As a new runner I was constantly trying new apps as I searched for the best tools to help me run faster, further and more intelligently. After three years of trial and a lot of error I’ve now got a collection of apps that I rely on during my training and races.
So without a further a do lets get down to it:
This one should be no surprise to any runner. Strava is one of the most popular fitness apps which acts like social media platform for your activities. It offers tools to track, review and set goals for your training as well as connect with your friends and local runners. It pushes me during boring runs around the same route as it breaks your runs down into segments, encouraging you to try PB that road or hill. It syncs with most major fitness devices like Garmin, Tomtom, etc and delves into the information they collect to provide detail analysis of how you are developing. When I started running I tried so many training apps like Nike, Runkeeper and Runtastic but Strava stands head and shoulders above them all.
Now this app is my secret weapon when it comes to pacing. It is a simple input system that calculates pace based on time and distance. So if you want to run a half marathon in 1:59 then you just pop in those two variables and wham you know the pace you need to be doing to achieve your goal. You can make it more advance with elevation and temperature inputs too but I tend to keep it simple.
MAP MY RUN
I don’t use the whole of this app as it has a lot of overlaps with Strava in terms of tracking and recording activities. However, when I’m travelling this app is essential as I use it to see what runs there are around the hotel I’m staying in through their database of maps and routes. I do get apprehensive that a route I might have created isn’t safe or that the elevation is too gnarly, the app dispels all that worry by showing you what the route is like in detail.
This is simplest app on the list. It is literally just an application that countdowns, yup that easy. For anyone who, like me, has a lot of running events in their year it means you can see exactly how many days between them and how long that next start line is away so you can work out your training and tapering.
This is definitely one for any trail runners and my favourite app at the moment. View Ranger calls it’s self a digital guide to the outdoors and that is a spot on description . It is a map/GPS app with worldwide detailed maps and thousands of downloadable routes. It also gives you the ability to plot your own routes and work out your mileage before you head out on a run. When you are out and about it offers spot on orientation and with a feature called Skyline you can use augmented reality to see where you are in the context of your surroundings.
Now this one might seem like an odd one but let me explain. Not only is Instagram a source of huge inspiration through following the stories and achievements of other runners but through the geotags you can also find amazing places to run. By searching in the local area you can see where the amazing views are, what cool areas are there and plan your run accordingly. I also use Instagram to connect with other runners, learn more about the running world and stay motivated.
For anyone who watched Battle of the Apps you’ll already know a lot about this app. Essentially this app tracks you but not in the same way as Strava. It lets you invite your friends and family to track you as you travel and gives them your location in realtime. It comes with built in safety measures that detect falls or when you veer off course, and it will notify your contacts if you don’t respond to the alert prompts.