App To Speed

Our pick of the best free train­ing apps

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue -

The best free run­ning apps

1 / SAUCONY STRIDE LAB IOS Some run­ning apps want to track your runs, but Stride Lab aims to help you run bet­ter. It takes ev­ery­thing Saucony has learned from its per­for­mance lab over the past 10 years and adds in­sights from biome­chan­ics ex­pert Jay Dicharry to put a cut­ting-edge, vir­tual biome­chan­ics lab in your smart­phone. Af­ter guid­ing you through a per­sonal eval­u­a­tion of stance, mo­bil­ity, sta­bil­ity and stride, the app crunches your data and pro­vides a cus­tomised train­ing plan that will help you im­prove where you need it most. 2 / MY MONEY TIME IOS, An­droid Turn miles into money. Yup, this app is real. The catch? You can only spend what you earn in cer­tain part­ner stores. A 10-mile run earned us £48.80 in vouch­ers; the money had to be spread across mul­ti­ple brands, but with the likes of Asics, Po­lar and Un­der Ar­mour as part­ners, it’s worth clock­ing up the miles. You won’t even have to stop us­ing your favourite run-track­ing app be­cause you can im­port data from Strava, Garmin and En­domondo and still cash in. 3 / TRUBE IOS Book­ing a per­sonal train­ing ses­sion made as easy as it gets. Think Uber but in­stead of hail­ing a taxi, you sum­mon a per­sonal trainer to come to your home, office or lo­cal park. From kick­box­ing and Cross­fit, to spe­cific task-fo­cused train­ing, there’s a great va­ri­ety of run­ner-friendly ses­sions to choose from. Your trainer brings all the kit you need, and you can ar­range ses­sions for un­der £35. The ser­vice is cur­rently Lon­don-based only, but is plan­ning to ex­pand na­tion­wide in the near fu­ture. 4 / RACEFULLY IOS Run­ning buddy just moved to the other side of the world? No prob­lem, Racefully has your back. This clever app lets you run vir­tu­ally, in real time, with your own tribe of race mates from any­where on the planet. In­vite fel­low run­ners on a run date and dur­ing the ses­sion the app’s au­dio com­men­tary keeps ev­ery­one up­dated about how they’re do­ing

in the group. The app even recog­nises if one of you is toughing it out on hills and ad­justs it­self to en­sure a fair race. For the com­pet­i­tive among you, there are leader boards, badges and achieve­ments to un­lock, too.

5 / NIKE+ RUN CLUB IOS, An­droid

Up­dated in 2016, the Nike+ Run Club app hasn’t been to ev­ery­one’s lik­ing, thanks to changes that have made shar­ing work­outs to Face­book more dif­fi­cult, and the re­moval of some com­mu­nity chal­lenge fea­tures. But Nike’s app is still a great GPS run tracker and you’ll be hard pressed to find per­son­alised coach­ing plans that are eas­ier to set up. There’s also full sup­port for the Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 2 and use­ful touches, such as in-app Spo­tify con­trols.


More a to­tal health so­lu­tion than a run­ning app, this bills it­self as the world’s first 24/ 7 con­nected health and fit­ness sys­tem. That’s a fancy way of say­ing it syncs with Un­der Ar­mour’s body-fat scales and heart-rate mon­i­tor, will track your train­ing us­ing GPS for dis­tance, pace and the like, and also keep tabs on other life­style fac­tors that in­flu­ence how well you run and how fit you feel, such as steps, sleep qual­ity and nu­tri­tion. But its neat­est trick might be com­par­isons that let you check a run per­for­mance against a night’s sleep or a day’s food in­take to see how that af­fected you.

7 / CHAR­ITY MILES IOS, An­droid

The link be­tween char­ity and run­ning is now even stronger, thanks to this award-win­ning app that lets you earn money as you log your miles. Dosh is do­nated by brands spon­sor­ing the app (John­son & John­son is among the larger com­pa­nies fea­tured) and you can choose to do­nate to a char­ity of your choice from a list of (cur­rently) 40, in­clud­ing Save The Chil­dren, WWF, RED and the Iron­man Foun­da­tion. So far, the app has raised over US $2m (£1.65m) and you can now even join teams to run for spe­cific causes, such as Stand Up To Can­cer.

8 / GHOSTRACER An­droid

Race against a ghost part­ner, all based on past runs from Strava. Choose to beat your per­sonal best or take on an­other run­ner from the Strava leader board, rac­ing as if you’re there live, with the data shown on your An­droid Wear smart­watch. You get to see in real time if you’re lag­ging and there are au­dio-coach­ing pep talks to keep you on track. The stats up­load to Strava, mak­ing it easy for you to take your place at the top of the leader board.

9 / RUNZI An­droid

This is all about im­prov­ing ca­dence and re­duc­ing im­pact. The idea is sim­ple: you get reg­u­lar ca­dence read­outs along with an au­dio metronome, with pulses sound­track­ing runs, help­ing you push for a 180 BPM (beats per minute) foot-strike rate. The aim is to im­prove form and ef­fi­ciency, and re­duce im­pact on your joints. There’s a daily, weekly and monthly im­pact tracker, so you can avoid in­jury while push­ing your lim­its.

READ IT AND PEAK There’s a run­ning app out there for you, no mat­ter what your goals are.

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