7 Great Apps to Track Your Running Data

Developers have been hard at work trying to create the killer app for running. Most of the apps in this article give you the basics of pace, time, distance, music and audio cues. All allow linking to external heart rate sensors. With the increasing ability to share data across fitness platforms, the app that works best for you comes down to features and preferences.

Strava

Free ($6 per month for Premium)
iPhone and Android

Strava’s platform has become a de facto gathering place for running and cycling data and social interaction. Most other run apps and GPS watches can export to Strava. Its unique post-run focus is on sharing, comparing and rating performances along routes and segments. Strava’s premium service adds a highly visible, on-screen view with live performance stats from connected sensors, training programs, additional analysis of your workouts, and races along with age-based segment and route leaderboards.

Under Armour MapMyRun

Free ($5.99 per month for MVP version)
iPhone and Android

As the name implies, MapMyRun has long focused on routes: yours and others. Map a route upfront or import someone else’s—the app will tell you the distance. Then follow the route on the app. Travel a lot? The Route Genius will suggest routes near your location. The cleanly executed free version also gives you the ability to pair sensors including the Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 Record Equipped shoe and UA scale. The MVP version adds audio coaching, interval training, live tracking and basic training plans.

Polar Beat

Free (paid upgrades available)
iPhone and Android

The free version covers the basics of pace, distance, time and mapping with a clean interface, clear audio cues and dozens of sports profiles. It shines when you add Polar’s HL7 BT heart rate strap or Stride Sensor ($79.99), the only sensors compatible with the app. We particularly liked the Benefit Target add-on ($2.99): Based on your heart rate zone ranges, it uses audio cues to direct you through six different workouts. Review and then relive your run, ride, or even ski session on an animated map with data, music and a few street views.

Runkeeper

Free ($9.99 per month for Go version)
iPhone and Android

ASICS recently acquired this elegantly designed, goal-oriented app, which offers all the basics free, plus the ability to build interval workouts and illustrate your runs with photos. Given its ease of use, it’s an ideal choice for beginners. The premium Runkeeper Go version includes training plans that adjust based on your training results, track your performance versus your goals and provide deeper data insights and comparisons.

iSmoothRun Pro

$5.99
iPhone only

iSmoothRun is the only app here with no free version. The entry fee gets you essentially all the features of a higher-end GPS run watch on your phone: broad sensor pairing, heart rate and pace zone alerts, a deep audio cued intervals module, cadence and metronome, along with the ability to see on-the-go stats on watch-based displays from Apple and others. Although there is no website for data, just a well-
executed log in the app, you can export your data to 16 of the most popular apps and platforms.

Suunto Movescount

Free
iPhone and Android

A free, basic app, Movescount has the unusual feature of allowing you to tap on the screen to change displayed metrics on the fly. There are no audio cues or auto pause but heart rate monitors can be paired to the app. Use it as your GPS run app (the back end platform is excellent) or run it simultaneously with your GPS watch. Movescount can create a 3D Suunto Movie of your run, with pictures taken along the way and key metrics presented in context as they occur in a beautiful shareable video.

Nike+ Running

Free
iPhone and Android

Entirely free, the Nike app covers all the basics and includes race based training plans along with a display on Apple Watch. The app and website will track total runs, average pace over time, and encourages you to compare and compete with yourself and others. Strongly focused on music, select free Spotify Nike+Run Club playlists by linking your Spotify Premium account to the app, even set “power songs.” It’s a great app choice for those with competitive instincts; it’s designed to motivate runners as they progress.

Tips & Tricks: How can I see or hear my workout stats?

  1. Use an armband or carry your phone in your hand if you only want visual indications.
  2. Stash your phone away if you want audio feedback or already listen to music. All the apps can tell you pace, time and other stats every mile or more frequently.
  3. Many shorts now accommodate up to iPhone 6S size phones or use a fabric stretch belt with pockets.  If your phone does not have a water-resistant case, always protect it from excessive sweat with a plastic bag.
  4. Pair your app to a wrist display, verifying that your app supports the display.

 

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