Running apps have come a long way. At one time, it seemed like there were too few to choose from. Now, the number of options can feel overwhelming. From AI trainers to social networks sharing out workouts to just-the-basics, today’s apps offer dozens of features, all designed to help you maximize every mile. It’s up to you to decide what you need.
Not sure what that looks like for you? Check out this list of our top picks for some extra guidance. Whether you’re a beginner just looking to jog or an advanced runner searching for your next dependable route tracker, you’re sure to find something that appeals to you.
The Three Strips purchased Runtastic, the running and fitness tracking software company in 2015, so you might know this app under a different name. The company recently rebranded the platform into two different apps, adidas Running and adidas Training—and the Running one gives you live route tracking, voice coaching, and even a custom cheering feature to motivate you to dig deeper along the trail. Set goals, take on challenges, and get alerted when it’s time to switch out your shoes.
Footpath Route Planner
Ready to break away from the beaten path? This iOS-only app allows you to plan your own routes using your phone’s touchscreen. The service then “snaps” the route to roads and trails, measures distance and elevation, and then provides turn-by-turn directions once you’re out on your way. Save up to five routes at a time with the free version, or pay $3.99 per month for unlimited paths, premium maps, and more.
Whether you’re just starting a running routine or you’re an experienced marathoner, MapMyRun can help you reach your full potential. Track workout stats (calories burned, distance, pace, elevation), stay motivated with group challenges, and receive responsive training plans that adapt to you as you progress. This app can even sync with more than 400 devices, from Garmin and Apple watches to smart shoes, so you can keep all your data in one handy location.
No matter your fitness level or goal, the RunKeeper app has something to offer you. Set and track goals (weight, pace, distance, etc.), save and discover great running routes, join challenges, and score weekly workouts that are tailored to your fitness level and progress. Plus, track your non-running activities.
This easy-to-use running app doubles as an all-day activity tracker. Record steps, flights, calories, distance, BMI, blood pressure and active time. Then, sync your data to MyFitnessPal, Apple Health and Fitbit. Take your training up a notch with personalized running plans and guided workout videos.
Create a running workout based on heart rate, heart rate zone, or pace and let the iSmoothRun app guide you every step of the way. After your run, export your workout data (distance, location, pace, heart rate, power and more) to any number of other training logs, including MapMyRun. This app also has a built-in metronome to help you increase your running stride.
This wildly popular app includes standard tracking features, plus access to a wide community of runners and cyclists. Break to share your run with the Strava network, comment on friends’ runs, and use the “Segments” feature to see how your time on a particular route compares to other runners who have done it before. Upgrade to a monthly membership and you can add “Beacon,” a safety feature that allows you to share your live location with family members and friends.
Nike Run Club
Keep your running momentum going with in-ear coaching from Nike trainers, plus in-run cheers from fellow runners. Celebrate the end of a tough run with cheers from top athletes like Mo Farah and comedians like Kevin Hart, and join monthly challenges to earn trophies, milestone badges and prizes when you achieve your goal.
If you’re aiming to run your very first 5K (3.1-mile) race, the Couch to 5K app is your ticket to the finish line. Let the audio coach of your choice guide you through three 20-to-30-minute runs per week and you’ll be 5K-ready in a short nine weeks. The program also includes workout tracking and sharing to help you stay on track.
Meet Vi, the running coach in your ear who pays attention to your biometrics and uses that information to adapt your workouts in real-time. The more runs you get under your belt, the better Vi gets to know you and your goals, offering you more efficient and effective workouts as a result. You won’t find any pre-recorded workouts here.
The Runtastic app offers standard running tracker features like a built-in GPS, audio cues and running challenges. Upgrade to the premium version to unlock standout features like “Story Running” (podcast-style stories from a variety of genres, including adventure, travel, fantasy and more) and targeted nutrition plans.
Turn every run into an epic adventure with the Zombies, Run! app. This game app uses immersive audio to put you in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Here, the only person who can save the rest of humanity is you. Each run becomes a mission to collect much-needed supplies, while outrunning zombie hordes. Save the world while you walk, jog, run or sprint your way to greater fitness.