Are you new to the running world or returning to it after a long absence? It’s important to start with the basics, get a full night of sleep, keep your muscles flexible, strengthen your core, have the right gear and set a goal. But how do you start? Where should you run, at what intensity and for how long? Add to it that if your a new runner, it may also not be fun--yet.
The following apps will have you moving past your walking days and into a full run in no time. And they’ll have you enjoying it!
AllTrails: Hike, Run & Cycle
The AllTrails app has information on over 60,000 trail maps around the world. Reviews and photos are crowdsourced by hikers, bikers, and trail runners and can be searched based on your preferences. Discover if the trail is better to take with a friend, a four-legged companion, or your baby in a stroller. The app provides GPS and topography maps of the trails, allowing you to track your progress and stats. The app also provides information on how to get to the trail as well as how to navigate the trail safely. AllTrails is great for the trail runner who is looking for new adventures but without unnecessary surprises.
This app is for the adventurer who is looking for new off-road experiences.
Strava: Run, Ride, Swim
The Strava app allows you to track and analyze your run by recording key stats, allowing you to compare your running performance over time and to see gains and losses. It is compatible with the iPhone, Apple Watch, Garmin, FitBit, Polar, and other GPS devices.
Strava has data on a large network of trails that provides local and out of the way locations. You can compare your own run with those of others on the same route. You can also share the route and photos from the run across social media. Strava also makes it possible to connect with clubs, teams, and friends to go running together. For those who opt for the premium upgrade, the app provides access to Beacon, a safety feature allowing three designated contacts to monitor your location.
The app keeps track of a variety of metrics while giving live feedback after monitoring your heart rate and biometric data. The training and workout plans are customizable, and it isn’t just for running. While it is a popular app for runners and cyclist it can be used to achieve goals across a wide range of sports.
This app is for the athlete who enjoys tracking and analyzing metrics for optimal performance.
For those who like a good story, and a good scare, Zombies, Run! will motivate you with fear. Go out for your run and put on your favorite soundtrack or podcast. Zombies, Run! waits in the background. Your music will soften as the story plays alerting you to being chased by zombies and that you need to increase your speed. When you’re in the clear, your music will resume to its normal volume. With 200 possible missions in the midst of a zombie epidemic, you’ll never run out of motivation.
Zombie, Run! is a smartphone fitness game that works outdoors or in the gym and at every fitness level. If you are new to the Zombie, Run! app—don’t start outside alone at night. You might spook yourself too much to continue. This app is scary and will get your heart pumping.
Zombie, Run! is for the runner who is looking for a little fun, likes to get lost in a story, and enjoys a good scare.
Couch to 5K
The Couch to 5K app gets couch potatoes ready to run a 5k race in 9 weeks. The app tracks your time and distance with a virtual coach helping you along the way. This app has helped thousands of people prepare for their first ever 5K. Once you complete the program, or if you are already 5K ready, you can advance to the 5k to 10k app. Gradually challenge yourself, avoid injury, and share your progress with others.
This app is for the runner with the specific goal of being able to run a 5K in 9 weeks.
MapMyRun, an app by Under Armour, with over 70 million routes from which to choose, records stats and works with wearable trackers as well as MyFitness Pal’s app. MapMyRun has a number of challenges you can join that link you to a larger running community while giving you the opportunity to win running gear.
This app is for those who enjoy being part of an online community and the chance to win some swag.
To start a running habit consider the Pacer app. This app is a step-counter that works in the background logging the steps you take throughout the day. It gets you moving more, allows you to track runs, provides opportunities to join group challenges, and has training plans and video workouts. Stuck working a long shift on your feet? Pacer will count those steps towards your workout goals.
This app is for the runner who is busy and needs to be able to keep track of all activity throughout the day. Perfect for anyone who works long shifts on their feet!
Get to running!
Whether you are looking to increase your run time or the frequency of your runs, these apps will help. Perhaps you aren’t a runner and are looking to make the experience more fun and motivating, these apps will help get you there.
Downloading the app is only step one. Try them out one by one until you land on the one that motivates you to keep moving.
Remember to always stretch, to wear comfortable clothes, and to listen to your body as you go. Many of these apps connect you with others, allowing you to compare your progress in an attempt to motivate you. Competition is a great tool but remember everyone’s journey is different. Listen to what your body is telling you.
Stay safe on the trail and tell a friend where you will be running. Better yet, run with a friend. Apps are great but human connection and relationships can’t be beaten!
Music Streaming Apps
Don’t forget to put together your perfect running anthem as well. Music is a great motivator! What is your favorite app to stream your running music? What songs do you have on your playlist? We’d love for you to share.