Running has increased in popularity in recent years, and more and more people are using apps to achieve their goals. Running is accessible to all as it’s inexpensive and requires little equipment as well as being super good for you.
Running helps build strong bones, improve immunity, maintain a healthy weight and strengthens muscles. Using apps allows you to track progress and improve your fitness and are used by thousands of people worldwide. So, what should you look for in a good running app?
Let’s have a look at a selection of apps available at the moment.
Couch To 5K
Couch to 5K is a popular app developed by the NHS in the UK. it’s a plan that’s been designed to get people moving and is suitable for complete beginners. The app is easy to navigate and uses achievable goals each week to build you up slowly.
Once downloaded you will be able to choose a celebrity that will help support you right through the plan and be your virtual ‘running partner’ the great thing about c25k is you start off with a mix of walking and running. The key is consistency.
You must do a brisk warm up walk and then at first only a few minutes of running and back to walking. It encourages you to keep your pace slow so as not to burn out too quickly, it’s amazing how quickly your fitness will improve.
As you do it, the GPS tracks distance and time, so you can watch your progress.
Couch to 5k also has a nice community, and you can join the online groups for encouragement and to share experiences and goals. In no time, you’ll see your fitness and confidence growing.
- Suitable for beginners
- Celebrity support
- GPS tracking
- No extras
If you’re a keen runner but struggle to get down to a good routine, then Pacer may be the app for you. It’s very focused on steps and will log all steps taken in a given day, not just when running.
Not only does it count your walking and running steps, but it also calculates how many calories you burn off in the day. You see it clearly through a flow chart on the home screen.
As is the case with most apps it also has an online community where you can share challenges and compare progress. Furthermore, it also offers advice and guidance on personalized exercise plans. A great addition to your activity regime.
- 24/7 activity tracker
- Personalised fitness plans
- Fun challenges available
- It’s basic
Run coach is for the seasoned runner who wants to create a running schedule based on a customized routine.
There is a free option which offers a basic service, or you can upgrade for a full plan where you can use the algorithm to provide a personalized plan using your specific background, required goals and achievements so far.
If you miss a day’s training, the system automatically adjusts the program to exactly what you need. Once you reach the goal, you can set a new one with the help of the app.
The app also has dedicated coaches that can offer advice and help on fitness, nutrition, training, and injuries.
- Good for scheduling
- Automatic plan
- Coaches available
Requires A Subscription For All The Features
This app is good for experienced runners who want to switch it up a bit. If you fancy trying a new route but have no idea of distance, MapMyRun will calculate distance, pace, stride length etc.
The app is compatible with most devices and wearable watches, as well as the popular MyfitnessPal that enables you to sync exercise and diet.
MapMyRun is a comprehensive app and has more features than many of the others. For example, it offers audio coaching, data analysis and route finding. It has been reviewed and been found to be a fantastic app, and it even helps you find new routes.
It gives you detailed feedback on performance so you can set new goals. Furthermore, it is compatible with most devices and smartwatches such as the Garmin, Apple Watch, Fitbit etc.
- Real-time coaching
- Suggest new routes
- Compatible with most devices
Subscription Required For Premium
Runtastic is an Adidas running app and a very popular 10k option. It offers a voice coach that helps motivate you and will give you regular updates on calories burned, distance covered and running pace.
This is a very handy feature for those who have made specific goals. You can start the voice coach by clicking the run icon, which also has a picture of a speaking person. The consistent reminder of how well you’re doing will ensure you keep up the pace and not give up.
It has a huge community of runners to provide mutual support. Everyone catalogs their routes and runs using maps and GPS. In addition, it has a fun little feature where there is a cheer when your friends are notified when you’re preparing for a marathon.
Between them the huge community has a wealth of running experience and are able to exchange stories, tips and tricks to help make your running journey a success. Live challenges make it a great app for challenging yourself and having fun along the way.
The app has a free and paid version. As expected, you don’t get all the features available if you opt for the free one. You will still get tracking in real time, GPS showing all your stats, a few stories and you’re able to join the community.
However, the paid one is quite reasonable at $9.99 per month, and you get a more targeted plan, more detailed status, and you’ll be able to read all the stories. If a marathon is your goal, then it’s really worth investing in the paid version of Runtastic.
Another useful feature of the app is the ability to create a playlist within the app itself. It has a cool little running man icon where you can select music as well as a running story.
Runtastic isn’t just for running, so if you want a break from it, you can also log other activities and keep track of your health and fitness regime. If you’re not sure about it, you can try it free on a 7-day trial, what have you got to lose?
- Voice coach available
- Supportive and large community
- Other activities included
- Can seem complex
The app allows you to set personal goals for time, frequency, and distance which you can share with the community if you want to. Reviews for this app are excellent, and it is suggested that you can go from no running to 5k in 8 weeks and 5-10 in the next 6.
The app helps you to learn how to run consistently by alternating walking and running, as well as incorporating interval training. The voice guide is handy, but you can just as easily listen to music. The premium subscription is cheap at $2.99.
- Fast progress promised
- Interval training
- Voice guide
- Not many extra features
So this is our list. Using an app is a great way to see how well you progress and help you meet your fitness goals.