In the old days people used to pop their trainers on, limber up and head out for a run they’d mapped out. Many people, like me, will have accidentally run a few extra miles or have included some accidental fartlek training whilst being lost in a dodgy estate with a group of youths watching on in amusement. Now we have technology. Clever apps and watches that can track your route through GPS, telling you how fast, far and high you’ve climbed at each mile and offer you coaching advice whilst you do it. We’ve compiled a list of some running apps on the market and what they can do for you: including building post-apocalyptic communities.
For those of you who are new to running, there are some great apps that take you from zero to hero. 5K Runner and Couch to 10K, respectively provide 8 and 14 week plans, blending running with walking to help you build up to your first race. They have integrated Facebook and Twitter communities so you can meet fellow beginners, share your experiences and motivate each other in the first few tough weeks.
In Your Stride is designed to help you prepare for a race. It creates a training plan based on your current fitness, event distance and target time. It also adapts as you progress through the plan depending on whether you are exceeding or not meeting your targets.
If you are looking for state of the art, there are some great options on the market many of which have features such as GPS, speed and elevation tracking, heart rate monitors, time pacing, friend racing, disco options…
On Nike+ & Nike Coach it’s easy to see your pace variation throughout and it is compatible with various running watches, meaning you don’t need to take a phone out with you, just synchronise when you get home.
Map My Run and Runtastic are very similar apps as they both owned by Under Armour. Runtastic is Google Play’s editor’s choice and features a real voice coach whilst running, personal workout diary, custom made dashboard and training plans.
Strava, originally for cyclists, is now a favourite of runners too, winning the best app at the 2016 Running Awards. It’s well known for its community feel, as you can join existing challenges and compare your stats with your friends. It also has personalised coaching, live performance feedback and detailed analysis post run.
RunKeeper has 45 million users worldwide and all the features you would expect. It’s intuitive, requiring you to input your goals, whether it be to build fitness/stamina, lose weight or increase your speed. Renowned running coaches then provide advice on how to achieve these goals. Links with big brands means potential to win kit too – who doesn’t want a free pair of trainers?
Zombies, Run! Am I the only person who had never heard of this app. Running missions whilst fleeing groaning zombies. You are always the hero, the faster you run the quieter they become: slow down and you’ll hear them breathing down your neck. As you run you collect virtual supplies which can then be used at home to build your own post apocalyptic community. The audio drama feeds in between your own playlist. That’s a whole new kind of fartlek training. Imagine the variations you could have: whinging kids, your in-laws, that terrible one-night stand…
If you don’t believe us, check it out here. You have been warned…
Spotify has introduced a running feature where it reacts to you, matching the speed of your pace to a beat tempo. Rock My Run also matches your movement to the music it selects for you and has some great playlists to keep you motivated on those longer runs.
So which one are you going to chose to help your Run Reigate half-marathon/10K training? If you see any of the team sprinting through Reigate High Street screaming that there are zombies chasing them, don’t panic … yet!