I am an avid runner. You could see me running anytime, anywhere. I am always ready to lace up my favorite running shoes and get on the pavement. But while I am running, I love to track my run data, and what better way than to use some of the best running apps for iPhone and Android.
I feel motivated when I see my mileage growing because it’s good motivation to see the progress I am making.
The most recommended way to track your performance and progress is with the help of running apps. With the advancement in technology, these apps monitor everything, from your routes to your heart rate zones. There are additional features that come up in each different app. And that is what I love experiencing.
To bring the best from the plethora of choices, I have narrowed down the most fancy and technical running apps which work extensively on both iPhone and android. These tools help you get started when you are ready to go.
Strava Running and Cycling:
If your fitness regime includes both running, swimming and cycling, Strava Running and Cycling app could be the best option. This app has been around since 2009 and used by thousands of athletes across the world.
Strava app is straightforward and very easy to use. It doesn’t take very long to download and setup. You can sign in with a Facebook account, run off the path and enjoy the friendly competition with your friends that are also using Strava.
The app records all the trails or the roads you had taken for cycling or running on its dashboard. It monitors your speed, time, distance, and calories.
With a premium account, known as Strava Summit, you get a detailed analysis of your run. It examines the distance and compares the change in paces. You can also keep track of your heart rate and pace zones for the desired lap.
Suffer Score is an additional feature in the subscription plan. It shows the intensity of your training. The farther you run, the higher the Suffer Score goes.
Arguably, the coolest feature is the heat map. It is a beautiful dataset that helps visualize the routes you have covered around the whole world.
- For runners and bikers, Strava is more like a social media account. You can keep track of all your friends, distances they covered, or the remote places they discovered. It also allows you to give Kudos or leave comments on their routes.
- The ‘segment’ feature records small intervals of your course. It measures how fast you rode or ran for that interval. You can make your record public and get a chance to be the King of the Mountain and see your name on the leaderboard.
- The auto-pausing feature is not as reliable as the rest of the apps. It usually adds a buffer of 10 to 30 seconds in the total track record. So, the exact mile tracking goes for a toss.
Price: It is available on iPhone and android for free. You can explore the enhanced metrics of Strava Summit for $5 per month.
Map My Run
Overall Rank: 2/5
Map My Run does not confine you only to running. There is a long list of options to choose from, including interval training, road cycling, walking, and hiking.
Like many other runner’s apps, you can use this one to monitor the route, distance, and speed with your phone’s GPS. It uses a blank pre-loaded map to let you select your customized way. There are options to redo previous runs and use other user-generated maps.
The only uniqueness of this app is the community that is running since 2005. It will be difficult to leave it if you are already a part of this community.
You can upgrade your membership to MVP, a paid subscription to avail many benefits offered to a premium member like seeing your cadence and heart rate zones.
The audio coaching feature on this app is very impressive. At first, it gives you clear and constant voice feedback. This offers audio statistics like the pace, distance, and time of the run. Next is the Audio Coaching that helps give you that nip during your workout to push harder. You can set up your workout goals and be notified as you near your workout targets.
Another cool thing, Map My Run generates a chart to track the speed changes and pace of your run. It shows you a comprehensive graph with time spend on different cardio areas and your heart rate.
- You can share your running activities with your friends.
- The app records more than 600 activities.
- It is cheaper than many other running apps.
- The interface is not simple for beginners.
- GPS tracking is not accurate.
Price: Map My Run is free on iPhone and android. The MVP subscription is $5.99 per month and $29.99 per year.
Nike Run Club
Overall Rank: 3/5
Designed for both amateur and veteran runners, Nike Run Club is an interesting collaboration of a great social networking tool, a music player, and a run tracker.
It measures the mile splits, the distance you ran, and your pace. The interface is simple to customize and shares your running details like progress, stats, stickers, and photos with your friends.
There are many fitness coaching plans that range from 4-6 weeks’. These plans help to strategize your running purpose and goals. Nike’s pro athletes’ audios, which come along with the built-in music player, is fantastic.
It highly motivates you to keep going and achieve your target. The Spotify integration feature is incredible to have an inspired musical route. But the music is softer to support the audio stats. So, you may have to turn the volume up to balance.
Nike Run Club app seamlessly interfaces with your Apple Watch. You get a robust training experience and focused community with Apple Watch and Wear OS.
Mostly known as the NRC, this app lets you compete to bag the position on the leaderboard, enjoy the in-run cheers from your pals of the community, and win milestone badges and trophies to push your achievements.
You can record your heart data by syncing it to Google Fit.
- Get trained from different coaches.
- You can skip a session but still have a proper customized training program.
- Sometimes the mileage and paces are not as accurate as they should be.
- More use of the GPS tracking system drains your phone’s battery.
Price: Nike Run Club is downloadable on iPhone and Android for free. You can upgrade at the cost of $14.99 per month and $119.99 for 12 months.
Couch to 5K
Overall Rank: 4/5
Couch to 5K offers an 8-week training program that can help you become the 5K runner from a couch potato. Each program aims to train you for 20 to 30 minutes per week and get you ready to run for a race of 3.1 miles in just nine weeks.
You listen to verbal cues accompanied by four virtual coaches during the training period. You get to work on your stamina and bring the best out of you to be the race winner.
You can track your distance and time via GPS. There is a manual or automatic logging system to monitor your progress.
While you are running, Couch to 5K lets you stay connected to the world around you via Twitter and Facebook too. It also allows you to sync with My Fitness Pal, an app that tracks your exercise and diet.
After each run, you can save the data on active.com and enjoy the triumphs by sharing them in the newsfeed.
- The app offers accuracy, even while your phone is locked.
- It works wonders if you are just an amateur.
- You can run while listening to your favorite music.
- Couch to 5K does not seem to catch your attention if you are already a pro at running.
Price: You can quickly get this app on iPhone and Android for no cost but can unlock the entire plan in $4.99.
Pacer: Walking & Running Pedometer for Health & Weight
Overall Rank: 5/5
Pacer app is Michael Caldwell’s brainchild. The simple interface easily lets you monitor your daily activities.
You can use GPS on Google Maps to track your walks or runs. It is excellent to use if you always carry your phone. It records movement only when the phone is on your body.
This app has an attractive interface and data management system. You just have to download Pacer, and the app handles the rest. It records your blood pressure and body weight to couple with some other great fitness planning tools.
It is believed that people with more social connections within the app are 15% more likely to reach their goals. There are walking groups you can join and stay in touch with your friends to share your progress in real-time.
You can upgrade to a paid account and motivate yourself a little more with some exciting training plans. The subscription offers daily nutrition and fitness tips. There are extensive workout videos featuring muscle building, stretching and more with audio guided walks.
- The regular track of steps and activities makes Pacer the best weight loss app coach.
- It has a BMI tracking device.
- It regularly checks your blood pressure.
- It consumes a lot of your phone’s battery.
- Sometimes, you may face difficulty in accessing locations.
- It does not convert your number of steps to total distance walked.
Price: Pacer app costs you no penny on iPhone or Android phones. The premium subscription charges $9.99 per month and $49.99 for 12 months.
Whether it’s motivation from a community, inspirational music or training goals, there are many ways that can boost your frequency. Select the best app that suits your requirements and performance. If you are still confused, get in touch with us.