Best Running Apps (2021)
There’s no other natural high quite like that of a really good run. If you know that already, chances are you’re a veteran runner, but even if you’re not, we totally understand why you’d want to chase the endorphin rush that comes with. In fact, studies show that running even five to 10 minutes per day at a slow speed can reduce risks of death from all causes, including cardiovascular disease. If that’s not the ultimate reason to start running, we don’t know what is!
However, most people don’t know where to start. No matter where you are in your running journey—novice, expert, or every other level of runner in between—there’s an amazing running app that can help track your progress and inspire you to keep going. Even when the going gets tough! Read on for a list of the best running apps.
Best Running Apps
1. Nike+ Run Club
The Nike+ Run Club app is usually where most people start. First of all, it’s free, available on both iOS and Android, and features fun coaching features to help even the most devoted couch potatoes take to the pavement. You’ll also love that this app can sync with your Spotify, so you can listen to your favorite tracks without missing your in-app coach’s cues. And bonus: It links up with your Apple Watch, too, for hands-free running! (iOS, Android, free with in-app purchases).
While Human is first and foremost a running app, its strengths actually lie in its ability to also moonlight as an activity tracker. This app runs in the background at all times, tracking your fitness and activity, not unlike the Health app on iOS. Human is great at motivating users to get going and reach their daily 30 minutes of exercise, but it also compares your data to a leaderboard, too, to encourage a little healthy competition. (iOS, Android, free with in-app purchases).
3. Strava GPS Cycling and Running
Runners and bicyclists alike love Strava for its super-detailed GPS tracking. It’s one of the best apps on this list for accurately tracking your hikes, runs, and bicycle routes. While it’s totally free to use, there is a premium membership offered that also provides access to Strava’s safety feature, called Beacon. Beacon allows runners (or cyclists) to alert up to three contacts of their location. (iOS, Android, free with in-app purchases).
If tracking isn’t as important to you and what you’re really looking for is a coached run, Runcoach is perfect for training. The app itself uses an adaptive algorithm based on your prior workouts to measure your progress and the goals you should be targeting. It also features a Race Improvement Calculator option, which can come in handy for any runner planning for an upcoming marathon. (iOS, Android, free with in-app purchases).
Pacer is a free running and pedometer app that offers accurate step tracking, personalized fitness plans, and 24/7 activity tracking. Another fun bonus is the interactive Pacer community where you can find advice, insight, and more from fellow runners. (iOS, Android, free with in-app purchases).
6. Adidas Runtastic
The Adidas Runtastic app is totally free, but it also features a premium membership (as most running apps do) for those who want more intensive coaching and tracking options. It offers training plans, in-app challenges, and tracking options for both runs and bicycle rides. (iOS, Android, free with in-app purchases).
An AI running app, TrainAsOne is specifically designed to not only create the best training plan for your running, but to also actually help you meet your goals. But most running apps claim to do this, right, so what makes TrainAsOne better? Well, the answer is its AI—artificial intelligence—features that more accurately measure your progress versus your goal. TrainAsOne is always updating your training plan, but if you plan on using it long-term, you may have to pay a monthly fee. It’s free, but only for a 21-day trial period. (iOS, Android, Garmin, free with in-app purchases).
Also popular amongst cyclists, ZSwift is designed for keeping track of indoor workouts. If you prefer running indoors on a treadmill, this may be the app for you. With this indoor running app, you run on virtual roads while your digital avatar follows along. (iOS, Android, free with in-app purchases).
One of the most popular running apps is Runkeeper by ASICS, which has been around since 2008. Runkeeper has a ton of great features to offer, including insights, workouts and training plans, as well as trainer guidance from the pros. (iOS, Android, free with in-app purchases).
Next up, these are the best running shoes for women.