Keeping yourself healthy is a vital task for excelling actively in your daily activities and besides having a nutritious diet one has to do some regular exercise for oiling their body parts. One important element in exercises recommended by both doctors for good health and even gym trainers for building your body is running. The best part about running is that it requires slight or no equipment at all and gives a warmup to each and every part of your body.
Given the importance exercising holds, we can still not invest our whole time and energy doing it which creates a need for some kind of tracking or monitoring your progress. With the increasing number of mobile phones in people’s hands and their increased utility, there has been development of not one but hundreds of such android applications.
As we all know nothing good comes free of cost, running apps with good reviews almost always come with a subscription model. But the apps do provide value to their cost. We have compiled here a list of such apps, currently leading in this area and recommended by experts of fitness arena. Whether you’re a beginner or a full-fledged athlete, these few names are bound to help you out.
Couch to 5K
This is one of the best running apps for a novice, as clear by its name the app helps you get off your couch and reach a 5K running plan in a short duration of 9 weeks. Several other schedules are also available like 5K to 10K, Couch to 10K, half marathon training and also a fun running section. Features to track distance and time, heart rate monitoring and music integration are also available as an added advantage. The app does not have any subscriptions as such though there exists a pro mode provided at a reasonable price.
Nike Run Club
Keeping in mind all the features desired by a runner, be it a beginner or an experienced one, Nike Run Club features a tracker of both time and distance. The app includes specific challenges in order to motivate you to stay fit, along with cheer ups on track completions by top athletes. Directions (both written and audio) to guide you through your training with Nike and a feature to sync your Spotify playlist creates an excellent combination for your fitness goals. The app allows you to share your progress with your friends and is completely free to use which adds on to its frequent use by runners.
Map My Run
If you’re confused as to which route you should start your run from, Map My Run lays out over 70 million routes and claims a user base of 40 million people. Along with basics like running stats, goals and calories burned, the pro version adds further analysis including heart rate support, live position tracking and several other tools. The free version, though, works just fine for beginners and intermediate runners. The app has a tracker for more than 600 other exercise activities as well and is integrable with major wearable trackers like Apple Watch too.
Runtastic incorporates two interesting unique features, one of which is Story Running and the other is integration of its route tracking mechanism with Google earth for simplified route-mapping especially in a new city or locality. The app remains unrivalled when it comes to feature richness, giving attributes such as live tracking, audio coaching, fitness tracking support for fitness wearables or other apps and many more. Pictorial representations of your progress help you track your fitness record pretty easily which you can share in your social groups as well. Similar to Nike Run Club, Runtastic also allows you to sync your music streaming with Spotify and Pandora.
Human Activity Tracker
This might not be among the advanced training trackers in this list, but it is definitely equipped with the most motivating features of all. Running in the background, this app monitors your active hours of walking, running or cycling and notifies you to complete your daily targets of exercising. This is not it, the app shows the status of nearby people using this app in order for you to compare your progress and move further to lead among your neighbors.
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Enriched with numerous tracking features including fitness tracker, analysis, social features, challenges and support for wearables, Endomondo is one of the most popular apps among regular runners. It provides status monitoring for other exercises as well which assists in keeping a full workout schedule while keeping a check on calories burned on a daily basis. It requires a subscription for standard functioning and lets you interact with your friends in between your workout to cheer them up or share your selfies.
If plain running bores you, why not add some virtual fear to your schedule? Zombies, Run! Motivates you by telling a story of which you have become an integral part now. The story is created in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and the longer you go the more this story gets unlocked. This is no doubt a very interesting idea for motivation and by now it includes almost 200 missions. The free version provides basic features but for unlocking all the stories you need to have a pro version.
Runkeeper can be listed among the firsts in this regime of apps and is a very simplistic app designed solely for runners. Features such as trackers for time, distance, pace and calories burned, progress reports, etc. come for free. It is supported by wearables as well such as Garmin watches, Wear OS and several others. The app also includes route-mapping for discovering and choosing new routes whenever you feel like it. Tracking and logging statistics are part of the free version whereas the pro version includes all the fun stuff.
Often, a separate app may not be required. Major wearables, including Apple Watch, Fitbit, Samsung Gear, Wear OS, and others come with their own supportive apps. Generally, they are well equipped with basic features like stats of heart rate, distance travelled, steps taken, calories burned and others.