Thanks to built-in sensors, smartwatches are ideal for monitoring running performance in the short and long-term. You’re able to track distance, speed and pace, steps, heart rate, calories burned and the map of your route. When paired with smartwatch compatible running apps, this data is stored so you can analyse it after your session.
Most apps are available on both Android and iOS. They range from technical types to those that are almost game-like to encourage more activity. Either way, there’s a smartwatch and app combination that will help you achieve your goals.
Let’s look at the top five running apps.
Available on both Android and iOS, for free, this is one of the best running apps on the market. It has some cool interactive apps. They add a level of competition through games features, as well as the expected running tracking. The app monitors speed, distance, time taken and maps it out. It’s all incredibly useful information and it gets plugged into a leaderboard. You can track your achievements as well as entering competitions. Furthermore, make things a bit more interesting by challenging your friends.
The best thing about the Strava app is that it works with an immeasurable number of smartwatches. This includes WearOS and the Apple Watch series.
Adidas Runtastic is available to both Android and iOS users. It’s a one-stop-shop running app that maps out your sessions as well as providing a number of running metrics for analysis. It’ll tell you your time, speed and distance with a bespoke coach that offers motivational support and encourages progress. Information shown can varied via a dashboard and community features encourage progress through challenges and goals. It’s a free app but there is also a premium upgrade option that gives route planning, training plans, interval training and more.
Nike fans were sad to see the departure of the FuelBand, but Nike didn’t abandon runners altogether. The Nike+ version of the Apple Watch is still available, but otherwise, the free Nike Run Club app is a great way of tracking your run. It’s aimed at runners of all abilities, plays music and offers social networking features. It’s compatible with many smartwatch brands like Garmin and Polar.
The Nike Run Club app, available to both Android and iOS users offers metrics like distance, pace and mile splits. There’s a coach feature that has plans that you can customise to your own fitness goals and use to monitor progress. After your session, you can analyse and share and compare your data with others, adding photos, statistics and emojis – there’s even a cute feature that lets you hear audio cheers from peers!
You might not immediately think of Spotify when you’re searching for a running app, but it actually has a nifty running feature for smartphones. It uses the sensors on your phone to monitor your pace and tempo and will use that to play music that matches, keeping you focused on your run! It’s available for both Android and iOS users.
You may need to be a premium Spotify member to get access to your music, depending on your smartwatch. You can get this app on Garmin and Samsung watches as well as Apple Watches and some WatchOS devices. Some devices offer something resembling a remote, rather than a full app.
The Fitbit Coach app is available for both Android and iOS users and can be found on the Microsoft store – so if Microsoft ever launches the Surface smartwatch, you’ll be able to link it to the Fitbit Coach app.
The app offers guided workouts which can be altered to suit your fitness goals, streamed right there on your wrist. It’s also free, but the features on this are very basic compared to the premium version which is $39.99 annually.
You can get the app itself from the Apple App, Google Play and Microsoft stores. It will work on on most devices and platforms, though functions best with a Fitbit, in particular, the Fitbit Ionic, Versa and Versa 2 which have access to custom workouts.
Garmin, Samsung and Apple Watch users will have the hardest time deciding what app to use to monitor their pace, distance, calories burned and mapped routes and a whole other range of exciting options.
It is arguable that a smartwatch or fitness tracker isn’t a necessity as the compatibility will always be there between your app and smartphone. Isn’t a watch, therefore, just an additional expense? But with a smartwatch on your wrist, you can have instant access to the most important data (or change songs to keep you on pace) and the freedom to leave your phone behind means won’t be distracted or weighed down.