Updated: May 19
I use to think that jogging was supposed to be boring and dull. This was until I decided that tracking my runs was simply not enough anymore.
From my experience, I've seen how we actually start to enjoy running once we overcome the soreness and laziness bit (inevitable at the beginning).
And then the magic happens.. We tend to look for better quality running shoes or eat a fast carb before just to have that spare energy for the last few meters of sprinting. All this is to get better and faster because we tend to get competitive with ourselves. And here is the part where running apps come in!
In this article, I'll combine the best free running apps and advise on the suitability so we can make each of our runs count!
Nike Run Club gradually introduce you to running with its audio-based guided runs. The pep talk is a fantastic motivational boost and interactivity is high. Besides, it's a very comfortable running app especially if you have an Apple watch.
I really enjoyed how Nike Run Club synced with Nike Training Club because I had my running days and training days planned out in advance.
NRC is suitable for beginners, and intermediates who want to progress with their runs. Besides, the running app is free of charge so if you're under a tight budget, this app might be for you!
You won't get a lot of tracking here. You also won't personalize your runs as much as with other running apps, but it's a good enough start!
Read More About Nike Run Club Here!
With Strava you get way more tracking and way more sports other than just running. When upgraded to Premium, you get the ultimate analytics to help you analyze your performance. But it has a nice free version available too with most of the features included.
Because it has more tracking options, it will be more suitable for folks who want to keep up with the stats. Strava tracks a whole range of sports like surfing, rock climbing, yoga, hiking, and many more. Lots of users use it for triathlon training.
My favorite part was the community - you can compete with friends and earn achievements. So this is just a great running app if you're active overall.
Read More About Strava Here!
Similar to Nike Run Club, Runtastic also has incorporated "story runs" which guides you through your run. Though once upgraded to Premium, Runtastic gives way much more personalization than Nike.
Runtastic is all about setting a goal --> tracking how far you're away from it --> and then sharing your success when your goal is reached.
Indeed, Runtastic is quite a feature-rich running app. It has a worldwide community, blog, "daily fitness tips" section, challenges you can join, virtual events, and of course the ability to connect with your friends.
It's suitable for runners who are looking for interactive runs and advanced tracking. Also, if you consider yourself to be one of those people who like to take selfies after a successful jog - Runtastic has that feature too!
Read More About Addidas Runtastic Here!
Aaptiv is more a workout app than just running but it has a great "Outdoor Running" section available for mixing up routines. What's special about Aaptiv is its live on-demand classes and a coach who's there with you the whole time.
You feel the energy, and encouragement just pumping through. In fact, I got the feeling of being in a virtual gym while still remaining in the privacy of my own home.
With Aaptiv you get a healthy mix of every training possible. Therefore, it's suitable for people who need diverse training options. It's not entirely free but they have a free trial available, so if you're just experimenting in the field of running apps, try it out!
Read More About Aaptiv Here!
Jillian Michaels is another fitness app but this time it includes a meal plan. The extraordinary Jillian has put together a program for 5k and 10k races.
Therefore, your running goal must be either to run 5k or 10k - no in between. It's more suitable for people who look at running as part of losing weight, getting back in shape, and seeing results whatever they may be. Adding a thoughtful meal plan will just double the speed of your results (ask any coach).
Read More About Jillian Michaels Fitness Here!
6. Map My Run by Under Armour
Map My Run is another fun app that needed to be on my list of best free running apps. Here you can actually connect your Under Armour shoes with a built-in chip and track your activity that way. How cool AND precise is that?
This running app also has a Premium plan available that includes personalized training plans, audio coaching, live tracking, route genius, and other stuff. But in the basic free plan, you get most of the cool creations and benefits anyway.
It communicates with MyFitnessPal, maps your runs, and even suggests potential runs if you're in an unfamiliar area. Therefore, it might be a running app for you if you wanna explore the area, run in a different direction each time and just let the endorphins take over.
Read More About Map My Run Here!
7. Runkeeper - GPS Running Tracker
Similar to Strava, Runkeeper also tracks several activities like swimming, mountain biking, downhill skiing, and more. What's special about this running app is that you can log outside activities and keep track of your weight.
Another cool feature of Runkeeper - it takes into account the weather conditions and shows you how does it affect your running performance.
It has a free and paid plan. Once upgraded to Premium, the workout plan adjusts every week and gives deeper insights into your stats, plus allows you to compare workouts.
Runkeeper's Premium it's the cheapest from all of the jogging apps above so if budget is important for you, go with this running app. I used their free version and I find it quite useful.
Read More About Runkeeper Here!
That's the end of my list of Best Free Running Apps. I keep adding new running apps so you could always switch to another app if one is not good for you.
The take away is that we're all different - one might want to hear someone pushing us in the background while others might be annoyed and would just prefer running in silence. I'm definitely somewhere in the middle with days coming and going! Can't talk anymore - going out for a jog! Bye :)
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