8 Best Running Apps For Every Type Of Runner

Whether you’re training for a marathon or race, or whether you’re simply working on your fitness levels, believe me, there is an app out there for you.

In fact, there are several, each with their pros and cons.

And you’d be amazed at just how much detail they can track, which is exactly what you need if you want to look into how well you’re progressing.

It’s always good to know that you’re improving and to see how close you are to achieving your targets.

In this article, I’m going to be reviewing what I believe to be the best running apps on the market, discussing their popularity, what they can do, and summarizing their pros and cons.

And I’m focusing in particular on ones that suit runners of all levels, from absolute beginners through to the more experienced.

If you find I’m covering ones you already know about, simply scroll down to the other ones. Here goes…

Best Running Apps

EDITORS CHOICE

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OUR TOP PICK

This app is available for both Android and Apple devices.

This is one of the most talked about apps for runners, and those who’ve used it often say it’s better than the Strava app.

It gives you all the running stats you could want, using GPS for distance and pace etc.

You can set your own goals and receive guidance on how to reach them, and choose a personalized plan that will get you in a good routine.

All activities are recorded, so you can reflect back on your progress and see how close you are to achieving your goals.

What’s more, you get audio-guided workouts with dedicated motivational running coaches to compliment your running regime.

And the app is also perfectly integrated with Apple Music and Spotify, so you can listen to your favorite playlists as you run.

It can sync with a range of different devices, including iPhone, Apple Watch, Garmins FitBits, as well as to partner apps, including Apple Health, MyFitnessPal, and many more.

It also features Bluetooth connectivity to connect to your heart rate monitor.

If you decide to upgrade to premium membership, you get detailed progress insights and live tracking to closely monitor your training along the way.

And you can strategize for your next race by taking advantage of tailored race-training plans to prepare you for race day.

Customer reviews of this app are overwhelmingly positive from Android and Apple users alike.

Pros:

  • It gives you all the running stats you could want
  • You get audio-guided workouts from coaches 
  • It’s integrated with Apple Music and Spotify
  • It can sync with a range of different devices
  • Premium membership for race training

Cons:

  • Continued use of GPS can drain battery life

EDITORS CHOICE

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This app is available for both Android and Apple devices.

Strava is one of the most well known fitness apps, used by millions of people all over the world.

It is primarily used by runners and cyclists, but can also be used for other sports besides.

It will connect with pretty much any GPS device, including smartphones, Garmins or FitBits, and will use that data to bring up all your running stats, including distance, speed, pace, elevation gained and calories burned.

And you can look back on your data, keep a training log, and see how your fitness regime has progressed.

It features a huge trail network, to help you pick your next journey.

And you can show off your route either on your Strava feed, or on various other social media apps.

If you use Strava together with the HealthKit app, you will also be able to include data on heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and blood glucose. 

If you upgrade to the subscription version, you can access customizable training & workout plans, which is perfect if you have a specific goal in mind, such as weight loss or training for a marathon.

A Strava subscription also gives you live feedback to boost your performance, and more advanced performance metrics.

Customer reviews of this app are overwhelmingly positive from Android and Apple users alike.

Pros:

  • Used by millions of people all over the world
  • It will connect with pretty much any GPS device
  • You can look back on how you have progressed
  • Features a huge trail network for finding new trails
  • You can show off your route either on social media
  • You can use Strava together with the HealthKit app

Cons:

  • The free version has constant ads trying to get you to upgrade

BEST VALUE

This app is available for both Android and Apple devices.

You may not be surprised to learn that Nike has brought out a running app.

But you may be surprised to learn that it’s free to download and use.

And not only does it tick all the boxes of what you’d want a running app to do, but it also goes beyond that to provide guided runs and training plans, which is something you’d normally have to pay a subscription for. 

You get all your usual stats, like distance covered, average speed, elevation, GPS route, heart rate and so on, and all the data gets stored, so you can look back at your progress.

The training plans give you  a goal to run toward and the guidance to reach it, including a Marathon training plan.

And you get inspiration from elite athletes with audio guided runs, and you can get audio cheers from your friends as you hit your targets.

And you can choose to accept various challenges to get you motivated, and aim to see your name up on a leaderboard.

You can join a running community and receive a dedicated social media feed where users share their photos and progress and such.

You can even pair up the app via Bluetooth to your running shoes for more accurate data on your cadence - and it doesn’t even have to be Nike running shoes.

Customer reviews of this app are overwhelmingly positive from Android and Apple users alike.

Pros:

  • Features training plans and guided runs
  • Motivate yourself with all sorts of fun challenges
  • Shoe tagging for more accurate data collection

Cons:

  • Continued use of GPS can drain battery life

RUNNER UP

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This app is available for both Android and Apple devices.

This is the perfect app for making your run super fun, it’s such an immersive game that will get your heart pounding and your heart rate up to that all important fat loss zone.

Basically, you’re in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, and you have to collect supplies such as food, medicine, and ammo and bring them back to your base.

But at any point on your run, you could suddenly hear the sounds of a horde of zombies approaching, and you have to run for your life to evade them!

It’s a great way of pushing yourself to run faster, and is amazing at training those who might eventually want to race.

And it’s good for interval training as well.

You use the app with headphones in, and that’s how you get alerted to the presence of zombies.

But when there are no zombie grunts or radio announcements, you get to listen to music as you run.

And, better yet, you can choose your own custom playlists.

It’s also very interactive, and you can share the results of your run online, and see what everyone else on the app is doing.

Customer reviews of this app are overwhelmingly positive from Android and Apple users alike.

The biggest drawback to the app is that you have to pay a subscription fee, but if the app motivates you to keep up your running, then you could easily argue that it’s worth the money.

Pros:

  • Makes your run much more interesting & fun
  • You can choose your own custom playlists
  • It’s interactive and you can share your sun online

Cons:

  • It’s not free to use, you have to subscribe
  • It contains both ads and in-app purchases
  • Continued use of GPS can drain battery life

RUNNER UP

This app is available for both Android and Apple devices.

If you like to do your running on a treadmill at home or in the gym, then this is the running app for you!

Perfect for keeping up with your daily runs, regardless of what the weather may be doing.

You pair the Zwift app on your tablet to a Zwift supported device, and the screen of the tablet becomes your view as you run.

And you can be anywhere in the world, from central London to a futuristic New York City, or run across the desert, through underwater tunnels, or over old ruins, or across the alps in Europe, or through the English countryside, the list goes on.

It’s just like those video games you see in the arcade.

There are over 1,000 structured workouts and training plans to choose from.

And there are over 200 live events you can take part in every day, including group runs and races.

You can make new friends and compete together, and see all your running stats on the screen.

Then you can analyze your workouts so you can take your running performance to the next level.

It’s not quite as popular as the other apps that made my shortlist, but it does have a good average customer rate on both Google Play and the App store.

Pros:

  • Makes training at home visually interesting
  • Gamifies your workout for better motivation
  • 1,000 structured workouts and training plans 
  • You can take part in live events such as races

Cons:

  • You have to pay a monthly subscription fee
  • You need a Zwift supported device
  • The graphics could be better

RUNNER UP

This app is available for both Android and Apple devices.

This app has won numerous awards - and with good reason, too…

The star feature of this app is how it connects via Bluetooth to special Under Armour running shoes.

That way, not only can it track your run  by GPS, but it can also go a step further (pun intended!) and monitor data on your cadence.

And it syncs with other wearables besides, including Apple Watch, Garmin, and more.

Plus it also syncs with other apps, and consumers have found it useful to link with MyFitnessPal, so you can compare your calories consumed to calories burned, which is important if you’re trying to lose weight, or maintain your current weight.

In addition to monitoring your route through GPS, the app will also calculate your average pace for each mile, and your elevation.

You can use the Routes part to save your favorite routes and to find nearby places to go for a run.

You can also become part of an online community and check out how your friends’ running is going wherever they are in the world.

Great for keeping yourself inspired.

But where this app really comes into its own is with the premium features.

When you subscribe (for a minimal fee) you can receive personalized training plans, monitor & analyze heart rate zones to adjust your training based on your targets, and stay on track with audio coach updates

Customer reviews of this app are overwhelmingly positive from Android and Apple users alike.

Pros:

  • Works with several wearable devices
  • Syncs with other apps, e.g. MyFitnessPal
  • Become part of an online community

Cons:

  • You need a subscription to make the most of it
  • It can really drain the battery of an Apple Watch

RUNNER UP

This app is available for both Android and Apple devices.

This app features built-in GPS tracking, so you don’t have to worry about pairing it with a GPS device via Bluetooth.

And in addition to tracking your location, it will also keep tabs on your pace, distance, number of steps, heart rate, and calories burned.

You can choose your own personal goals, and set up your own training plan, and view your stats over time to see how much you have progressed.

Then it goes a step beyond a regular running app, and it introduces you to an entire running community, which is great for those who love to compete.

And you get a community newsfeed, with regular blog posts across a range of health and fitness topics.

But what I love the most about this app is that you get to take part in virtual challenges with fellow runners around the world!

It’s also compatible with a range of other apps, including Zwift and Garmin Connect.

That way, you can keep an eye on your vitals, and more.

It can also be used for other sports, including hiking, cycling, yoga and more. 

If you decide to go for premium membership, which has a small monthly fee, you can get personalized training plans for various races, from a weight loss one through to a full marathon.

As well as interval training, and an automatic pause when you stop moving.

Customer reviews of this app are overwhelmingly positive from Android and Apple users alike.

Pros:

  • This app features built-in GPS tracking
  • Tracks various different running stats
  • Join an entire running community
  • Newsfeed, with regular blog posts
  • Take part in virtual challenges
  • Compatible with other apps

Cons:

  • Continued use of GPS can drain battery life

RUNNER UP

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This app is available for both Android and Apple devices.

If you already own a Garmin wearable device such as a fitness tracker, it makes sense to look into how well the Garmin Connect app suits your needs before you decide which app to download and install.

It’s basically a one-stop source for all your health and fitness data.

When paired with a compatible device, it can track your heart rate, how well you’ve slept, and your energy and stress levels, your hydration levels and your menstrual cycle (if you have one). 

And of course it tracks all of your running stats such as distance, number of steps, pace and calories burned and so on.

And it works for other sports and activities besides. 

You can create customized workouts, set your own targets, and earn badges for your accomplishments.

You can also analyze your stats over time to view your progress.

You can even become part of a growing online running and fitness community, with its own social media newsfeed.

And you can challenge your friends to compete with you.

I also like how you can personalize the homepage, My Day, so it brings up the stats you’re most concerned about.

Customer reviews of this app are overwhelmingly positive from Android and Apple users alike.

Pros:

  • One-stop source for all your health & fitness data
  • Track how well you’ve slept, and your energy levels
  • Create customized workouts and earn badges
  • Can also be used for other sports and activities

Cons:

  • Continued use of GPS can drain battery life
8 Best Running Apps For Every Type Of Runner

Wrap Up

So in summary, there are some great running apps out there with a lot to offer. I would say that the best app for running on a treadmill would be Zwift, while the best app for making running more fun would be Zombies, Run!

Jessica Knight