11 Tracking Apps for Runners

Top Picks: It’s not easy keeping tabs on all the new run tracking apps for runners these days, so we asked Runner’s World Gear Editor Jeff Dengate to weigh in on what he uses to measure, map, and share his mileage. Here are some of the standout features of his picks.


Social Star: Strava

In addition to a fully featured GPS tracking service, Strava shows you a feed of your friends’ most recent activities and lets you compete against them in challenges – such as fastest half-marathon or most kilometres during a 30-day period. Strava’s top feature is its segment rankings – a leaderboard of all performances over sections of road or trail.
Free; iOS, Android


Utility Player: Wahoo Fitness

This app has two huge selling points: First, its black-and-white layout features enormous numbers that you can easily see at a glance. Second, you can save your tracked workouts to just about any third-party service out there – Strava, Garmin Connect, Training Peaks, Run Keeper, MapMyFitness, Nike+, Dailymile, and more. For even more utility, pair the app with Wahoo’s new Tickr Run chest strap to get a “smoothness” score – using cadence, vertical oscillation, ground contact time, and impact readings, the app gives you a measure of efficiency for your running form.
Free (app only); iOS, Android


GPS Pro: Garmin Connect Mobile

The Garmin Connect Mobile app is a must-have if you own a bluetooth compatible device like the Forerunner 220/620 or Fenix 2. Through the app, you can enable a “LiveTrack” session, to share your activity (and location) in real time – limited to friends you send an invitation. After a run, the workout details from your watch can be wirelessly uploaded to the Garmin Connect website, though the process is painfully slow – a 19-kilometre run took us about four minutes to transfer.
Free; iOS, Android


Multisport Master: Endomondo

While Endomondo’s web interface looks dated compared to most training diaries available today, its smartphone app is sleek and boasts a slew of activity types – table tennis, anybody? We like its ability to offer you in-run audio pep talks, left by your friends who also use the service.
Free; iOS, Android


Stay Connected: Garmin Fit

Already using Garmin Connect – say, because you also own a Forerunner GPS watch? Then this is the tracking app for you. Workouts are seamlessly synced to the Garmin Connect website after you’ve finished. You can also share your activities with your friends and family, so they can follow your progress in real time (subscriptions are $2 per month or $20 per year).
A$1.29; iOS, Android


Swiss Army Knife: iSmoothRun

In addition to showing you heaps of information about your run – basics like distance and time, but also steps, weather, and the name of the street you started on – this app can also be used to migrate workout data between training diaries. We imported a slew of TCX files from Dropbox, then exported them all in one go to MapMyRun in a matter of a few seconds.
A$7.49; iOS


Wayfinder: MapMyRun

Long the leader in online running routes, this app is our top pick for navigating a new destination. You can easily load any of your previously created routes, or those nearby generated by other runners, and follow a breadcrumb trail on the screen. We especially like this feature when running in new cities, where we might otherwise just resort to running out-and-back along some heavily trafficked roadway.
Free; iOS, Android


Suunto-sphere: Movescount

Like the Garmin Fit app, we recommend the Movescount app for runners who already use the associated web portal of their GPS watch – in this case, a Suunto Ambit. The app is dead-simple to use and tracks time, distance, and pace while allowing you to navigate a previously planned route so you don’t get lost. Workouts are synced with Movescount.com only.
Free; iOS


Cheering Squad: Nike+

In addition to the basic tracking – distance and time – Nike has engineered its app to cheer every time you receive a Facebook “like” or comment, encouraging you to keep running strong to the end.
Free; iOS, Android


Motivational Speaker: RunKeeper

Kick your training into another gear with training plans created by expert coaches like Jeff Galloway. Or, if you want to draw inspiration from your circle of friends, you can share your activities with your social networks and see how you stack up against your friends in monthly leaderboards.
Free; iOS, Android


Storytime: Runtastic

Do you prefer audio books or podcasts over music during your runs? Then try out “Story Running,” in-app stories available for purchase. Each audio track is roughly 35-40 minutes long – just about the same duration as your typical daily jog.
Free; iOS, Android, Windows Phone


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