Spring is here for many of us so it’s time to dust off the cobwebs and get motivated once more. Many of us enjoy running or aspire to being able to run, but a helping hand is always welcome. One great type of assistance comes from the plethora of different running apps out there for your smartphone, proving ideal for helping you track your progress, as well as motivate you to do better. We round up the pick of the bunch.
A well established name in the running field, RunKeeper makes it possible to track every kind of movement possible, not just running. Free to use with elite membership opening up a few more options, it’s possible to track your routes, pace, distance, times, personal bests, milestones, and even benefit from some great coaching, all through this simple to use app. Only got time to try out one running app? This should be your first port of call.
A little motivation is always good when exercising, especially early on or when you’re simply kind of tired. Being chased by zombies will almost certainly make you want to run faster. Fortunately, Zombies, Run doesn’t pit you against actual zombies but it does give you a great story to do with a zombie invasion to follow along. An audio adventure, there are plenty of missions to track with a Zombie Chases mode encouraging you to run all the faster. Plus, there’s still extensive tracking support via the ZombieLink service which makes it easy to see how you’re progressing.
Starting out small is wise for the novice runner, which is why the Couch to 5k training program has proven to be so popular. Get Running is one of the best apps to encapsulate such a training method, offering nine weeks of set routines to follow so that anyone (hopefully) can get up off that sofa and achieve a 5k run in just over 2 months. It’s simply laid out, focusing on regular cues to motivate you, as well as enabling you to listen to your music alongside it, but its clear and concise instructions can really make all the difference in getting you off that sofa.
Stylish to look at, Strava is a lot like RunKeeper. It enables you to track stats such as your distance, pace, speed, elevation, and calories burned. It also allows you to compete with friends and other users, all via monthly challenges and leaderboards. Heavy on the social interaction, it’s possible to share everything with Facebook and Twitter, as well as upload photos taken on runs. There’s a premium membership for serious users, but casual fans can still enjoy plenty of content.
Simplistic to look at, Endomondo packs in plenty of features. It can track everything imaginable, even levels of hydration, thereby offering a comprehensive training diary to look over and analyze. Workout goals and audio coaching gives you much needed determination and motivation. However, its real killer feature is the ability to send audio pep talks to your friends, because there’s no greater motivation than a loved one telling you that you can do it.
Offering some startlingly insights into your running habits, Pumatrac is a minimalist’s dream. It’ll track all the usual statistics but it also figures out what kind of music makes you run faster, which days are better for you, and how the weather affects your running ability. It’s those little things that make it worth checking out for those who just have to have all the information at their fingertips.
Tied into a great website for tracking, Nike+ offers some neat motivational features. It’s possible to post the start of your run to Facebook or Path and then enjoy a real-time cheer each time a friend likes or comments on it. Besides that, there’s the Powersong option in which you can activate a special song just as you need some extra motivation. Plus, of course, it has all the usual tracking options, as well as some great leaderboards to compete with friends.
An always on solution, Moves is an app that’s keen to track your every move, whether you’re walking, running or cycling. It sees itself as a diary of your active life, easily demonstrating what you’ve been up to over the day, as a souped up kind of pedometer. It’ll calculate how many calories have been burned too, as well as your routes taken, ensuring it’s a great hands-off way of seeing how you’re doing.