users 12 soundscapes to choose from, each with a variety of sounds to pick from included within each soundscape. It also features a timer so you can monitor how long the sound goes on for, preventing the app from using up all of your battery. Sleep Bug displays high quality images to complement each of the sounds. The device can also still be used for other purposes while the sounds are playing in the background.

Runtastic Timer App for Workouts

This simple app is a must have for any runner. It allows you to keep track of your workout time and rest periods. It is easy to see and manage through its large interface. You can also still play your music on your device with the app in the background.  Users can set as many timers as they want to on the app, eliminating the time spent having to do this during your workout. The Runtastic Timer also accounts for reps and sets to be imputed if needed. The voice feedback is a handy feature so you don’t have to keep looking at your phone during your workout. The voice over can be set for the start and the end of each set to keep you informed of your progress. The Runtastic app is useful for HITT workouts, circuit training and strength exercises. The app will also save your selections, bringing a level of consistency to your training plan.

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