Trying to get into running and not sure which tracking app to use? In today’s world there is a plethora of apps to choose from but what’s the difference between them all? Luckily, we’ve broken down the different features of each running app to help you choose the one best for you!
Nike+ Running: Clean, Simple, and Free
The Nike+ Running is by far the most popular of the apps we’ve chosen to review and it’s obvious why. The app looks good, tracks your time and distance, and doesn’t bother you with ads or requests to upgrade. Plus it offers most features for FREE.
How you set up your run: You get to choose whether you’re running a certain time, distance, or if you’re trying to beat a personal distance record.
What you’ll hear: You can listen to your entire phone’s library of music and can even choose a “powersong” to motivate you even further. iOS users can also listen to Spotify and create custom radio stations based on artist or genre combined with the speed you would like to run. Additionally, a voice will present you the time/distance/pace check-in every mile. On distance runs, the voice lets you know when you’re halfway, and when there’s one mile left.
What’s also really clever about this app is that if you connect your Facebook account, you can hear a cheer whenever a friend clicks “Like” on the post that says you’re running:
After your run: Log your mood, surface (road, trail, track, or beach), and shoes. You can attach a photo, and you’ll see a map color-coded to show where you ran fastest and slowest.
Training features: Training plans are available for different distances. All you have to do is choose your distanceyou’re your fitness level, beginner, intermediate, or advanced. The app will recommend a level based on the runs you’ve already logged.
Downsides: The number of other gadgets you can connect to is limited. It only syncs with Netpulse, Garmin, TomTom, and Wahoo. It also doesn’t give you any way of finding new routes or analyzing detailed statistics.
MapMyRun (iOS/Android): For Explorers
MapMyRun is like the grandfather of all running apps. Before running apps were a thing, the MapMyRun website was the only way to create a route and find out the distance of your neighborhood run without having to go drive it and check your odometer. MapMyRun’s app can now track your run on the go, but it hasn’t forgotten its roots—its signature features come from the website’s extensive database of maps.
How you set up your run: You could just start running from wherever you are, OR you can choose from the app’s extensive list of existing routes nearby.
What you’ll hear: iOS users can listen to music from their local music library; Android users don’t have any built-in music options. Voice feedback about your time, distance, and pace is a paid feature on an MVP subscription for $5.99 a month, or $29.99 a year. (That’s a bummer if you ask us)
After your run: MapMyRun provides charts showing how your speed changed over the course of the run, and where you were going up and down hills. Heart rate data is also available with subscription.
Training features: A paid subscription lets you access training plans for various race distances. You can also set weekly mileage goals or goals based on time or number of workouts.
Downsides: If you want to skip the ads or if you want to hear the voice updates on your pace, you’ll have to get an MVP subscription.
Runkeeper (iOS/Android): The Full-Featured Favorite
Runkeeper is a long time favorite for both iOS and android. It has tons of features, although some are only accessible with a paid membership.
How you set up your run: On iOS, you can choose a distance, time, or pace-based run. On Android, you don’t have those options, but you can create an interval workout for yourself, and the voice coach will tell you when to speed up and slow down.
What you’ll hear: Runkeeper will play any music you like, even your favorite podcast app. (yay!) You can also get the voice telling you your stats at every mile.
After your run: You can share your workout to Facebook or Twitter, say a few words about the run, and attach photos. You can also view your average pace for each mile.
Training features: Training plans are only part of paid accounts. There are pre-built plans, and custom plans that adjust every week to keep you on track. There are also challenges that award you a badge upon completion.
Downsides: There aren’t too many downsides to this comprehensive app. Some good features are only available with a paid subscription ($9.99/month or $39.99 yearly).