11 Running Apps You Need to Know About
Whether you log double-digit miles every weekend or you've never run more than a few minutes in your life, there's an app on this list that will take your running to the next level.
Couch to 5K® presented by Special KPerfect for: The beginning runner 1 of 12
Couch to 5K is the ultimate app for newbie runners, taking them from couch potato to 5K-finisher in only nine weeks. The app is intended for runners with little to no experience in the sport and works by slowly easing them into a consistent running routine.
Most loved by Couch to 5K users, though, are the individualized coaching personalities. When you sign up for the app, you can choose one of five coaches, each unique in their personal style. As you run, they will occasionally pop in over your music to give you words of encouragement and tips for improvement.
RunkeeperPerfect for: The everyday runner 2 of 12
When it comes to mobile apps made for runners, Runkeeper is a classic. The GPS-enabled app logs all the basics, including distance, time and pace, without all the fuss of overly complicated analytics.
One of our favorite features is the goal-setting function, which comes with its own coach that will help you knock out the different runs needed to reach your dream accomplishment. Goal options include losing weight (you can even pick how many pounds), running a certain race distance or upping your overall fitness.
StravaPerfect for: The competitive runner 3 of 12
Strava is the go-to app for competitive runners and cyclists alike, and unlike other apps, it puts a heavier emphasis on performance analytics. Strava also connects to your Garmin, so you can easily log and compare different workouts over time to see how you're progressing.
What runners really love about Strava, though, is the leaderboard function. As you complete a run, you can see where you stack up against other athletes who have completed similar workouts in the area. Some Strava users even seek out heavily used routes solely so they can claim King or Queen of the Mountain.
MapMyRunPerfect for: The traveling runner 4 of 12
As implied by its name, this app is most known for its mapping function, with over 70 million routes currently available. Runners simply have to type in their zip code to choose from a number of nearby popular running routes. You can even use the "Route Genius" function, which allows you to select how many miles you want to run and the app will generate a route for you to follow.
This app is especially great for traveling runners who are always logging miles in new areas. You won't have to worry about missing out on an especially scenic or cool run in the area—with this app, you'll know exactly where all the locals go.
MyFitnessPalPerfect for: The weight-loss runner 5 of 12
If you're running for weight loss, MyFitnessPal is for you. Unlike the other apps on this list, this app functions primarily as a nutrition tracker, counting your calories from each meal so that you can reach your ideal weight.
When you sign up for the app, you'll be asked to log your age, height, activity level, current weight and goal weight, as well as how much you want to lose per week. Then you can log your different runs into the database to see how that contributes to your overall calorie allowance.
Charity MilesPerfect for: The unmotivated runner 6 of 12
Charity Miles' slogan is "Every Mile Matters," and they aren't kidding. Charity Miles tracks your distance as you run, and with each mile, donates 25 cents to a nonprofit of your choosing. They have a long list to pick from, too, including organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Stand Up to Cancer, ASPCA and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
If you have a hard time getting out there for your weekly run, this app could be your fix. It keeps a current tab of how much you've contributed over time, so you can always see how your hard work is (literally) paying off for those in need.
5K to 10KPerfect for: The intermediate runner 7 of 12
Moving from a 5K to a 10K is a big jump for many runners, but this app makes it easy. Like its predecessor, this app follows a nine-week training plan, with three runs per week. You'll even see some of the famous coaching personalities from Couch to 5K, so you can continue your journey with the coach of your choice.
This app is ideal for anyone who wants to graduate from a 5K and boost their endurance, but has no idea where to start. The app even includes a "10K events" function, so you can choose a 10K race in your area for the ultimate motivation.
Road IDPerfect for: The solo runner 8 of 12
The Road ID app is the mobile equivalent to the safety bands and tags that many runners sport. Just like these products, the app hopes to make running safer, especially for those who run alone, at night or in rural areas.
With this app, you can choose to send an "eCrumb" or an electronic breadcrumb to friends and family so they can track you in real time on a map. You can also select a feature called a "stationary alert" that will let them know if you've stopped moving for more than five minutes.
Another feature is their lock screen creator, where you can customize your phone's lock screen to provide important information to first responders, like a list of emergency contacts, your medical history and your blood type.
Zombies, Run!Perfect for: The bored runner 9 of 12
It's hard to be bored when you're being chased by a pack of flesh-hungry zombies. That's the basic concept of this app, which takes runners on a post-apocalyptic journey as you run to "gather supplies" and complete other symbolic tasks critical to the storyline.
With this app, just choose your mission (there are over 200 to pick from) and start running. It will play the story through your headphones, but don't worry, you can still listen to music. The audio will only come on every song or so to give you an update as you progress through the mission and pick up different supplies. The best part? Watch out for unexpected zombie chases. You'll need to pick up your pace in order to escape.
RuntasticPerfect for: The social runner 10 of 12
Runtastic has all the important features of a great running app, like GPS tracking and recording your duration and pace, but what really makes it stand out from the crowd are its social features.
With Runtastic, runners can use a live tracking and cheering component, which broadcasts your run to your social network and allows others to cheer you on in real time. You will even hear their applause and comments over your headphones as you run—the perfect boost for that last mile.
13.OnePerfect for: The first-time half marathon runner 11 of 12
Running your first half marathon is a big deal, and this app lets you fully customize your training experience in order to ensure success. With 13.One, you can choose between a 12-week beginner, intermediate or advanced training plan and even customize important training details, like what day of the week you want to go on your long runs.
After logging all your specifics, you'll receive a training plan from the app, and all you have to do is follow it—making it the perfect option for someone running double digits for the first time.