There are two types of runners in this world, those that go out with just their shoes and enjoy nature (I strive to be more like this type of runner one day) and those that use technology to the max for their run. I myself (unfortunately) fall more often than not in the latter category. It is not that I do not enjoy running, but I get very much in the mind frame of trying to track every single aspect of my run so that I can know, what is working, where to improve and what I most want to focus on in the upcoming runs.
Tracking and getting “techy” on my runs also helps me immensely during training, which is mostly what I am doing while I am running. While one day I do hope to be more frequently the runner that is not distracted by upbeat tunes or my split times, today is not that day and instead, I am using my tried and true knowledge to share with you running apps that I love and frequently use while out running.
- For The Trainer – Nike Run Club. This is part running coach, part celebrity interaction and part Nike Club Coolness. The app features many different aspects from just tracking runs in general, to a coaching program that will help you train for an upcoming race, to daily and weekly global challenges. I use it as my central portal when I am training for races and consistently use their training programs (that grow and morph as you advance in your running abilities).
- For The Competitor – Strava. My brother introduced me to this one a few years ago as a way to up our sibling rivalry while training for races. This app lets you connect with friends, join running clubs or just view running paths that others have taken. The thing, that I think, brings it to the next level, is that you can compete with others’ overall times to be the ultimate pace holder on any given specific path. It also allows you to compete with yourself if you are running the same path daily (tracking when and where you had the best pace and overall time). Brands like Lululemon have used the app to create competitions on certain trails that you can go run. Essentially the app gives you a free race (without the official time).
- For The Adventurer – Zombies, Run! I came across this one while logging some pretty long hours alone out running. Imagine the zombie apocalypse becoming real and you are one of the few survivors having to run from the zombies while collecting supplies for your base so that you can survive, that is this app. Through guided scenarios and levels (with “zombie chasing” sounds), it uses your run to create an interactive experience that definitely keeps you motivated and will have you running longer just to keep the zombies away.
- For The Techy – Garmin Connect. This one is my essential app (and piece of wearable tech) while I am out running (but really only usable if you have the watch). I swear by a Garmin Watches and if you are looking for a new watch with a great app this is it. It creates a visual space for your run after syncing with your watch and lets you track most closely your progress during your training. It also connects with Strava (and a boatload of other apps) which is a huge plus.
- For The Tracker – Map My Run. When you have run what seems like every single possible pathway in your area, this run comes in handy. It not only lets you track where you have run, but it also allows you to see different paths, with distances, that others have run. So when you need inspiration for your next 5k, this one can give you a rated system of the best paths by other users.
- For The Music Junky – Spotify. While there are a ton of music streaming apps now, my favourite is Spotify. They have a ton of workout playlists for any style of run, whether it be a tempo, sprint, long run or recovery. Plus, there are a ton of brands that use the platform to curate playlists on the app (Nike Run Club even has their own collection of playlists).
What are some of the apps you use for running?