When it comes to smartwatches, Apple Watch and “the best” have now become synonymous with each other.
And it’s not just because of its easy integration with the Apple Universe but rather because of the kind of features it provides, including some of the most useful fitness features.
You can use an Apple Watch to check your pulse rate, oxygen levels, the number of steps you walked, and so much more.
In addition, there are interactive apps you can use right from your wrist that’ll save you heaps of time and effort. You won’t even have to lift your iPhone whenever you need to check something.
When it comes to exercising and especially running, carrying your phone becomes an added chore and possibly a burden, as you are constantly engaged in physical activities which require wide movements of your arms and legs.
Thanks to Apple Watch, you can do so much right from your wrist. If you’re a fitness enthusiast and you love running miles, then you’ll love the running apps we’ll go over in this post for your Apple Watch.
If that sounds interesting, let’s learn more.
Difference Between a Running App and an Activity App
To put it in the most simple manner, an activity app helps you track your movements, exercise, and standing duration for an entire day.
On the contrary, a running app is specifically tailored for all your running needs only. It has maps, data analysis, an activity tracker, and more.
While an activity app has some broader uses, a running app is a niche choice best suited for when you plan to run only.
Also read: Top 12 Smart Health Tracker for Better Life
The Need for an Extra Running App on Apple Watch
It’s funny because I can see a big question in your head asking, “why do I need an additional running app if my Apple Watch already has a built-in fitness app?”.
Well, the answer to this is pretty straightforward. When it comes to a dedicated running app, it goes the extra mile to curate your reports specific to your training goals
Some apps even support live coaches who’ll guide and take you closer to your near-perfect run.
It does a great job of providing huge community support and keeping you on the learning radar.
Along with customized workouts and running-specific coaching, some apps also give you diet plans to get that runner’s body. As the focus is only on running, you can practice with razor-sharp focus without any other distractions.
This is exactly why a third-party running app does so much more than the default fitness app on Apple Watch.
With that being said, let’s have a look at the best running apps.
One of the oldest and the most popular running apps out there, Strava’s versatile functionality carries a strong fan base for a long time now.
The most loved feature of this app is undoubtedly the fact that it allows you to be social and compete with friends, create group challenges and track which ran the fastest and the furthest. This helps you achieve more while also having more fun.
If you’re a Triathlete, you’re in for a treat because it also helps you track your ride and hike with utmost accuracy. This app’s intelligent system also recommends different tracks you can explore based on your preferences.
With the paid version, you can track more than 30 additional activities, such as yoga, and also gain insights on how you can improve yourself with each activity.
You can use Strava to take on new challenges by joining monthly challenges and honing your badge of accountability on completing them.
If you’re someone who loves customizations, look no further because ASICS Runkeeper will let you configure your activities as per your preference.
Like Strava, ASICS Runkeeper is a veteran in the market and has its own loyal runners’ users club.
Some of the many features of this app include:
- Audio-guided workouts for beginners as well as experienced runners
- Tracking of workouts like running, walking, hiking, and biking manually or with the help of GPS
- Tracking your progress via timely stats reports
- Personalized plan as per your goals
- Allows you to listen to your pace, distance, and time in 5 motivational voices
- Integration with heart rate monitors
In addition to this, you can also integrate Spotify and Apple Music and fuel your running with your favorite tracks like a pro.
Nike Run Club
An app that existed even before Apple Watch started its fitness app, Nike Run Club is free to use and a popular choice among the users of Nike.
It comes with expert coaches, an incredible community, and tons of motivation to help you reach the finish line in no time.
You can prepare for your 5k,10k, or half marathon with the help of their guided runs features that also include interactive plans for your goals and fitness level.
Coming to the best feature, it allows you to track mileage on your shoes and lets you identify your running speed for each pair. If your shoes are worn out, and you need new ones, it’ll notify you to get a new pair. How cool is that?
All in all, this is a great app for runners who are looking for easy training coupled with community advice and a helpful feed to improve physical activity.
Map My Run
I understand how boring it must be to run on the same track repeatedly, so to combat that, you can use the Map My Run app to find new routes every time you run. It makes your running journey less monotonous and more enjoyable.
Here are some amazing features of this app:
- A set of training tools and techniques to help you run better
- Easy integration with other apps and wearables like Apple Health, Gramin, FitBit, etc.
- Over 600 activities for running, cycling, gym workouts, cross-training, and more
- Connect with MyFitnessPal to analyze your calorie intake and burn
- An inspired community of over 60 million athletes
With features this useful, it comes as no surprise that this app was named of the Top 10 running apps by The Guardian and has also been voted Best Running Apps Readers’ Choice on About.com.
Adidas Running is an amazing app with a community of 170 million fitness enthusiasts, it is more than just a running tracker. It helps you track your duration, distance, heart rate, and calories burned with a single tap.
You can also keep yourself motivated by participating in various virtual races and challenges or setting targeted challenges to exceed your limits. Each time you set a new record, you earn rewards to stay motivated throughout your journey, which is very helpful.
If you’re feeling spontaneous, you can take videos of your fitness adventures and integrate them with the Relive app. In fact, you can also connect it with MyFitnessPal and REBO Smart Bottle to track your water and food intake.
As the name suggests, RunGo app is perfect for helping you choose the best routes to run or simply create one according to your preference.
If you’re eager to know why RunGo made it to this list, it’s because it lets you:
- Simulate races and bucket list routes with voice-guided messages and street-view images right from your treadmill or wherever you are
- Find a running-friendly hotel with RunGo’s hotel partners, and don’t miss out on your runs while you’re traveling
- Use voice navigation never to miss a turn while running
- Let your friends and family track you in-real them and let them know you’re really running away from them 😛
- Challenge yourself with virtual races, win and earn fame on leaderboards
Additionally, this power-packed app comes with over 600,000 routes across 171 countries, including city tours, unique adventures, race courses, and visual simulations.
Weight Loss Running by Slimkit
If losing weight is your priority, then Weight Loss Running by SlimKit will help you slim down in 4 weeks.
This app gives you a strategic approach by suggesting customized running plans coupled with the necessary diet to lose your stubborn weight faster. It also has a water tracker to keep your hydration levels in check.
If you’re a starter, you can choose a 3-day workout plan. When it comes to diet plans, it gives you step-by-step instructions on how you can prepare delicious yet healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
For a laser-focused approach, you can choose a personal trainer, be it sweet, encouraging, or from a military style of training.
You can get started by integrating it with music, recording your workout, and taking inspiring transformation pictures from your app.
This has to be the perfect app to crush your new year’s resolutions and say hi to a fitter you.
Also read: 13 Best Smart Scales to Keep Track of Your Weight
Running Walking Tracker Goals
A great start needs great goals, and this is exactly what Running Walking Tracker Goals will help you set and achieve. It’s an excellent app for someone who’s just getting started with their fitness journey.
A lot of beginners have been motivated and are on track because of the following possibilities:
- Set an exclusive goal for distance, burned calories, steps, duration, and elevation
- You can set these goals for jogging, walking, Nordic walking, mountain biking, or biking
- Check your pulse rate while carrying out these activities
- Start an activity directly from your wrist
When you get on their premium plan, you get an added benefit of a real voice coach who’ll give you feedback on your progress. Also, you can create your HIIT training, get exclusive plans for your workouts, utilize live chat, and view performance charts.
10K Trainer by C25K
10k Trainer by C25K deserves a noteworthy mention for being featured on sites like New York Times, Forbes, and The Guardian. It’s rated highly among the users and does exactly what it promises: elevate your walking and running experience.
This app has proudly been a part of millions of success stories due to, all thanks to their offerings like:
- Easy 10k programs for 3 days per week
- Award-winning music from Top DJs.
- Seamless integrations with health apps
- Rich community of veterans and newbies
- Audio coach and alters
With an easy sharing option, you can also flaunt your progress on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The whole purpose of this app is to get you on your feet and start moving while also having fun.
Running might not be as easy as it looks, and you’ll require a lot of motivation to go the extra mile to be consistent, which is why it’s important to pair your journey with one of the above apps.
It’ll help you immensely in achieving your short-term and long-term goals because let’s face it, it’s always better to be sore today than sorry tomorrow.
Next, check out these heart rate monitor apps for Apple Watch.