02/09/2014

Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012 Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

Running should be a simple sport. Laces up your running shoes and off you go, right? For people who enjoy running, there’s nothing like lacing up your running shoes, heading out the door and hitting that stride. But every runner hits a wall at one point or another and day after day, run after run can soon become monotonous. Sometimes a little jolt to the routine is welcomed. Well, not if you’re like me and you take a smartphone, iPod and GPS running watch on your runs. Fortunately, a number of apps use the iPhone’s built-in GPS so you can leave some of these accessories at home.

Whether you want to try out new routes, strive to be faster, have better endurance or even lose a little weight, runners (and want-to-be runners) can turn to the following iPhone apps for a little more variety in their training regimens. I put ten popular iPhone running apps to the test to see which is worth your hard-earned money.

What to Look For:

Here are some things to consider while looking for the best running iPhone apps. I looked at quite a few apps and rated them on the following criteria.

Features

iPhone Running Apps include a variety of features; however, most apps in this category include features specific to tracking nutrition, assisting in work-outs or providing healthcare information. We looked to see what features were included in the app and whether the app had everything that the marketing material from the manufacture reported that it had.

Interface

All features of the app should be easy to use and symbols or buttons should be easy to understand. The most interesting iPhone apps also utilize the unique interactive screen features provided by the iPhone and respond to commands quickly.

Graphics

Graphics for Running Apps for the iPhone are not as critical to the function of the app as it would be for games or multimedia apps. However the graphics and images included should be clear and relevant.

Stability

Stability in any app is critical, especially when it affects whether you will actually want to use the app. If it crashes, freezes up or loads slowly, you won’t use the program due to sheer frustration.

Program Size

How much memory a Health and Fitness apps requires varies depending on the complexity of the program. Some iPhone apps require a few MB of space, some much more. Generally, in regards to healthcare type apps the memory required depends on the images included and on whether the information is obtained through Wi-Fi or other connection or whether it’s included in the program. Generally, you don’t have to worry too much about app size unless you’re running out of room on your device.

Support

Most iPhone apps come with very little support; however it is helpful if they offer some online documentation and a contact email address. iPhone Runing Apps are designed to make taking care of yourself easier.

1. Runmeter GPS
 Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

Runmeter GPS Running Fitness Jogging Workouts 5K 10K Marathon Run Training Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes
Runmeter GPS – Running Fitness, Jogging Workouts, 5K, 10K, Marathon Run Training. To put it simply, I was blown away by the Runmeter GPS running app ($4.99). It has one of the best interfaces I’ve seen, with large, easy-to-read numbers that are easy to see at a glance — even while running. Runmeter GPS is also packed with features you won’t find on other running apps. Workouts are rated by how well you do in comparison to previous runs (it’s motivating, I promise!), and an automatic email program will alert your friends or family when you’ve finished your run or reached a preset distance. The Runmeter GPS app also integrates with Twitter and Facebook. You can customize voice alerts so you only hear the information you want. The only downside is that you need earphones with a remote to control your iPod playlist.

Overall rating: 5 stars out of 5.

 

2. RunKeeper Pro
 Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

RunKeeper Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

RunKeeper Pro is probably the most well-known of the running apps on this list. It is undoubtedly the most raved about of the bunch; it’s also the most expensive, but I think this app is well worth the money. This is a feature-rich app that enables GPS tracking, distance, speed monitoring, caloric output and activity history for any number of activities you partake in including sports such as running, cycling, hiking, skiing and swimming. You can also sync all the data to RunKeeper’s website to monitor progress and share publicly. RunKeeper also offers a simplified version of the app for free.

RunKeeper Pro is highly accurate and the interface is sleek and easy to navigate. The app is very easy to use, and I’m able to get a quick view of my essential running details (time, distance, pace and calories) at a glance. The app includes several customizable running workouts, and it can also shuffle songs from your iPod playlist. The audio prompts can be annoying, but there’s an option to turn them off in the settings menu.

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The BEST iPhone Running Apps! – RunKeeper Pro and Nike+ GPS Review – Apps to Help You Train!

Watch this very informative video. NOW!

 

3. Nike+ GPS
 Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

Nike+ GPS Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes
I had heard mixed things about the Nike+ GPS app ($1.99), but I came away impressed after testing it out for myself. Even though the app is very accurate, it still includes a calibration option so you can tweak your runs if the GPS signal happens to go out. Facebook and Twitter integration are another plus. I still think that Runmeter has a better interface overall, but Nike+ GPS is easy to see during a run and you can control your music from the display. Unfortunately, you can’t stop or pause a song without stopping your workout, but that’s a minor complaint.

Nike+’s saving grace is the accelerometer, which will make sure you keep your speed at a constant level. Being able to view your run at the end of each session as a pace-based color is pretty nifty too.

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

4. Runner
 Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

Runner Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

Runner ($5.99) has many of the same features as RunKeeper Pro, and I was impressed with the app overall. It accurately tracked my time, distance, pace, and calories burned, and it displayed my route on a map. You can listen to your iPod playlist or program a “boost song” for when you need extra motivation. The Runner app also integrates to Twitter so you can automatically tweet your workouts to your followers. It’s not quite as easy to use as RunMeter GPS or RunKeeper Pro. In particular, I would prefer to just start the timer and go, rather than using one of the predetermined running workouts on the start page.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

5. C25K
 Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

C25K™ 5K Trainer Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

C25K™ – 5K Trainer ($0.99) is one of the best running apps for beginners. Although you’ll have to pay an extra $0.99 to unlock the GPS tracking capabilities, the C25K app takes you step by step through a nine-week training plan. It’s designed for true beginners (hence the name Couch to 5K), and you’ll start out by alternating running and walking until you can run a full 3.1 miles. The app is easy to use, and you can control your iPod playlist right from the main display. I do have a few nitpicky complaints about the GPS tracking — mainly that you can’t really use it independent of the training plan — but C25K is a great app for those new to the sport.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

 

6. Adidas miCoach
 Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

miCoach Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

Obviously, Adidas took the cue from the pioneering training app developed by its rival, Nike. It introduced its own miCoach pacer. Adidas MiCoach offers more features, more structure and real-time feedback than Nike+ and the online portal is so jam-packed with ideas, plans and data that you can’t help finding out how to improve your run.

Adidas has packed a ridiculously large amount of info into its MiCoach portal, with pace zones, achievements, training tips, nutrition information and route planning via Google maps all into one place. It also offers a huge number of sport-based training routines, with a sliding scale of 1-7 in terms of difficulty.

This running app intends to impress by featuring a heart rate monitor, a calorie counter, and a pedometer. The running app offers audible training and online workout plans with a pace-triggered voice coach to please its user. It also features sports-specific workout plans for tennis players, marathoners, and soccer enthusiasts who aim to bring their workout training to a new level. There is no doubt that this app is the most attractive among all other iPhone apps for running because it could be downloaded for free. What do you have to lose in taking it for a test run?

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

 

7. Gazelle GPS Workout Tracker
 Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

Gazelle GPS Cardiovascular Workout Tracker Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

Gazelle GPS Cardiovascular Workout Tracker. The Gazelle GPS Workout Tracker app ($2.99) takes ease of use and simplicity to a new level. The barebones interface only displays your running details, which makes your pace and distance easy to see at a glance. Gazelle is also one of the few running apps that support lap-based workouts — a huge perk. On a negative note, there is no in-app reporting, and controlling your iPod playlist requires ear buds with a remote. Even so, the Gazelle GPS Workout Tracker is a good running app, especially for those who want something simple and easy to use.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

 

8. OutFront
 Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

Map My Tracks OutFront All sports GPS training computer for cycling running walking and more Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

Map My Tracks OutFront: All-sports GPS training computer for cycling, running, walking and more. OutFront ($0.99) is another running app that is super easy to use. In fact, of all the running apps I’ve tested, OutFront has the fastest GPS connection time — it only took a second or two to acquire a strong GPS signal in my tests. The app also does a good job maintaining its GPS signal, which ensures excellently accuracy. The app integrates with Facebook and Twitter, and your running data is automatically transmitted to your free account at MapMyTracks.com. The only disappointment I have with OutFront is that it doesn’t include iPod controls on the homepage, which is a big downside for a running app. The numbers for pace and distance would also be easier to read if they were a bit bigger.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

 

9. Endomondo Sports Tracker
 Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

Endomondo Sports Tracker Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

Endomondo Sports Tracker (Free) has a great modern interface that is uncluttered and nice to look at. It displays distance, time, speed, and average speed in numbers that are relatively easy to see while running. The GPS tracker was accurate in my testing, and I like the neat PepTalk feature, which sends you messages from friends (as long as they send them through Endomondo.com). Of course, that feature would be a lot cooler if it integrated with Twitter or Facebook. However, my biggest complaint is that app doesn’t include iPod controls within the app.

Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 

10. iMapMyRun+
 Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

iMapMyRUN Running Run Jogging Training GPS Fitness Workout Diet Calories Best Running Apps for iPhone 2012: Top 10 Choice by Professional Athletes

iMapMyRUN – Running, Run, Jogging, Training, GPS, Fitness, Workout, Diet, Calories. I had more issues while testing iMapMyRun+ ($4.99) than I did with the other iPhone running apps. During my first run, the app had problems acquiring GPS satellites and never did get a reliable signal — it counted only about a mile of my 3.5-mile run. Subsequent runs went more smoothly, but you might want to try moving away from trees or tall buildings if you’re getting inaccurate readings. IMapMyRun+ includes Twitter and Facebook integration, and it will also play or shuffle songs from your iPod. The interface is fine, but I would like to see a larger font for current and average pace on the run detail page.

Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Which among these iPhone apps for running is best for you? If so, which one? How would you rate it? Pros and cons? Please leave your comments below so that you can share your iPhone app experience with other runners. There are many other available apps that you could try out. But believe me; your choice would eventually end up to any of these ten apps.

Enjoy running!

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