Whether you’re looking to track your distance over a week, nail down your best pace, find new routes, or be coached through your headphones, there’s an app to suit your running needs. And if you want an app that makes it seem like zombies will attack you if you don’t run faster and farther, well, there’s one for that, too.
The following apps are divided by category. Define your needs to help pick from the more popular options below. Are you hoping to make treadmill workouts more fun? Mapping new trail routes (and help from getting lost)? Or, just aiming to complete your first 10K? Whatever the task, consider each of these apps’ abilities to improve your running performance in their own way.
Create goals, view workouts and fitness summaries, plus track your progress with help from the app that’s compatible with platforms like Apple watch, Garmin, Suunto, Polar, Fitbit, Zwift, and others. The premium edition lets you connect with your specific coach, buy training plans, and more.
Map My Run
Owned by Under Armour (and synced with Under Armour smart shoes), this app offers real-time audio coaching, plus real-time viewing of pace, distance, and time. It links to fitness trackers and heart rate monitors. Users can input food consumption and track distance logged on running shoes (to know when to replace them).
Couch to 5K
This coached Run/Walk method guides beginners through eight weeks from couch to 5K with training schedules comprised of 20- to 30-minute runs three times per week. Your choice of four virtual coaches instruct you when to walk, and when to run.
None to Run
This app offers a somewhat individualized approach for beginners who can choose from three workouts of 30 minutes or less per week with the end-goal of running 25 minutes straight. The app focuses on running time instead of distance or pace to encourage progress beyond end-goal. Includes strength and mobility workouts.
This app tracks calories, active time, distance, and steps, plus offers fitness plans (more “Lose Weight,” “Get Toned,” or “Get Active,” than running-specific). It includes video workouts, challenges, and connection to the community of other Pacer app runners.
Runkeeper tracks pace, distance, calories burned, time, and allows you to discover new routes, set goals and track progress, offers in-app challenges, and connects to others in the Runkeeper community.
This app provides all the basic tracking metrics plus weather, time of day, or day of the month to help home in on days/times you perform well.
Adidas running app by Runtastic
Linking to Google Earth, this app provides route-mapping and offers training schedules, and syncs with Spotify and Pandora to stream music.
The unique pedometer-reading technology tracks steps without having to hold your phone in hand. (Keep it in a pocket, waist belt, or armband.) Joining Pacer Premium grants access to guided workouts for strength training, walking and stretching. Works with Fitbit and Myfitnesspal.