The 6 Best Running Apps in 2024

Running away isn’t always bad.

Actually, running regularly can do you a world of good. It’s a fantastic exercise with heaps of benefits: a healthier heart, stronger knees and back muscles, and even a boosted memory.

And the best part? Running is simple. No need for fancy equipment, just some killer apps.

Now, before you dismiss running apps as fancy luxuries, think again. These apps provide motivation, track your progress, turn workouts into games, and connect you with supportive communities.

Ready to take your running to the next level? We’ve gathered the top 6 running apps for you. But remember, for the best results, consult trusted health professionals or certified trainers.

Keep reading to discover the pros, cons, pricing, and unique features of these revolutionary running apps (click on any app below to jump straight to our reviews):

Run towards optimal health and fitness with the 6 best running apps

Our collection of the top 6 running applications is thoughtfully curated by our team of innovative creators, strategists, and experts well-known for building apps with extensive user bases and significant revenue streams. When selecting these fitness-oriented apps, we consider their distinctiveness, functionality, performance, security, practicality, user-friendliness, industry acclaim, and overall user satisfaction.

Without further ado, here are our 6 best running apps to help you run toward a healthier and better quality of life:

1. Strava: Best app for detailed tracking and community aspect

BRA: Strava home page

Source: Strava official website

Strava stands out as a go-to running app because it offers diverse fitness metrics while using the social aspect to make running fun and exciting.

The app’s unique features include segments and challenges and the ability to learn and share new routes with other runners. All these functionalities create a holistic ecosystem, catering to both casual joggers and dedicated athletes.

Strava also provides comprehensive insights into distance, pace, and elevation. The app can even measure heart rate and intensity levels, enabling you to optimize training.

With over 100 million downloads and recognition for its innovative use of social media elements, Strava has earned its place as a leading app in the running community.

Despite all these advantages, the app has limitations. For instance, more advanced social features and customized fitness programs are reserved for paying users. There are also privacy concerns around location data. For the privacy issue, we recommend you don’t reveal actual personal information to ensure hackers and other bad actors would have a hard time getting access to your data.

Despite Strava’s limitations, the app is ideal for those seeking a social and data-driven approach to enhancing their running journey.

PRICING:

  • Free (with limited features)
  • Monthly: $11.99
  • Annual: $79.99

PROS:

  • Diverse fitness metrics
  • Enhanced social engagement features
  • Industry recognition

CONS:

  • Extra features reserved for paying users
  • Data privacy concerns

DEVICE COMPATIBILITY:

📲 Android, iOS

⌚Apple Watch, Garmin

RELEVANT APP LINKS:

💡 Learn More Via Official Website

👉 Download Mobile App Via Google Play

👉 Download Mobile App Via App Store

2. MapMyRun: Best app for precise route planning

BRA: MapMyRun home page

Source: MapMyRun official website

Developed by the famous sportswear brand Under Armour, MapMyRun is the best running app for those who love customizing their routes.

Though Strava has a similar feature, it focuses more on user-generated routes, which can be limited in some areas. MapMyRun offers a more extensive and user-friendly route planning and discovery experience. It boasts a larger database of routes and allows users to filter them based on distance, elevation, surface type, and other preferences.

Another standout feature of this handy app is its real-time audio coaching during runs. This nifty function offers insights on pace, distance, form tips, and motivation, which can be particularly helpful for beginners or those seeking guidance on their technique.

MapMyRun also has a wide variety of customizable training plans that accommodate runners of all levels. The inclusiveness of the app doesn’t end there, as the app also boasts a community of fitness enthusiasts. MapMyRun’s feature set enables users to post workouts, receive cheers and comments, and share visual content. The app attests to the effectiveness of social media technology in promoting positive change, like in the case of EvrSo.

Despite all these benefits, MapMyRun has some disadvantages. For instance, non-paying users can only access the most basic tracking and route planning features.

Disadvantages aside, MapMyRun comes out as a strong candidate in providing unique motivational methods and precise route planning capabilities for runners of all shapes and sizes. Its free version, though basic, offers more than many other apps in the space.

PRICING:

  • Free
  • Monthly: $5.99
  • Annual: $29.99

PROS:

  • Extensive route planning with precise settings
  • Real-time and educational audio coaching
  • Customizable training plans for all types of runners
  • Social media-inspired community features

CONS:

  • Advanced tracking and route planning not available for free users

DEVICE COMPATIBILITY:

📲 Android, iOS, Apple Health

⌚ Apple Watch

RELEVANT APP LINKS:

💡 Learn More Via Official Website

👉 Download Mobile App Via Google Play

👉 Download Mobile App Via App Store

3. Nike Run Club: Best app for quality coaching

BRA: Nike Run Club web page

Source: Nike official website

Need a running coach but don’t have enough budget for fees? If so, the Nike Run Club app could be your ideal running partner.

On this app, Nike’s running coaches and famous athletes provide audio-guided runs. Some users highlight that Nike Head Running Coach Chris Bennett is especially good at providing concise and gentle motivation. The audio guidance is also sorted by distance, time, and running goals, providing you with the information you need to start running toward fitness, regardless of your running expertise.

And unlike many other apps, audio coaching for this app is totally free!

Aside from audio coaching, other free features in the app include individual and group challenges, GPS-based tracking distance of pace, time, and other metrics, and shoe recommendations based on running data.

And if you want to play music or listen to motivational podcasts while running, this free running app can function alongside other open apps so you can simultaneously listen to almost any content you want while you’re doing your workout.

The app’s wealth of unique features has been instrumental in making the app popular among many users. Garnering over 15 million downloads worldwide in 2020, Nike Run Club has acquired a substantial user base. Reviews are generally positive, boasting an average rating of 4.1 stars on Google Play and 4.8 stars on the App Store as of writing.

Although the app has its benefits, it also has downsides. For instance, shoe recommendations are restricted to Nike brands.

Despite a few minor flaws, this rare breed of free app provides immense value in terms of motivation, education, and tracking. It’s a game-changer that pushes you to beat records, keeps you learning, and helps you stay on track.

PRICING:

  • Totally free

PROS:

  • Free quality coaching fit for all types of runners
  • Capability to allow music and other audio apps to run in the background
  • High user ratings

CONS:

  • Limited shoe recommendations

DEVICE COMPATIBILITY:

📲 Android, iOS

⌚Android Wear OS, Apple Watch

RELEVANT APP LINKS:

💡 Learn More Via Official Website

👉 Download Mobile App Via Google Play

👉 Download Mobile App Via App Store

4. Garmin Connect: Best app for training your body for efficient running

BRA: Garmin Connect home page

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Source: Garmin Connect official website

It’s one thing to run and quite another to run efficiently with your body. This is where Garmin Connect comes to the rescue.

If you have a compatible Garmin smartwatch, the app can sync with your wearable, enabling you to track vitals like heart rate and pace to help you manage your runs. Managing runs is essential if you want to get maximum health value for running. Since the app lays out graphs and analytics indicating your vitals during sessions, you can read and interpret these metrics and adjust your running style accordingly. Keep in mind it’s best to consult your certified trainer or health professional when making sense of this information.

If you have the right Garmin watch, the app’s Pace Pro feature enables you to dynamically adjust your pace to align with both the terrain and your goal time. This intelligent feature ensures a well-paced and strategic run.

Like most of the apps we’ve already discussed, Garmin Connect also has community and app gamification features, as well as customizable training plans.

For all its benefits, the main limitation of the app is its reliance on Garmin smartwatches to unlock its full potential. Despite this, it’s undeniable that Garmin Connect turns metrics and vitals measurements into actionable insights to improve your running techniques.

PRICING:

  • Free

PROS:

  • Comprehensive metrics for improving running techniques
  • Community and gamification features

CONS:

  • Feature quality depends on the type of synced Garmin watch
  • Professional interpretation of metrics may be required

DEVICE COMPATIBILITY:

🖥️ 💻 Desktop, laptop (web version)

📲 Android, iOS

⌚ Select Garmin smartwatches

RELEVANT APP LINKS:

💡⚙️ Access the Web Version and Learn More Via Official Website

👉 Download Mobile App Via Google Play

👉 Download Mobile App Via App Store

5. Runkeeper: Best app for customizability and usability

BRA: Asics Runkeeper home page

Source: Runkeeper official website

Though Runkeeper mimics most of the other running apps in terms of feature set, it stands out mainly because users find it easy to navigate and tweak.

First, it offers a seamless experience, especially for runners who also do other workouts. The app allows cross-trainers to easily switch between running, cycling, walking, or other activities. Even in quick start mode, users can set specific targets for distance, pace, or run duration.

Second, the audio stats feature is also highly adjustable. You can set audio prompts at regular intervals or upon reaching each mile or kilometer, depending on your settings. You also have the flexibility to choose the voice delivering these statistics, from a supportive tone to one that sounds like an intense drill instructor.

Third, the app’s well-organized statistics display provides a quick overview of essential metrics such as time and pace, with the option to delve into more detailed information like cadence, elevation gain, and more. Positive reinforcement is embedded in the stats, celebrating achievements such as personal records or improved performance over specific distances.

Lastly, another testament to the usability of the app is its Shoe Tracker feature. The shoe tracking functionality is in the “Me” tab of the app, offering quickly accessible insights on the condition of your running shoes (whether or not they need replacement). You can even tweak the settings to also account for walking activities and past shoe usage.

With all these advantages, Runkeeper reserves its more customizable training plans and more in-depth fitness reports to paying subscribers of the Go package. Despite this drawback, Runkeeper is still a good option if you don’t want to have a hard time navigating your running app.

PRICING:

  • Free
  • Runkeeper Go (Monthly): $9.99
  • Runkeeper Go (Annual): $39.99

PRO:

  • Balance of feature diversity and usability

CON:

  • Advanced fitness analytics reserved for paying subscribers

DEVICE COMPATIBILITY:

📲 Android, iOS

⌚Apple Watch, Garmin, Fitbit

RELEVANT APP LINKS:

💡 Learn More Via Official Website

👉 Download Mobile App Via Google Play

👉 Download Mobile App Via App Store

6. Couch to 5K: Best and most fun app for beginners

BRA: Home page of Couch to 5K by Active

Source: ACTIVE.com

Have you spent most of your free time on the couch and found it hard to start a running routine? Fortunately, Couch to 5K from Active Network is here to kick you from zero to high gear in a highly entertaining manner.

One of the best beginner running apps in the market, Couch to 5K leverages a gradual approach to fitness training, highly customizable workout plans, and animated coaches with colorful personalities.

The app understands that going from couch to running requires a slow progression to protect the body from unnecessary strain. During the first week, you will engage in a regimen that alternates between 8 one-minute jogging sessions and 90-second walking intervals, totaling 30 minutes of activity. As the program progresses into the second week, the app extends the jogging intervals to 30 seconds, accompanied by a one-minute increase in the walking intervals between each jog.

This thoughtful structure provides you and other beginners ample time to recover and catch your breath. The app’s program also eases you into the rhythm of jogging rather than imposing an immediate transition to running.

Couch to 5K is also flexible, allowing you to set your pace, track your progress, and create a personalized playlist. Its unique treadmill compatibility also provides you the flexibility to run indoors when the weather is not too friendly.

But the icing on the app’s proverbial cake of features is its animated coaches, with each virtual trainer showcasing unique and sometimes funny personalities. For instance, Constance is a female character who balances encouragement with assertiveness, while Sergeant Block will “make you drop and give him 50” when you don’t stick to your routine.

But good things come with a price. For this app, the price is literally around $5 for the mere privilege of downloading the app.

Despite the app’s slight shortcomings, Couch to 5K is a good investment if you want a unique, well-organized, effective, and motivating approach to begin your running journey.

PRICING:

  • Around $5 per app download

PROS:

  • Gradual and effective progression of the training program
  • A motley crew of animated coaches
  • Accommodation for Indoor running

CONS:

  • Payment required for app download

DEVICE COMPATIBILITY:

📲 Android, iOS

RELEVANT APP LINKS:

💡 Learn More Via Official Website

👉 Download Mobile App Via Google Play

👉 Download Mobile App Via App Store

Running the race of your life

The 6 best running apps featured here are just the start. Ultimately, the finish line is yours to aim for every day as you constantly reinforce and develop your running routine for better health and fitness.

A fit body is just the start, a foundation for a happy and fulfilled life. On that foundation, you could either run the race of your current life or explore another type of race, one where the stakes and rewards are higher.

We’re talking about setting up an app business.

Now before you think this or any sort of business is beyond your reach, please hear us out.

Many app businesses were conceived by non-techies who had a simple idea, as in the case of Airbnb. Others got multi-million dollar funding through a cost-effective showcasing of their ideas, like what Vello and Roamni did.

Strategic thinking is vital in this industry, and it’s something we have in abundance at Appetiser Apps.

Our product strategists and developers have helped entrepreneurs and nonprofits across the world create financially sustainable apps that have increased their impact and revenues.

Ready to explore a different route? We’re here as your running companion.

Schedule a free consultation with us and let’s talk about bigger life milestones.

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