The 8 Best Running Apps

Two runners taking a selfie with a smartphone during a run

There are big benefits to keeping a training log as you prepare for a race. Luckily, keeping track of your runs and workouts has never been easier thanks to the best running apps for smartphones.

With dozens of quality running apps on the market today, you can easily record your distance, pace, time and plenty more to stay on top of their training plans. Many of the best apps for runners even pair with a GPS device, like a running watch or smartphone, to automatically upload a workout after it ends.

The simplicity of today’s fitness apps makes keeping track of your runs—and sharing your progress with friends—a powerful part of your training. But with so many options to choose from, you can quickly get lost in a sea of information.

So, if you’re looking for the best running app to track your miles, record your workouts and help you stay on top of your training, we’ve got you covered. To help figure out the best running app for you, here are the 10 best apps for runners to help get you to your goal:

1. Map My Run

Free for iOS and Android; upgrade to MVP for $5.99/month or $29.99/year

Created by UnderArmour, Map My Run allows you to track your runs using a GPS and provides you with personal feedback and stats to encourage and motivate you. Along with mapping, this app includes a community where 50 million people can share their goals and achievements, as well as their different routes, so you have the ability to discover other people’s favorite workouts.

This app allows you to input your exact running shoes and notifies you when they should be replaced. Bonus: Map My Run not only tracks your run’s distance and pace, but can be used for any workout.

Download Map My Run: iOS and Android

2. Couch to 5K Trainer

Free to download for iOS and Android; upgrade to Pro for $4.99

If you can't find a local 5K training group, C25K is a great app for those who want to get into training fast. Designed to assist beginner runners, the app’s training program lasts eight weeks and includes a virtual coach who tells you when to walk and when to run.

As you get further into the program, you are able to earn achievements and badges. Couch to 5K is also great for runners who are short on time: By using 30 minute runs three times a week, this app creates an easy way to get in 5K shape without taking up too much of your time.

Download C25K: iOS and Android

A screenshot of a profile in the Strava running and fitness app

3. Strava

Free for iOS and Android; upgrade to Summit for $59.99/year

Featuring the world’s largest trail network, Strava allows you to discover new routes as well as record your own. The app lets you analyze each of your workouts through every stat you need, including distance, time and pace.

On top of the basic app, Strava Summit helps you achieve any of your goals through three workout packs that come with a subscription. You can create groups, join brands’ clubs, and compete against others through the segment leaderboard.

As the most popular social running app, Strava creates friendly competition between users as well as encourages the creation of personal goals. Plus, you can follow some of your favorite athletes to see how they're progressing in their own training.

Download Strava: iOS and Android

4. Garmin Connect

Free for iOS and Android

For owners of a Garmin running watch, Garmin Connect allows you to create custom workouts, compete against yourself and your friends, and build your own courses. Garmin Connect also allows you to earn badges for achievements and compete against your personal records by keeping track of steps, distance and pace.

You can keep track of your daily health through the My Day page and analyze all of your activities. Garmin Connect also features a recovery advisor, to provide support even after you finish a run.

Download Garmin Connect: iOS and Android

5. Nike Run Club

Free for iOS and Android

Attention, Nike lovers. The Nike Run Club app creates nonstop motivation by allowing users to form their own distance challenges. Throughout these challenges, Nike provides support through personalized coaching plans, which include audio-guided runs from different coaches, athletes and entertainers.

The distance leaderboard allows you to compete against friends and yourself, while in-run cheers allow you to hear personalized words of motivation on your run from your friends. Nike+ Run Club also easily connects to Apple Watches, so you can track your performance right from your wrist.

Download Nike Run Club: iOS and Android

6. AllTrails

Basic version is free for iOS and Android; upgrade to AllTrails Pro for $2.50/month or $29.99/year

Featuring 75,000+ trails, AllTrails allows you to review your trails, as well as share pictures of the path. You can also filter trails based on dog, kid and wheelchair friendliness. In AllTrails, you can add your favorite trails and share your workouts with Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other social media sites.

With the ability to download trails for offline use and off-trail warning features, AllTrails helps increase your safety throughout your workout. Along with this, AllTrails features Lifeline, where you can assign safety contacts who can track your progress during a run and make sure you’re staying safe.

Download AllTrails: iOS and Android

7. Runkeeper

Basic version is free for iOS and Android; upgrade to Runkeeper Go for $9.99/month or $39.99/year)

By allowing you to decide and set your own personal goal, RunKeeper features personalized plans to help keep you on track. The ASICS app provides audio that keeps you updated on your progress throughout your run, so you don’t have to constantly check in, and there are in-app challenges, exercise rewards and virtual running groups, which helps you stay committed to your goal.

Runkeeper syncs to many different Bluetooth devices as well as other apps, so you can maximize utility even when you’re not on your phone. To get more out of Runkeeper, Runkeeper Go is a paid premium update that includes prescribed workouts, live tracking and progress insights.

Download Runkeeper: iOS and Android

8. Running Distance Tracker Pro

Basic version is free for iOS and Android; upgrades to premium versions starts at $9.99

With some of the most accurate distance and time tracking available, Running Distance Tracker Pro is guaranteed to motivate any runner. You can see your running history and improvements right in the app, as well as track your pace, calories burned and heart rate during your runs.

With customizable voice feedback, Running Distance Tracker keeps you on track for reaching your goals. This app also integrates with Apple Health so you can ensure every aspect of your workout is documented.

Download Running Distance Tracker Pro: iOS and Android

Now that you’ve got the best running app for you, go out and start using it!

By Laura Held. Laura is studying marketing and Spanish at Lehigh University and is a digital intern at Fleet Feet.

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