couple running outside

Run Your Body Healthy!

There’s no better time to start a running program than right now. All you need are sneakers and a sidewalk or a nature trail and you’re ready to jog your way to a fitter body and mind. You don’t need to run a marathon either. In fact, a recent study published by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that runners who logged just 6 miles a week saw health benefits similar to those gained by long-distance runners. Logging a few miles a week can still prove challenging without the proper motivation.

Here are some of our favorite top-rated fitness apps to help get you moving. Many of them offer compatibility with the new Apple watch, but be sure to keep your iPhone close for GPS mapping as you run.

10 Essential Stretches for Runners

10K Runner

iPhone rating:
5 stars $3.99
Apple watch app also available

See what 1.2 million people are raving about. This app will take you from the couch to a 10K in 14 weeks, with three workouts per week. The walk/run approach is perfect for beginners or those looking to increase distance while avoiding injury. Just press start and you’ll be on your way to finishing a 6.2 mile event with confidence. Some users report issues with the latest update.

10K Runner works seamlessly with most running trackers and has received numerous awards, from Best Training App to Editor's Choice.

Strava

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars Free
Apple watch app also available
Android rating:
4.5 stars Free

Strava has a social component that allows you to engage in friendly competition. You can browse popular paths in your neighborhood and stack up your times against other users for different segments of your course. Strava also can sync with calorie tracking apps like MyFitnessPal.

Bonus: If you’re a multi-sport athlete, you can also track your cycling mileage and stats.

Nike+ Running

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars Free
Apple watch app also available
Android rating:
4.5 stars Free

This GPS-enabled app allows you to track your route, pace, distance, time, and calories. The new coaching function offers training plans and daily workouts to help you run smarter. When you link Nike+ Running to your social networks, your friends are notified when you head out the door so they can cheer you on. This app can also communicate with calorie tracking apps like Lose It! to help you track your calorie burning history all in one place.

The most recent version of this app integrates with Garmin, TomTom, Wahoo Fitness, and Netpulse to give you even more flexibility.

MapMyRun

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars Free
Apple watch app also available
Android rating:
4.5 stars Free

Whether you’re a novice or a professional runner, you’ll appreciate this app’s workout stats and mapping capabilities. You can save and plan your running route, or select from one of the 70 million routes in MapMyRun’s database. It’s easy to import data from your activity tracking device and you can even sync your nutrition info with apps like MyFitnessPal and Google Fit. If you like running to music, you’ll love the ease of moving and grooving to your iTunes library without switching screens.

A premium subscription ($5.99/month, $29.99/annual) eliminates ads, activates voice coaching, and unlocks live tracking.

Zombies, Run!

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

This app makes running fun again. This immersive running game helps you get fit while you escape zombies and save the lives of hundreds of people that are depending on you. As you run, you’ll listen to the adventure co-created by award-winning novelist Naomi Alderman. There are 33 missions in the first season, seven in the second, and a whopping 120 missions available for purchase.

Switch on Zombie Chase mode to increase your speed with intervals. Then check your fitness and game stats with the in-app graphs.

Bonus: Research shows that when you make exercise enjoyable, you will be more consistent and thus reach your goals.

RockMyRun

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

Energize your workout with playlists designed to help you get the most out of your exercise routine. A study by the Public Library of Science shows that running is enhanced and improved when coupled with the right music. The playlists are created by talented DJs from around the world and the music ranges from rock to pop to classical. You can also sync your music's tempo with your cadence or heartbeat using MyBeat technology.

New mixes are added each day. The app is also compatible with most of your favorite running trackers.

RunKeeper

iPhone rating:
4.5 stars Free
Apple watch app also available
Android rating:
4.5 stars Free

This GPS app boasts training plans written by great running coaches like American Olympian Jeff Galloway. You’ll record your mileage and elevation in real time and hear audio updates on pace, distance, and time. RunKeeper integrates well with calorie tracking apps like Lose It! and MyFitnessPal.

Add your cycling miles, indoor cardio, and gym workouts to your log for a complete view of your fitness progress.

Bonus: If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, you will love the “running for fat loss” plans by wellness expert Mike Deibler.

The Finish Line

Runners come in all shapes, sizes, and ability levels. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, consistency is the key to your success, no matter the goal. Running apps can make your workouts more fun and give you the push you need to keep moving forward. Happy trails!

Methodology

We selected these running apps based on their potential to help people start and enjoy running. Additional factors considered in selecting these apps included user ratings, affordability, accessibility, format, functionality, and relevance to running and the needs of runners. Together, this collection represents a valuable cross section of helpful iPhone and Android apps that are designed to help users get running.

Please note: Healthline Networks does not imply warranty of fitness or endorse any of these applications. These apps have not been evaluated for medical accuracy by Healthline Networks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved the apps unless otherwise indicated.