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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 5 June, 2020

5 great running apps you should download before heading out this weekend

From Strava to Runkeeper, there’s plenty of choice.

shutterstock_190563269 Source: Shutterstock

WE ALL LOVE data, stats and figures in relation to our training. We keep logs and exercise diaries to monitor progression, or in some cases, regression.

It’s great to look back and compare times for a particular 5 or 10k run after a period of training while it’s also really good for self-esteem and motivation to observe the incremental increases in weights we can lift in the gym.

The exercise technology experts have tapped into this, such kind-hearted souls them, and flooded the market with apps that promise you all kinds of information. Here, we’ve given you a selection of five running apps you should definitely consider for this winter

1. RunKeeper

Cost: Free

Compatible with: iOS and Android

What you need to know; this brilliant app is one of the most popular among runners and hikers and operates off the GPS feature built into the phone. The navigation and big font display make this a winner while its ability to calculate your pace, chart your average and max speeds, while also displaying distance and time only serve to underline its popularity
Anything else? Two very neat features are it recognises routes you’ve done in the past and compares the time of your most recent run to a time/times from the past, while if you’re into social networking it will post your current route in real time.

Top features

  • Track runs, walks, bike rides and measure your progress
  • Chart your weight loss
  • Display maps of your routes

2. MapMyRun

Cost: Free

Compatible with: iOS and Android

What you need to know; Voted the Best Running App in 2012 by Reader’s Choice, MayMyRun is still one of the best ways to track your pace, distance, calories burned, while also getting plenty encouragement from the time and audio alerts it provides.

One thing it doesn’t do, aside from its myriad benefits, is provide split times while you’re running, however – you must go online afterwards which isn’t ideal. So if it’s a time check every kilometre you’re after you won’t get it mid run.

Anything else; Extremely robust, very easy to use but one thing to remember as well – like all apps that require GPS, it kills the battery in double quick time, so hurry up and get on home! Very useful to map routes in places you may be in for the first time.

Top features

  • Pace
  • Live route
  • Map
  • Distance
  • Calories
  • Elevation


3. Strava

Cost: Free

Compatible with: iOS and Android

What you need to know; The best thing about Strava is probably just how easy it is to use. In fact, it’s super easy to set, use and navigate and does such a great job of keeping it simple. It’s very like MapMyRun in that it plots your run or hike on a Google-like map which is really cool to look back on afterwards as it’ll feed you the relevant information like how far you travelled, how fast you went and how high you ran.

Anything else? What’s even better is that Strava is almost like a social networking site too for runners and after you’ve tracked your run you’ll be able to see how you performed compared to other Strava users who rode a particular segment. This is a great little motivating tool and when you’re done you can upload your workout to Facebook, Twitter and more – and importing and exporting routes is easy.

Runners and cyclists who thrive on competition love the Strava app!

Top features

  • Pace, distance, time and calories
  • Excellent interface
  • Supports Bluetooth and ANT+ devices, such as heart rate monitors
  • Accurate GPS and mapping.

4. Endomondo Sports Tracker

Cost: Free

Compatible with: iOS and Android

What you need to know; Again, this one is based on the GPS satellites in your phone and allows you record and track progress with just about any distance-based sporting activity, such as running, kayaking and cycling. Endomondo Sports Tracker tracks duration, distance and calories burned, and displays your route on a map. Excellent for tracking fitness, analysing performance and social networking with fellow users.

Anything else? You can schedule exercises and goals, complete with feedback from an audio coach. An added social dimension allows you to post workouts, track and compare progress as well as send and receive pep talks. There have been complaints about distance not being tracked properly but 10 million downloads is quite a statement.

Top features

  • Audio feedback
  • Track any distance-based sport
  • Keep a training diary
  • Race against your friend’s personal best
  • Share pictures from your workout

5. TempoRun

Cost; €2.30

Compatible with; iOs, Android

What you need to know?; TempoRun is like your standard music player, except with a new way to sort your songs: by their tempo. It rates them on a scale of 1 to 10 which is then used to set your pace for your runs. Setting the app to level one is ideal for a slow walking pace, five brings you to a jog, and 10 sets you at a sprint – you can land somewhere in between as well. It does all the usual stuff like tracking speed, distance and time as well as calories burnt so for something a little different, why not give this one a try?

Anything else?; If you crank up your speed or slow down, you can turn your levels up and down with the click of an arrow on the app’s smooth interface. You can also lock the screen so you don’t accidentally kick your level up to 10 and find yourself in a dead sprint trying to stay in line with the music. The only problem is the app selects the song, not you better make sure every song on the player is worthy of being there in the first place – TempoRun cannot differentiate genres, unfortunately.

Top features

  • Distance
  • Calories
  • Time
  • Speed
  • Personalised training to music
  • A music player and a training log

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About the author:

TheScore Team

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