Most runners know about the big, mainstream apps for runners like RunKeeper, Nike+, MapMyRun and Endomondo. I have nothing against these apps, I’ve tried them all and they all have great features coupled with nice designs. Sometimes it’s nice however, to find those hidden gems that maybe are not as popular (yet) and haven’t quite got the exposure they deserve.
1. PEAR SPORTS
PEAR Sports – Like most running apps out there, PEAR will calculate your time, pace, distance and calories burned. What differentiates PEAR from the others are its in-ear coaching capabilities. PEAR has partnered with expert coaches like Matt Fitzgerald to provide heart rate monitoring workouts for running, biking and other sports. The coaching programs are not cheap, but when you consider you’re getting world-class coaching from Fitzgerald and others like Matt Dixon, it’s a steal.
Runtime – Runtime is a new kid on the block. What I really like about Runtime is that it was made by an iPhone app developer / recreational runner, Conrad Stoll. Conrad has skillfully taken his knowledge of beautiful design and created a unique app for runners. It’s a simple to use app and leverages iOS 7 to take advantage of the M7 motion co-processor (allows it to work as a pedometer) and beautiful 3D maps of your run. Check it out.
3. FUEL MY RUN
Fuel My Run – Yes, a shameless plug. Fuel My Run is my latest creation and is the only app for runners that helps them develop, practice and execute fueling strategies. As I stated on my guest post on the RunKeeper blog: “In order to run to your full potential, fueling must be taken as seriously as your running.” I truly believe this and have had first-hand experience both bonking and fueling for a marathon PB. Fuel My Run is a work in progress, like all apps, but I hope that many runners will see that it can not only help them simulate their race fueling, but also replace other running apps they might use. Fuel My Run easily syncs with RunKeeper and MapMyRun.
4. WAHOO FITNESS
Wahoo Fitness – This might still be my favorite running app. It’s simple to use, but beaming with features that will make any techy runner drool. I have one of the Wahoo heart rate monitors that I use with their app and it has worked like a charm. The data is always accurate and the app syncs with just about every other major running app in the market. The heart rate monitor itself can be used with over 50 other apps!
iSmoothRun – A beast of a running app with a nice new design. For the serious runner that wants to use an app with Garmin-like features, check it out. There are too many features to name them all here, but three I particularly like are 1) the ability to choose a previous workout you did and run against your effort in that workout 2) you can continue a workout that has already been saved (e.g. you run to meet a friend for coffee and then run home – these two runs are merged into one) and 3) customizable interval workouts.
6. CRUISE CONTROL
Cruise Control – Developed at my Alma Mater, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, this running app is truly unique. Cruise Control scans the music on your iPhone and plays songs to match the tempo/pace you choose to run at. Here is an example. I went in the app and chose a pace of 5:40 min/km, the app scanned through my music came up with songs that if I matched my steps to the rhythm of, I’d maintain my target pace. Blurred Lines came up first – hold up, how did that get on my phone?!
What apps do you use for running? Let us know in the comments section below!