Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned runner, you know how important it is to track your runs when you’re off the treadmill. Downloadable apps on your smartphone not only tell you how far you’ve run, but they also give you information on elevation, pace, stride, and other statistics. All is meant to give you insight into your stamina and progress. Whether you’re looking to run a marathon faster or embark on your first 5K, a running app can help you improve and reach your goal sooner.
Here are Savetastic’s picks for the best five apps to track your run with quick links at the bottom.
Using GPS, Strava tracks distance, time, and elevation — and covers runs, bike rides, and swims. Start the app at the beginning of your run, pause it during water breaks, and end it when you’re back home. You can upload a picture of yourself or the scenery along the way and save the route. Strava will then display the photo along with a map of your run.
When you upgrade to Strava Premium, you’ll add access to coaching, training logs, custom goals, training plans, and even a live location tracker called Beacon. This last feature lets you designate three contacts to track you while you’re running; it’s a great way to stay safe when running in more dangerous or unfamiliar terrains.
Cost: Free on both iOS and Android; Strava Premium ranges from $7.99 – $59.99 depending on the subscription level.
ASICS Runkeeper is similar to Strava in that it keeps track of your run distance, current pace, average pace, and run time. The difference is that Runkeeper is easier to use and more suited for beginners. You can set a personal goal and the app will create a training plan for you. While you can try to connect with your friends, you’ll find that Strava has a larger social network. Runkeeper is a simple, but effective tool for those looking to focus on their run progress.
Cost: $9.99 monthly on iOS and Google Play Store, with a cheaper per-month rate if you pay for a year in advance.
Pacer Pedometer & Step Tracker
Use Pacer while you’re running and while you’re doing other things throughout the day; in this way, it feels more like a general fitness app for wearables. This app will track your heart rate, breathing, steps, flights of stairs, and calories burned. If you’re ready to tackle that marathon or half marathon, Pacer also has personalized running plans to help you reach certain milestones. And if you’re looking to work out at home, check out their guided workout videos.
Cost: Free trial, then a $3.99 starting cost on iOS and Google Play Store, with a cheaper per-month rate if you pay for a year in advance.
Couch to 5K
A 5K is a great goal for beginners and the Couch to 5K app does the job of getting you ready to run the distance in nine weeks. This app guides you through three, 30-minute workouts a week, along with tracking your time, distance, and pace via GPS. There are also audio cues during your training session to keep you motivated.
Cost: $2.99 on iOS and Google Play Store.
Do you love traveling and running? You’ll love MapMyRun. This app gives you access to millions of routes logged by previous runners.
Download it and log your distance, elevation, pace, and calories burned no matter where you are in the world. The best thing is that you don’t need to be blazing trails where you could potentially getting lost on your own. You can even sync this app to a wearable tracker such as Fitbits and Garmin devices!
Cost: Free on iOS and Google Play Store.