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The Best Running Apps of the Year

 

best running apps of the year

We’ve selected these apps based on their quality, user reviews, and overall reliability for people who love running. If you want to nominate an app for this list, email us at nominations@healthline.com.

The right running app can make reaching your fitness goals a little easier. Whether you’re looking to get in shape or start seriously training for an upcoming race, a good running app is probably one of the cheapest and most effective tools. And there’s no shortage of them — from big brands like Nike and Under Armour to tried-and-true digital running partners, we searched high and low for some of the best.

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Nike+ Run Club

Nike+ Run Club

Nike+ Run Club

iPhone rating: ★★★★★

Android rating: ★★★★✩

Price: Free

With useful extras, Nike’s running app handles all the basics: tracking your distance, route, pace, elevation gain, average heart rate and estimated calories. Leaderboards make it easy to compare and compete with fellow runners, sharing is completely customizable, and music controls are simple with run status updates overlaid on your tunes. The app lets you keep notes, track and store your runs and records, and input your goals and fitness levels for customized coaching plans.

MapMyRun

MapMyRun

MapMyRun

iPhone rating: ★★★★★

Android rating: ★★★★★

Price: Free

Under Armour’s MapMyRun does just what it promises. Using your phone’s GPS, it tracks your route, distance, time, calories burn, elevation, and more. The app offers feedback and stats after each mile for a motivating way to help you dial in your performance. The app also makes it easy to find new routes, save and share your favorites, and work toward new running goals.

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Strava

Strava

Strava

iPhone rating: ★★★★★

Android rating: ★★★★★

Price: Free

Designed for runners, cyclists, and active outdoorsy-types, Strava makes it easy to track stats like speed, distance, pace, elevation gained, and calories burned during and after an activity. The segments feature lets you analyze specific sections of your run, like that brutal vertical or long straightaway. The app also has monthly challenges for extra motivation. You can connect with friends and join activity clubs for social training, too. Strava also pairs well with most devices, like your favorite GPS running watch or activity tracker.

RunKeeper

RunKeeper

RunKeeper

iPhone rating: ★★★★★

Android rating: ★★★★★

Price: Free

RunKeeper’s audio cues in real time help you adjust your pace and improve your distance and time. This multifaceted app also helps you create a routine that fits your schedule and lifestyle (with helpful reminders when you need them). You can find, save, and build new routes, join running groups, participate in challenges, integrate with Spotify or iTunes to keep you moving, and track your indoor cardio with stopwatch mode. Seeing your progress right there in the palm of your hand may be exactly the motivation you need to reach those fitness goals, and RunKeeper makes it easy.

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Zombies, Run!

Zombies, Run!

Zombies, Run!

iPhone rating: ★★★★✩

Android rating: ★★★★✩

Price: Free

If you’re the type who dreads your run, this terrifying twist may be a game changer. You’re a hero on a mission with zombies hot on your tail, and the immersive audio drama will keep the adrenaline high as you rebuild your base and collect critical supplies along the way. This fitness app has all the highlights and fun of a really great zombie game, with over 260 story missions to keep things fresh. It doesn’t matter how fast you go — walk, jog or run, the story unfolds between your favorite tracks.

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RockMyRun

RockMyRun

RockMyRun

iPhone rating: ★★★★✩

Android rating: ★★★★✩

Price: Free

The right tempo can make all the difference on a run, and this app features DJ-curated tunes to keep you moving. Adjustable RPM and unique Body-Driven Music technology syncs music to your steps or heart rate and lets you manually adjust the beat to your preferred cadence. A leading exercise research lab tested the app, with results showing that it can boost enjoyment and motivation by up to 35 percent. RockMyRun also tracks your distance and pace, offers personalized music suggestions, builds the tempo to match your workout, and syncs with your favorite apps.

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10K Runner

10K Runner

10K Runner

iPhone rating: ★★★★★

Android rating: ★★★★★

Price: Free

Over 1.2 million people used 10K Runner to conquer their first 10K, and you can, too. The helpful app features alternating walk/run intervals that gradually increase running segments. It also offers built-in audio coaching that blends seamlessly with your music. All its features are designed to help you from the couch to a 10K in 14 weeks. 10K Runner is easy to use and optimized for weight loss, with running tips and best practices. You can share your progress with friends and earn badges for extra motivation along the way.

iSmoothRun

iSmoothRun

iSmoothRun

iPhone rating: ★★★★★

Price: $4.99

Between its GPS and pedometer, iSmoothRun tracks every step of your training. Accurately track your time, distance, location, pace, cadence, heart rate, power, and altitude and get audio updates when you want them at time or distance intervals. Review your workout statistics with customizable graphs. You can even track your shoe mileage. The built-in metronome helps you track and improve your running cadence, and an auto pause feature means no fumbling at stoplights. iSmoothRun also syncs with your favorite apps so you can share your data.

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PEAR Personal Coach

PEAR Personal Coach

PEAR Personal Coach

iPhone rating: ★★★★✩

Android rating: ★★★✩✩

Price: Free

Designed for everything from running and indoor cardio to yoga and strength training, PEAR brings you real-time personal training so you can reach your fitness goals faster. The free 14-day trial gives you time to find a workout you’ll love and the right coach to go with it. After that, you can upgrade to a monthly membership of $5.99 or $39.99 annually. Workouts adapt to your performance, so you know exactly when to speed up or slow down. PEAR works with your schedule, with on-demand workouts ready when you are.

Runtastic

Runtastic

Runtastic

iPhone rating: ★★★★✩

Android rating: ★★★✩✩

Price: Free

Track your walks, jogs, or runs with Runtastic and see exactly how far and fast you’re going. Set a yearly running goal and the app will keep you on track to reach it. Other features include a voice coach for audio feedback on your first mile, a leaderboard for friendly competition, integrated music, and shoe tracking so you know when it’s time for a new pair. Runtastic integrates with both Apple Health and MyFitnessPal and includes a live cheering section for encouragement from your friends on your next run.


Jessica Timmons

Jessica writes about pregnancy, parenthood, fitness, and more. About 10 years ago, she was a copy writer at an ad agency before switching to freelance writing and editing. She could eat sweet potatoes every day. Find out more about her work at www.jessicatimmons.com.

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