The 18 best running apps

Best running apps for mapping

Komoot

Free or paid | Android & iPhone

This excellent app combines route planning and sat nav for runners. Sat nav, you say? Let’s have a think: how many times have you set off on a brand new route and either a) gone wrong immediately as you’re chatting away to your running buddy or b) had to stop every five seconds to look at your phone to check the route? Both scenarios are equally annoying when you just want to strike out in the great outdoors, but Komoot has the answer. It features turn-by-turn navigation as well as the ability to route plan and follow existing routes too. Tailored adventures can be searched by distance, duration and other factors. Honestly, a world awaits when you have Komoot in your pocket.

MapMyRun

Free or paid | Android & iPhone

This app is so fully featured it’s often used by pro athletes. Owned by Under Armour, MMR is muscular when it comes to data, but don’t let that put you off if you’re a beginner. It’s easy to use; you can get going in one tap or you can customize your dashboard first, setting basic audio updates like pace, distance and time of day, split times and so on. Choose to track runs by distance, speed, calories burned, elevation and view results in graphs and charts so you can compare to past runs on the same route. Set up a training plan and find support and motivation from other runners. If you’re a data diva, you could invest in the dinky UA HOVR trainers that use an embedded chip to provide real-time data on fitness performance via the app.

Garmin Connect

Free | Android & iPhone

If you have a Garmin watch, it makes sense to use the app designed to work with it. Garmin Connect is a powerhouse; an engine that makes sense of all the data the watch is churning. And, my goodness, it’s powerful, so prepare yourself for holistic stats, including resting heart rate, training status, steps, sleep, intensity minutes, respiration, stress level and calories. See? We did say holistic! As far as we know, it doesn’t monitor your thoughts, but that can only be a matter of time…

Strava

Free or paid | Android & iPhone

It’s so huge we probably don’t need to explain it. But we will, for the sake of completeness and because we like to do our jobs properly. Strava is an online global athlete community that lets you track your activities with GPS, log performance, join challenges, share photos and follow friends. We’ve only got room to share two of the niftiest features, namely Segments and Local Legends. When you complete an activity, the Segments (a bit like splits) that route covers are provided as part of the data breakdown. If you’ve been through those Segments before, you’ll see if you were faster or slower, and over time you’ll be in with a chance of bagging Local Legend status; Strava’s way of celebrating consistent effort.

OS maps

£20 annual subscription | Android & iPhone

This one’s a little bit different, and its power comes from its maps. It’s a great route planner for runners as well as cyclists and walkers, but the level of detail you get on the maps is what sets it apart. Think of it as one of those incredibly useful life apps you have on your phone, alongside the torch, the compass and the banking app. Plan and save your own routes and follow pre-loaded ones all around the UK. There’s something so nice about knowing runners have climbed those stiles and run away from those bulls before you and survived to tell the tale (and save the route!). Excellent for trail runners, fell runners and people who like to run in new locations, while on holiday or on a work trip.

What 3 Words

Free | Android & iPhone

Because addresses don’t always point to specific locations, W3W is a must-have app. It has given every three square meters in the world a unique three-word address. The words are randomly assigned to each square so you can always be found if you get lost on a run. Meet you in Cake.Please.Now. on Saturday at 2pm?

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