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Gear and Technology

5 of the best running tracking apps

Runner in front of a brick wall
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Whether you prefer to do the math on a paper map or log your miles on your smartwatch, chances are you're curious about tracking your runs. Luckily, there are quite a few ways to keep track of your valuable data.

The following picks for the five best running tracking apps are a varied bunch. They all have different features to offer, and which one you pick will be determined by your individual priorities and running habits.

1. Strava

Strava is the perfect tracker for the social runner. If you thrive off of competition or if you have a big friend circle of fellow runners, this app allows you to see what everyone else is doing and watch each other's progress. The only drawback with this app is that publicly tracking your routes and whereabouts may give some people pause from a safety standpoint. And, you may need to remind yourself not to get stuck in the comparison trap with other runners. Be mindful of what setting you select, and what kind of motivation will help you most.

2. Garmin Connect

If you have a Garmin GPS watch, this is probably one of the most practical run trackers. This app does it all — tracking your weight and calories if that's what you need, but also giving you accolades every time you tackle a milestone, like running in the heat or at the crack of dawn.

3. Nike+ Run Club

The Nike+ Run Club is great for the runner who may not know how to go about reaching their goals. You can be paired with coaches and training plans or join challenges every so often if you need the extra motivation. Like the other apps, it includes a simple mileage tracker.

Runners on a boardwalk

4. Runkeeper

This one is pretty easy to navigate. You also give yourself praise after reaching goals, like a certain number of miles or a faster pace. Depending on what will get you moving, the built-in narration — like a drill instructor, or a woman with a French accent — might do the trick. One downside is that if you prefer to keep your phone in low-power mode, you'll have to switch to the max power setting, which can drain your battery more quickly.

5. MapMyRun

Do you like to plan runs? This app is the easiest way to plan your route and share it with a friend. It's also pretty easy to navigate with an Apple Watch if that's what you're using for tracking your fitness.

Bonus: Running2Win

While Running2Win isn't an app per se, it's an electronic way of keeping track of all of your runs and stats. This online log and leaderboard is a compromise for people who prefer to track the old-fashioned way, without having to keep a physical notebook.

Of course, if a pedometer and notebook are more your speed, go for it. No matter how you track your runs, it's important to stick to your goals and give yourself credit for all the progress you've made so far.

Our writer's advice is intended for informational or general educational purposes only. We always encourage you to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition, or fitness routines.

Written By
Tonya Russell
Tonya Russell with her hands on her hips

I’m a journalist, fit chick, and avid traveler, and I often combine the three. If I’m not training for a marathon, I’m probably hiking with my dogs or riding a horse (English style). I hail from Southern NJ, which means I’m an Eagles fan, not a Giants fan.