Whether you're a beginner, a marathon pro or someone looking to drop a few pounds, you're sure to find an app that will elevate your training.
1. RunKeeperCost: Free to download; upgrade options available starting at $9.99 1 of 8
Pros: RunKeeper has been around for a long time and for good reason. It has an easy-to-use interface, is great for all skill levels and offers a number of challenges. You can simply track your runs using GPS or, if you're looking for something extra, you can utilize the app's training plans and coaching features.
The app features audio cues that will relay your pace, distance and time; it also syncs with iTunes and Spotify playlists. If you're taking the workout indoors, the stopwatch feature allows you to log runs on the treadmill. RunKeeper also has Bluetooth capability and syncs with the Apple Watch and partner apps like My Fitness Pal.
Cons: RunKeeper's running community isn't quite as robust as other apps. Also, depending on your route, the GPS accuracy can be inconsistent.
2. Couch to 5KCost: $2.99 2 of 8
Pros: For new runners—or those making a comeback—the Couch to 5K program is the gold standard. The app promises that by running and walking for 20 to 30 minutes a day, three times a week, for nine weeks, you'll be ready to finish your first 5K race. The app features four virtual coaches, all with different personalities, who can guide you through each workout via audio cues. The app also syncs with your favorite playlists and allows you to share workouts via social media. There's even a manual entry option for treadmill workouts. Once you've completed the 5K program, you can take training to the next level with the 5K to 10K app.
Cons: This app is best for beginners. If you're a competitive runner, another app might suit your needs better.
3. StravaCost: Free to download; upgrade options available starting at $7.99 3 of 8
Pros: If you're a competitive runner, you need to download Strava this second. This app's popularity has exploded recently, particularly with long distance runners and cyclists. Strava syncs quickly with Garmin watches, allowing athletes to download and analyze their data immediately post-run. And with plenty of space to record workout details, there's no need for a secondary training log. Plus, you can follow the training of your friends (and rivals!), join online running clubs and compete in monthly challenges. If you spring for the premium version, you'll also gain access to the Beacon feature. Turn it on before your run and your safety contacts will be able to follow your progress on a map.
Cons: The Strava app doesn't include music integration, so you'll need to open another app for tunes.
4. Nike+ Run ClubCost: Free 4 of 8
Pros: The Nike+ app has a nice design and large number display, which is perfect for checking your stats mid-run. It also features audio-guided running workouts from Nike coaches and running pros, personalized coaching plans and the ability to receive live "cheers" from friends as you run. The app syncs with iTunes and Spotify playlists, and when it comes to that post-run selfie, Nike+ offers the best stickers and filters.
Cons: The GPS tracking can be a little spotty, so if you're looking for the most precise mileage and pace data, you might want to choose a different app.
5. Map My RunCost: Free to download; upgrade options available starting at $5.99 5 of 8
Pros: The Map My Run site originally began as a crowd-sourced database of routes, so it makes sense that the Routes feature is the app's strongest asset. The app allows users to track their runs via GPS and get audio feedback for pace, distance and more. Runners can use this feature to find places to run nearby, as well as share favorites. The app is owned by Under Armour, so if you wear UA shoes, they'll automatically track your run and sync with the app. But even if you don't have the shoes, it also syncs with many wearable devices including Apple Health, Apple Watch, Garmin, Fitbit, Jawbone and others.
Cons: Compared to other apps, the advertisements are a bit more annoying.
6. Weight Loss RUNNINGCost: Free to download; upgrade options available starting at $9.99 6 of 8
Pros: If you're looking to get lean, this app promises to help you lose weight through running and nutrition tips. Weight Loss RUNNING features training plans, audio coaches, playlists and healthy eating advice. It also syncs with Apple Health, Fitbit, Runkeeper and MapMyRun.
Cons: As the name implies, the primary purpose of this app is to promote weight loss, so if you aren't looking to drop pounds, it's not the best choice.
7. EndomondoCost: Free; upgrade options starting at $2.99 7 of 8
Pros: One of the best things about Endomondo is that you can use all the essential tracking features with the free version—and it's one of the highest-rated running apps for Android phones. With Endomondo you can track activities with GPS, hear on-the-run audio cues, log indoor exercise and receive motivation from fellow users.
Cons: The app syncs with apps like My Fitness Pal, but some users report that the connection is often buggy.