Running: What Are the Best Training Apps?

Illustrations courtesy (l to r): Runner's World; MapMyFITNESS; Competitor Group & Haneke Design; Abvio

There’s an app for everything right? It sure seems that way—and that’s especially true for runners and fitness fanatics. Do a quick search for “running” at the App Store in iTunes and more than 100 apps related to training, racing, and logging workouts pop up over several pages. Believe it or not, there is even an app for recording the mileage you log in a single pair of running shoes. Here are four useful running apps worth checking out, but we’d love to hear your suggestions, too.

See Brian Metzler’s new Ultimate Running Shoe + Tech Guide.

Runner’s World SmartCoach – $1.99

Interested in training for a race with a simple but very effective custom-tailored training plan? The Runner’s World SmartCoach app, powered by Training Peaks, can create an individualized training plan up to 16 weeks long for distances from 5K to the marathon. After answering a short questionnaire about your running goals and background, it uses proven training methodology to create a program just for you, with daily workout suggestions and advice at your fingertips.

iMapMyRUN+ – $2.99

From the ultimate route-mapping site, this app allows a runner to track and save data from a run—interactive maps, photos, videos, elevation profiles, etc.—and share it with others in a worldwide community at The app also comes with access to website features like nutritional plans and the ability to challenge other runners.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series – Free

Any good running coach worth his or her salt will tell you that you need to know the course—and train for its specific features—if you expect to run your best race. This free app puts the biggest and fastest growing half-marathon and marathon series in the U.S. right at your fingertips. In addition to helping you choose your next race, the app gives you access to course maps and elevation profiles, training suggestions, and social media comments from other runners.

Runmeter GPS 6.0 – $2.99

This app can turn an iPhone into a motivational running coach. Not only can it suggest and track workouts and give detailed feedback about your fitness, but it also has audible announcements and reminders to encourage you along the way. With this app, you can share your training and racing data with others via social media or just save the maps, graphs, and charts of your efforts for future comparisons.

See Brian Metzler’s new Ultimate Running Shoe + Tech Guide.


  1. Nick
    April 30, 2012, 6:28 pm

    My preferred app is iSmoothRun for iPhone. It’s got some great features such as ghost runs, cadence and shoe mileage, but best of all is the workout editor. It’s brilliant! You can set-up quite complicated fartlek and interval-based workouts with it, and the audio-coaching to go with them is spot on.

  2. justin hee
    April 30, 2012, 9:20 pm

    I use micoach on the Android platform which is free and it has audible timing, pace and speed to encourage you. There are more features with a paid version. The GPS is superb.

  3. EB
    April 30, 2012, 10:01 pm

    The Nike+ GPS app for iOS deserves a mention here. Very well-executed and functional.

  4. katy
    Maryland, US
    May 1, 2012, 8:43 am

    Run.Bike.Route for the Android is great! For those who don’t necessarily want to lug their phone along with them on a run it lets you draw routes on a map to plan where you’re going to go. It’s great if you’re training and need to get in a certain distance or if you’re traveling.

  5. Kayaker
    San Diego, CA
    May 3, 2012, 4:23 am

    hello brian. for me the best app in iphone that i’ve use is Run Keeper Pro. it has GPS tracking, distance, speed monitoring, caloric output and activity history for any number of activities you partake in including sports such as running, cycling, hiking, skiing and swimming.I want to get the Runmeter GPS 6.0 also. Is this application really good? Thank you and God Bless

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  7. David Hohnberg
    Canberra, Australia
    January 30, 2013, 10:21 pm

    Nice apps, but NONE of them go anywhere near RUNNING TECHNIQUE, which is far more important than what shoe, surface, training plan, pace, route etc etc. There is a reason so many runners get injured is they’ve never been taught any running technique. Check out the app “Running Basics” or “Running Technique Basics”, and you’ll quickly learn how to run with actual technique.

  8. Jack Weber
    February 11, 2014, 4:02 pm

    I used RunKeeper and Sportstracker before, but since 2014 I use “Run Practice” ( The new Feature is this: Record a new Track by Running or Cycling or whatever. After this you can race on this Track against the first recording (Ghost). Repeat this several times and you have your own race of many ghost running in realtime against you! Ain’t it fun?

  9. Jack Weber
    December 2, 2014, 3:18 am

    Hello again. This is a short review of Run Practice after intensively using it. I buyed an iPhone 6 and still use Run Practice when I go running. I have now recorded 91 ghosts so far. The performance is still very good (it was also very good on the old iPhone 4S!). GPS accuracy is also pretty good. And it still makes fun challenging the other ghosts!