best running apps

We’ve selected these apps based on their usability, user reviews, frequent updates, and overall effectiveness in boosting fitness levels.

Whether you’re more of a sprinter or a marathoner, the act of putting your soles to the pavement is unquestionably good for your body, and also good for your mind.

The benefits to your heart and lungs are apparent when you’re out on your run, and research shows that regular running can help extend your life as well as cut your risk of cardiovascular disease.

No matter why you do it, running is likely doing good things for you. Largely because of its popularity, there are numerous apps and tools specifically designed for runners. We’ve rounded up the best to help you get the most out of your time in motion!

10K Runner

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars $3.99

If racing to the 10th kilometer mark and beyond is the goal, 10K Runner may be able to get you there. With its run-walk interval programs and voice coaching, the app was designed especially for beginners and people who have conquered a 5K and are ready to face a new challenge. The training program gets gradually more intense as you increase your mileage and build up your strength as a runner, and features controls for your music, social media sharing options, and more.

iSmoothRun Pro

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars $4.99

iSmoothRun uses both GPS and a pedometer to track your runs. You’ll learn more about your performance and be able to set precise goals. It will analyze your cadence and help you get faster by speeding up a built-in metronome. You can also track the mileage you’ve put on your favorite running shoes, compile reports using your running stats, and set weight loss goals.

Map My Run

iPhone rating:
5 stars Free
Android rating:
4.5 stars Free

Track your run distance, speed, and elevation with Map My Run’s GPS functionality. But don’t stop there. This app allows you to save your routes and access other route input by runners in your community. And if you’re in a new city, use Map My Run to find a route that’s nearby and the perfect distance for you.

Nike+ Running

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars Free
Android rating:
5 stars Free

The Nike+ Running app is a favorite among runners of all levels. You can use it to train for a specific goal — like a first race — or just use it to track your routes. Its social features take the spotlight, though: Share your runs on social media and get and give cheers or challenges to your friends. We like the GPS interface and ability to track elevation throughout your runs.

PEAR Personal Coach

iPhone rating:
4 stars Free (30 day trial)

The PEAR Personal Coach app is perfect for people who have concrete fitness goals. The first 30 days are free, followed by a monthly or annual membership, which comes with hundreds of different workouts and personal training sessions. For runners, you can log your mileage, calories burned, and pace. But you can also track your yoga and HIIT sessions here.

RockMyRun

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars Free
Android rating:
4.5 stars Free

If music is your motivator when you hit the pavement, RockMyRun could push you to achieve new PRs and distances. The app uses professional DJ mixes that are aligned to heart rates, and makes recommendations based on tempo and genre. The more you use it, the more attuned to your tastes those suggestions will be.

Runkeeper

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars Free
Android rating:
4.5 stars Free

You want your running app to track your routes, distances, calories burned, elevation, and progress over time. Runkeeper does all of that accurately, along with additional features like providing preset training plans, which can help you take your running to the next level. Also, you can get audio feedback while you’re running to let you know how you’re progressing, without having to look down at your phone.

Runtastic

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars Free
Android rating:
4.5 stars Free

If you’re a runner — whether fast or slow — and simply want a highly effective and accurate tracker, Runtastic delivers. It tracks all the details of your run and can sync with Apple Watch, Apple Health, and MyFitnessPal. You can check in on leaderboards if you’re the competitive type, and you can create new routes or run on those inputted by others.

Strava Running and Cycling

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars Free
Android rating:
4.5 stars Free

If your running is fueled by competition, this app delivers. You can see how your performance stacks up to others of your age and gender, and check in on your friends’ progress too. It has all the great features of a running tracker and includes the ability to tap into local route favorites when you’re far from home.

Zombies, Run!

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars Free
Android rating:
4.5 stars Free

There are few things that would make you run faster than the sight of flesh-eating zombies at your heels. And while the zombies in Zombies, Run! are fictitious, the motivation is real. Your run is a mission to stay alive and this app will motivate you to run hard enough to achieve that. Unlock new challenges to evade the walking dead, whether you’re out on the road or running in place on a treadmill.