Fitness

5 of the best running apps we’ve tried (free & paid)

Published by Finn Hayden

Despite all of the fancy workout equipment you can buy nowadays, there is still very little that beats a good run. Putting one foot in front of the other is as simple as it gets, but running is an effective and enjoyable way to exercise.
 
If you're wanting to take your running to the next level then you should embrace technology, and there are now lots of running apps out there which claim to be able to help you monitor and improve your running experience. We thought it would be useful to round up the best running apps you can download in the UK, let's get into it:

Strava

The Strava app has exploded in popularity in recent years, with anyone who considers themselves a runner downloading the app and using it to track their runs. The app is pretty straightforward - as you're running, the app will create a map of the route that you've taken. It'll also measure the distance you've run using GPS and give you a bunch of other data to do with your running performance. But Strava is also much more than just a running tracking app - it's essentially a social media app which allows you to share details of your run with other runners. You get a lot in the free version of Strava, but if you get the premium version of the app you'll get access to customisable training plans, even more data, and leaderboards which show you how you compare to runners in your area. Learn more and download it here for iOS and here for Android.
Strava app

Nike Run Club

For a free running app, you get a lot of features in The Nike Run Club app - it'll do everything you'd expect a running app to do such as tracking your distance, pace, and other metrics which you might find interesting and useful. But the app will also help you to set goals and create training plans to hit those goals, which is really useful. This app is ideal for both long-distance runners and sprinters and has features which will be helpful regardless of what distance you're running. On top of this, there is also a feature within the app for audio-guided runs and mindful runs, the latter of which uses the Headspace mindfulness app. These are great if you need a bit more than music or a podcast to get you motivated for a run. This app will sync up with Spotify and Apple Music if you want to play music through it, and overall we think it's a great all-in-one running app. Learn more and download it for Android here and iOS here.

Weav Run

Most runners will spend hours trying to create the perfect playlist for their runs, and usually this involves trying to match song tempos with your running tempo. But the Weav Run app makes all of this so easy and straightforward - once you've downloaded the app and connected to your playlist, the app will be able to remix songs so that they match your running cadence. So if you're out on a run and you've hit your stride but suddenly a slow Adele ballad comes on the shuffle, the Weav Run app will speed the song up so that it matches your pace. The same thing happens if you've hit the wall and your shuffle brings on a punk pop mosh pit song - Weav Run will slow it down a bit. The sped-up or slowed-down version of the songs don't sound silly at all and the remixes are always really clean and happen in real time, so if you're slowing up and speeding down in a short space of time, the song will adapt to your pace. This is a very useful app if music is a big part of your running, learn more and download it here for iOS.

Joggo

With more than 100k downloads from the Google Play Store, the Joggo app is a new running app but is quickly growing in popularity. The app works like many of the other apps we've included in this guide by tracking your runs and giving you estimates of the distance you've covered. But it also does a lot more - based on your running data, the app will suggest training plans that you could follow to improve. If you're more serious about running then the app can also suggest more intense training plans, including additional exercises you can do to improve your running performance. Learn more and download it for IOS and Android here - joggo.run

Joggo running app

Zombies, Run!

Ok, so stick with us - a lot of the apps we've included in this guide might be excellent, but there is no denying that they're a bit boring. The Zombies, Run! app will make your runs very exciting, and if you're finding yourself getting bored of listening to music and podcasts during your runs then you should definitely give this app a go. The app essentially puts you in a game which works by giving you one of 200 missions to complete. You'll hear a voiceover explaining the mission, and you'll also hear your music as usual. But the real excitement comes from the zombies, which you could hear at any point of your run. If you start to slow down, the sounds of the zombies will get louder and make you feel like they're right behind you, which definitely motivates you to run faster! This app works for outdoor runs but can also be used on a treadmill, so it's perfect for any setting and any ability. Learn more and download it for iOS and Android here - zombiesrungame.com

Zombies, Run!

We hope this guide helps you to find an excellent running app! Let us know if you've tried any of these apps or if you have any other suggestions for us to download and try!

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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