Oprah once stated, “Running can be the greatest metaphor for your life because you get out what you put into it.” However, for beginners, it can be difficult to feel like you are getting much other than fatigue, shortness of breath, and leg cramps.
Although it can be daunting to start a new exercise program, there are many benefits that can be reaped with consistency and commitment. These include improved health, greater confidence and a calmer mind.
These are the top 10 running apps for beginners that will help you achieve your pre- or post-wedding fitness goals.
The Best Start Point: Couch to 5K
The app’s benefits will convince you that the name alone is not enough to get you signed up. Couch to 5K ($4.99) is designed for people with no running experience. You can choose a 3D trainer to be your coach during your training and workouts. The app is designed to motivate new runners to “move form the couch to the finish line” three times per week in 20-30 minutes. It will train you to run a 5K in nine weeks. The app says “run, not win… yet.)
Best Overall: Strava
This app is great for swimmers, riders and runners. Strava (free) allows you to track your progress over time and set goals. There will be challenges and competitions for you, as well as opportunities to rank high on the leaderboards and receive achievements. Strava is an excellent option for anyone who is competitive or a bit.
Best Pace: Gymboss Interval Timer
You’ll be running a lot when you start your running hobby. The Gymboss Interval Timer is free and allows you to pre-program your workouts to alternate running and walking. It will also alert you when it’s time for you to switch to one or the other. This is a great way not to burn out in the beginning, but to keep you motivated to work hard to reach your next milestone.
Best Community: MapMyRun
This simple but effective tool tracks your running routes and connects you with other runners. MapMyRun (free) is used by over 40 million people to track statistics such as distance, duration, calories burnt, average pace, and calories. The app was developed by Under Armour and is compatible with all wearable tech, as well as UA Record equipped shoes. It provides you with quick infographics that will motivate you as you run.
Best Headspace: Nike Run Club
Nike Run Club is a great running app for beginners. It’s also easy to use. This community-driven app, also compatible with an Apple Watch, will motivate you to get moving and keep you on track while you listen to a fist pumping playlist from Apple Music. Challenge friends and set goals to improve your running. This app is based on the belief that everyone must start somewhere. It provides all the tools necessary to help you succeed, including meditation-based techniques to make the most of your run. You can access everything you need, from wellness tips to statistics about your pace, heart rate and mile splits.
Best Incentive: Charity Miles
Charity Miles (free), which doubles the incentive by allowing you to make charitable donations, is a great way to motivate yourself. The app will give a donation to the charity you choose for each mile you run. To raise funds and get your friends to sponsor your pledges, you can create teams . Bonus: You can connect Charity Miles to your Strava account.
Best Beats: Weav Run
It’s hard to beat your stride, and the soundtrack that goes with it is a great way to get there. You don’t have to leave the tunes to chance. Weav Run (free), adapts songs from your music library to create a playlist that suits your pace. To optimize your performance, Weav Run can be connected with other apps.
Best Personalized Training: Runcoach
Look no further if you are a person who thrives on structure. Runcoach (free), sets you up for success by providing personalized training plans and schedules that can be adapted to your goals to maximize results. This program is perfect for anyone who has a marathon to train for, a race to prepare for or wants to improve their fitness. USATF-certified coaches can be reached for any questions regarding fitness, nutrition or wellness.
Best Versatility: Peloton Digital
Peloton Digital offers non-motorized fitness programs, as well as spin classes. Peloton Digital’s $12.99 per month membership fee places it among the most expensive, but also offers the largest range of classes from Yoga to boxing and strength training. Running classes are available in audio-guided format for all levels of runners, from novices to experienced trail runners.
The Best Safety Features
This can offer you a lot more than just running metrics and incentives. It also gives you peace of mind. Road ID (free) allows you to run solo in a scary world. It sends out an emergency alert in case you are injured and keeps loved ones informed about your location. It also tracks basic stats such as speed and distance.