SPEAR:Run and some of your favourite running apps
With the modernisation of running, there certainly are a lot of apps out there that can help with your training! An app not only helps monitor distance or pace but some of them can map your run, help with motivation, monitor load and over training, build up a network of running buddies or help you venture into the unknown. SPEAR:Run physiotherapist, James took to social media recently and asked the question “what running app do you use”. Here’s a list of the top 10 and a few extras thrown in too!
This app is easily at the top of the list! It’s like Facebook for runners, cyclists, paddle boarders…the list goes on. A great feature of this app is that it keeps a total of your load week on week; you can even set a target distance to hit for the week.
Some other great features from Strava is the ability to monitor the shoe usage (knowing roughly how many miles each shoe has completed), a map view of your run and the segment feature. Over the course of your run there will be segments that are timed and every time you run a route your segment will be compared to your previous runs on the same route; and to others who run the same route! If you have the fastest time, you get a crown – total #runfasterinspo there. Starve also links with most GPS watches, helps with monitoring your runs and also keeps an online diary of your achievements…add James if you wish (James Cruickshank). This gets a full thumbs up from the SPEAR team.
This one is a relatively new discovery from James, it links with your Strava account and gives you a fly by of your run over Google maps. If you take pictures on your run it also embeds the pictures and where you took them onto the map… great if you trail run, run whilst abroad, do a lot of fancy runs…or just normal running!
This app is great for trail running, it is based on the ordnance survey maps that are already out there. You can buy segments of the map, which allow you to plot routes and plan adventures! There are alternative map apps, but this one has pre-loaded runs or hill walks with expected times and guided routes…. it also links well with Google maps and gives spoken directions if required.
In this app you can use it to predict performance in races based on previous race performances taking into account age, fatigue, etc. The accuracy is reduced, similar to taking your 5km time and predicting your marathon time, I believe this has to relate to training ability, training phase and also previous running experience. For those of you that have completed marathons, you will know that the last 6 miles feels like half way… If anything though it does give a good indicator towards a goal time, which of course your training can be linked to!
5. Running Hero’s
With this app you can run your way to free gear or heavily discounted brand names. Again, it links with your Strava account and the more you run the more awards / draw-entering occurs. You can earn anything from 30% off Nike goods, to a complementary Avocado on toast, 40% off SIS gels, 20% off of ADIDAS to name a few.
6. Map My Run
This is another map-based app for planning and running routes. It’s very easy to use and works off the GPS of your phone. A great app for tracking distance and pace of your run!
7. Couch to 5km Runner
This is a go to for anyone that dreams of running but doesn’t know how to catch that dream! The idea is to get you from couch to 5 km in 8 weeks at a sensible and controlled level. There is over 4.2 million success stories off the back of this app – getting healthy, getting fit, basically saving your own life! A great tool, spoken information, information updates and progression which helps you get your goal and there is a 5km to 10km follow-on app too.
Strictly not an app but these are very helpful for achieving the long runs at slow pace for the marathon-runners out there! There is a podcast for everyone, comedy, spoken books, physiotherapy, latest TED talks…the list is endless. A personal favourite for SPEAR physiotherapist, James is the Magic Sponge – a football talk programme sharing stories from the 90’s 00’s (disclaimer: the language is very choice so don’t download if easily offended).
9. Map – o – Meter
This map app shows satellite and hybrid settings to plan your run. It’s great for planning specific distance runs so you can complete training plans without having to run around the block a few times to make up the mileage! Is a little tricky to map out the dots but gives a good distance between plots in either km, mile or feet.
This final app in the list, combines music adjusted to the tempo of the run. It keeps with the speed of your run so your pace doesn’t drop when you get lost in the music. A good feature of the app is the “running story” where an audio book is combined with music to maintain pace and speed whilst listening to a story lasting 30-35mins long (i.e on average, long enough to get between a 5-7 km run.)
The list is definitely not exhaustive and we are always hearing about new apps, if you have a favourite app and it’s not mentioned above, let us know and some of the SPEAR team can download it and try it out.
Side note – since James put out this question out there, other popular apps have come to light such as, Zombie run – an app which goes along with a story line where you get chased by zombies and Run Smash – an app for data for logging runs and everything else data-driven!