Must-Have Apps For Runners

Must-Have Apps For Runners

Whether you're serious about training, or you're looking for a new way to get moving, running is a fantastic way to keep fit. There are loads of apps out there, aimed at all levels from beginners to advanced runners, but which one is right for you? Explore our top picks below.

One Couch to 5K

Available on: iOS and Android
Price: Free
Best for: Complete beginners

Running can feel really daunting at first, and often the hardest part is getting started. Couch to 5K is a running plan designed by the NHS, with the aim of helping people with absolutely no prior running experience to comfortably run 5K without stopping.

Adapting this plan into an easy-to-use app, Couch to 5K is available from both the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store. It's free to download, and you'll be tasked with taking 3 runs per week, with each week slowly increasing in difficulty, for a total of 9 weeks. The plan is flexible, so you can repeat weeks if you don't feel ready to progress onto the next stage.

The app has an easy-to-use interface, and you'll be able to choose from a selection of trainers - including former Olympian Michael Johnson and comedian Sanjeev Kohli - to guide you through the programme. Signals and countdown timers will help you stay on track, you can still listen to your own music from your preferred music player, and you'll be asked how you feel after every run to help you to experience the benefits of each session immediately.


Available on: iOS and Android
Price: Free
Best for: Tracking runs and finding new routes

If you're comfortable going on your own, unguided runs, but you'd like an app to help you track your progress and offer new route suggestions, choose MapMyRun. Not only will this app help you track the total distance and time taken for each of your runs, it'll give you a ton of feedback too. Stats include your average pace across the run, estimated calories burnt, elevation details and a breakdown of your route mile-by-mile.


MapMyRun is compatible with a number of smartwatches too, including the Apple Watch, and other health apps such as MyFitnessPal. If you sign up for MapMyRun MPV for £27.99 per year, or £5.49 per month, you'll also be able to access a number of premium features, including Live Tracking so friends and family can view your real-time whereabouts, personalised training plans to help you reach your fitness goals, heart rate zone analysis and so much more.


Available on: iOS and Android
Price: Free
Best for: Casual and experienced runners

Strava works in a similar way to MapMyRun, helping you to track your running using GPS. Strava will show you all of your stats, including distance travelled, time taken, average pace, calories and more after your run is over. You'll be able to view your exact route too, and as Strava saves all of this data you can go back to review it at any time.

There's a huge social element built into the Strava app as well, which is ideal if you're looking for motivation or you share a passion for running with friends. A huge draw for many users, you can share your runs with your followers on your own personal newsfeed, join clubs and teams in your local community, share pictures and even compete in challenges. Strava isn't just limited to running either, you can track cycling, swimming and plenty more activities with this app.

If you're after even more features, Strava Summit is available for £4 per month. With the upgrade you'll be able to create custom goals, follow training plans designed by experienced coaches, share your real-time location and get even more insight on your runs.

Nike+ Run Club

Available on: iOS and Android
Price: Free with in-app
Best for: Experienced runners

Even the most advanced runners can get plenty out of Nike+ Run Club. Available for both Android and iPhone users, you'll find all the basics on this app, as well as a huge range of extra features. Explore specialised audio-guided runs led by a range of Nike coaches and renowned athletes, take part in weekly and monthly global challenges, compete for a top spot on the leaderboard, earn badges and trophies, view saved data from previous runs and even cheer on friends also using the app with the in-run cheer feature.


Nike+ Run Club works seamlessly with a wide range of GPS-enabled smartwatches, can sync with a number of health apps including Apple Health and can be used in conjunction with popular music apps like Spotify and Apple Music.

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