Running is a great way to burn out a few extra calories, lift up the mood or build your stamina. While you can easily track your speed and distance when you’re on the treadmill, running in the real world is a completely different experience. You don’t know how fast you’re going, how far you’ve gone, and whether you’re edging towards your fitness goals.

Luckily, your iPhone now has all the tools required to track your runs, monitor the overall progress, and keep you motivated. If you’ve been struggling to find the right running app, here’s a list of some of the best running apps designed for you iPhone. (By the way, you’ll need some running headsets!)

From high-end, advanced training apps to fun-filled, adventurous gamified versions, these apps promise to make your runs more immersive, predictable and enjoyable than ever.

[Update: The article has been updated to include the top running apps for iPhone in 2017.]

Curious about GPS running watches? Check the 2016 GPS Watch buying guide

10) Running for Weight Loss

Nearly everyone makes a new year resolution to stay healthy and fit, but how many of us actually succeed? While most of us lack the consistency to follow the set schedule, the truth is that– we simply don’t have a well defined strategy to reach our fitness goals.

Running for weight loss is an app with a “plan”.

Instead of taking a randomized approach to achieving higher level of fitness, the app provides a pre-defined training plan for achieving your fitness goals– be it losing 10 kilos in twelve weeks or preparing to run a 5K marathon in two months.

It comes with a built-in audio coach that guides you through your runs and keeps you motivated. It tracks your pace, distance and heart-beat, so that you understand how much calories you’re burning and whether you’re improving with every workout. It also keeps you motivated with tips and inspirational quotes, ensuring that you go the distance and stick to your goals.

To make the workouts even more effective, the app also offers a rigorous diet plan that you can follow to multiply the effect of workouts. For instance, you can browse through the delicious healthy recipes in the app and create your own personalized diet plan that perfectly complements your fitness goals.

That being said, it’s best-suited for beginners and enthusiasts who want to jump-start their running schedule, and may not be very appealing to advanced runners.

PROS

  • Proactive, adaptive training with built-in audio coach
  • Optimized for weight-loss or marathon training
  • Offers personalized diet-plan for achieving fitness goals

CONS

  • Drains battery when used for prolonged duration
  • Not recommended for advanced runners as you can’t skip training

Recommended if…

  • You’re a beginner and want an easy-to-follow plan for running 5 or 10 kms
  • You want to gradually build up your stamina and lose weight
  • You need motivation to complete your runs

Compatible with: Apple Health, Fitbit, Runkeeper and MapMyRun

Download on the App Store

(Free/Paid Version: $9.99)

9) MapMyRun

With a community of over 30 million members and ability to track more than 600+ activities, MapMyRun is one of the most popular running apps for your iPhone.

Apart from tracking pace, route, distance, calories and other vital fitness parameters through your iPhone’s inbuilt sensors, the app also lets you automatically sync fitness data with fitness apps & devices, like, Apple Watch, Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, Withings and more.

The award-winning app also comes with a Gear tracking feature that lets you add your athletic shoes and track its mileage, so that you know when it’s time for a new pair.

The best part about the app, however, is the ability to connect socially with millions of people worldwide. You can take up friendly challenges, climb the leaderboard and win prizes, and share your achievements with your friends.

If you’re into multiple fitness activities apart from running, MapMyRun makes tracking your workouts and connecting with athletic people simpler than ever.

PROS

  • Suited for multiple activities, including running, cycling, walking, gym workouts, cross training, yoga and others.
  • Accurate pace, route, distance, calorie burn and elevation tracking
  • Strong community with friendly challenges and leaderboards for constant motivation
  • Extensive compatibility with fitness gear and sports accessories

CONS

  • Pop-up ads are annoying.
  • Too many handy features come locked in the free version

Recommended if …

  • You’re into a lot of fitness activities besides running and want one app to track everything
  • Looking to connect with other athletes or runners across the globe
  • Want an app that seamlessly connects with an array of fitness gears and apps

Compatible with: Garmin, Jawbone, Armour39, MyFitnessPal, Nike+, Suunto, Polar, Wego, MisFit, WitThings, UnderArmour

Download on the App Store

(Free/Paid Version: $5.99/month)

8) RockMyRun

RockMyRun-Running-App-iOS

Don’t you hate skipping through tracks while you’re running and listening to slow, uninspiring music?

Research has shown that upbeat and lively music could significantly improve the performance and have a powerful impact on your exercise time. It could be the difference between giving it your all and losing the drive to push forward.

RockMyRun, as the name suggests, is an app that gives you the best workout music, so that you can consistently maintain your energy and tempo, while running.

The curated playlists are designed by some of the most talented DJ’s like David Guetta, Zedd, Afrojack, Major Lazer and more. With the mixes build in BPM (beats per minute), the songs deliver an unique workout experience.

To further improve your running intensity and efficiency, the app automatically adjusts the rhythm and tempo of the song mixes to match your steps. You would literally start feeling the difference in your workouts, once you’ve started using RockMyRun.

The app also works seamlessly with other running apps on the list, like, Runkeeper or Endomondo, which means you can track, maintain and log your fitness activity on a separate platform, and simply pull up your favorite tracklist from RockMyRun.

PROS

  • Increases motivation and keeps you going
  • Workout mixes from some of the most talented DJs and musicians
  • Works seamlessly with other running apps for an integrated experience
  • Body Driven Music adjusts music tempo to match your steps

CONS

  • Limited accessibility in free version
  • Paid version is expensive

Recommended if …

  • You’re tired of skipping songs in your playlist while running
  • You want to spice up your runs with rocking music that literally pushes you to go that extra mile

Compatible with: Nike+, Runkeeper, MapMyFitness, Runtastic and Endomondo

Download on the App Store

(Free/Paid Version: $4.99/month)

7) RunGo

While tracking fitness statistics and listening to upbeat music on your smartphone makes up for a great running experience, more than often, people get caught up in finding the right route for their runs, especially if they’re new to the city.

Wouldn’t it be great to have an app that frees you up from the hassle of constantly looking at the map and instead gives turn-by-turn voice directions, so that you can focus more on running?

RunGo is an app that every adventurous runner would love. Apart from tracking statistics like time, pace, distance and elevation, RunGo provides real-time voice navigation and suggests the best routes near your area, so that you don’t have to worry about taking a wrong turn on a crowded street or getting lost in an unknown place.

Just like how Google Maps allows you to save maps offline, you can download your favorite runs on your smartphone, and the app would then work even offline (can be quite useful if you’re trekking or going to remote areas where there’s little connectivity).

RunGo is also a great app for people who travel to a lot of different cities, and want to explore the safe and scenic areas, as RunGo automatically announces points of interest and interesting information, as you pass them. RunGo also offers optional log-in, which means you can just download the app and go for a run (no need to worry about privacy).

PROS

  • Turn-by-turn voice navigation lets you focus on the run
  • Makes running more adventurous and exciting
  • Stores fitness statistics (pace, duration, distance, routes, etc.) locally on your iPhone
  • Works offline, thereby saving data and battery

CONS

  • No integrated support for music
  • Works best in only selected metro cities

Recommended if …

  • You’re a wanderlust and love discovering interesting places
  • You want to navigate through different routes in your city, without having to look at your phone.
  • Wish to discover challenging routes for strength training

Supported Cities: Vancouver, San Francisco, LA, Boston, New York, Chicago, London, UK and Sydney, Australia.

Download on the App Store

(Free/Unlimited version: $9.99)

6) Endomondo

Endomonodo has to be one of the finest running apps ever designed. Its clean, simple and easy-to-use interface makes it easy to accurately track and maintain log of over 40+ fitness activities, including running.

You can easily set a time, distance or calorie goal, and let Endomodo’s built-in audio coach guide you towards it.

It pairs up easily with Pebble, Apple Watch, Fitbit and similar fitness devices, and connects with Apple’s Health app to add workout data to your dashboard.

Besides seamless fitness tracking, social connect has to be one of the most celebrated features of Endomondo. You can now send and receive real-time audio pep talks from your friends, race against a friend’s personal best, or share your workouts on Facebook or Twitter.

Endomondo is a good pick, if you want a simple yet powerful app to reach your running goals with a personal training plan– doesn’t matter whether it’s 5K, 10K, or a marathon.

PROS

  • Clutter-free, easy-to-use interface
  • Accurately logs duration, speed, distance, calories, and more in your workout summary
  • Personalized training plans
  • Real-time audio pep talks from friends
  • Check out other people’s time on the route and take up challenges on-the-go

CONS

  • Can be inaccurate at times with distance tracking

Recommended if …

  • You’re a beginner and want a solid, no-nonsense running app
  • You like to socialize over your runs, and challenge friends in your neighbourhood

Compatible with: Garmin, Pebble and Apple Watch.

Download on the App Store

(Free/Paid Version: $5.99/month)

5) adidas Train & Run

adidas Train & Run is an expert fitness and running app that turns your iPhone into your personal trainer. It keeps track of all your workouts and training schedules, so that you stick to your fitness goals and stay in perfect shape.

The app is perfect for beginners as it provides expert real-time voice coaching and audio feedback, allowing you to train better and stay active even through the tough times. It also lets you view your workout history, heart rate curves and route maps, all of which provide valuable insights on the overall intensity and efficiency of your workouts.

Apart from actively tracking runs, the intelligent app can also be paired with Fit Smart for tracking your everyday activity and understanding how much effort you actually put in towards achieving your weekly goal.

Best part? The app is available for FREE, without any subscription or recurring monthly charges.

PROS

  • Expert real-time voice coaching and feedback
  • Daily activity tracking, when paired with fitness devices like Fit Smart
  • Personalized strength training plans with detailed schedule
  • Professional training tips, motivation and advice
  • No monthly charges/fees

CONS

  • Limited integration with other smart fitness devices
  • No support for Apple watch as of now

Recommended if …

  • You’re a beginner and want to turn your smartphone into a personal trainer
  • You own a Fit Smart band or any compatible accessory that works with miCoach

Compatible with: Fit Smart, Strava and MyFitnessPal.

Download on the App Store

[Free]

4) Runkeeper

RunKeeper-Running-App-iOS

Runkeeper is one of the favourite apps among professional runners and athletes (including me) due to its highly accurate pace, distance and steps tracking.

The app tracks your workout in real-time and gives you audio updates about your total mileage, calorie count, pace and speed. You can set your own personalized goals and track the progress over time. It also integrates advanced training plans designed by professional fitness coaches to help you improve your overall fitness and stamina.

Runkeeper also lets you to play your favourite tracks from your iTunes library or Spotify and matches the rhythm of the songs with your run, so that you don’t have to skip the tracks.

The app can be also paired with a wide array of fitness devices, including Pebble, Fitbit, Apple Watch and more. It also provides a convenient way to maintain a detailed workout history of all your fitness activities, including running, and lets you share your progress with your friends through popular social media channels like Facebook or Twitter.

Our word?

Download Runkeeper, if you’re looking for a multifunctional app that’s easy to use and syncs seamlessly with your fitness gear.

PROS

  • Highly accurate pace, distance, steps and calorie tracking
  • Adjust the pace of the workout to suit your mood and fitness level
  • Advanced 10k, Half Marathon and Full Marathon training plans
  • Maintain detailed workout history and share your progress with friends

CONS

  • Paid version is expensive
  • Constant reminders to upgrade to the Pro version

Recommended if …

  • You’re an advanced level athlete looking for personalized training plans
  • You want an app that’s simple, intuitive and easy-to-use
  • You wish to sync your runs with smart fitness devices or apps

Compatible with: Pebble, Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, Spotify, and more.

Download on the App Store

(Free/Paid Version: $9.99/month)

3) Runtastic

Runtastic-App-iOSRuntastic is for people who want more from a running app.

Its interface has been elegantly designed to suit a number of different fitness activities, including running, biking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking and more. Besides tracking all the fitness activities in real-time, it also maintains a detailed log of all your workouts, letting you compete against yourself and see your progress over time.

The app comes with a built-in audio coach that guides you through challenging aspects of running like interval training, and helps you keep up with your goals. You can easily set a calorie, distance or pace goal at the tap of a button, and Runtastic will help you achieve it.

Perhaps, the most impressive part of the app is its ability to help you pre and post workouts. It pulls weather, temperature and sunset/sunrise information to help you pick tracks and schedule training sessions. Once your session is over, it logs all the information in the Apple Health module, and provides you hydration recommendations.

And if all that was not enough, Runtastic packs some even more cool features like Powersong (integrated music player for boosting performance), Auto-Pause (automatically pauses session when you stop moving), Runtastic Wearable Connect (workout insights on Runtastic Orbit & Runtastic Moment), Live Tracking & Cheering (Upload photos, share location and send/receive cheers from your friends in real-time), and Running Leaderboard (Top performers of the week/month) to keep you on your feet.

PROS

  • Real-time GPS tracking of your favorite fitness activities
  • Detailed statistics and monthly workout charts
  • Integrated music player & Powersong for action-packed workout
  • Live cheering and social sharing
  • Auto-pause mode for convenient tracking

CONS

  • Pro version of the app is expensive
  • Limited support for wearables

Recommended if …

  • You want a powerful, easy-to-use and effortless solution for tracking all your fitness activities
  • You wish to maintain a detailed history of your workouts

Compatible with: Apple Health, MyFitnessPal, and Runtastic Orbit & Runtastic Moment.

Download on the App Store

(Free/Paid Version: $6.99/month)

2) PumaTrac

PumaTrac has to be one of the simplest and the most elegantly designed running app ever. The clutter-free interface in black-and-white is extremely intuitive and minimalistic, making the app easy-to-use, while you’re on the run.

While there’s no single feature that makes Pumatrac stand out, the app does a pretty good job of blending simplicity and advanced functionality.

For instance, Pumatrac can be used to track over 30+ fitness activities, apart from running. It can auto-sync with your iTunes library or Spotify Library, saving you the hassle of switching apps.

It also has an in-built social newsfeed that connects you with runners around you, and lets you be a part of the local running community. To keep you competitive, the app maintains an internal leaderboard, so that you can get real-time insights into how other active runners on the app are doing.

Just like RunGo, Pumatrac also lets you explore and navigate through different routes in your area. However, these runs are more user-defined, which means you would only be able to access routes that have been previously covered by runners.

Puma also realizes that consistency is the vital ingredient when it comes to achieving your fitness goals, which is why the app offers rewards for the most active runners, and keeps unlocking milestones as they progress further. It also maintains their run statistics and provides them key insights into every run, so that they can understand and visualize their progress.

Our word? Give Pumatrac a try. You won’t regret it.

PROS

  • Elegant, light-weight, and easy-to-use interface.
  • Real-time GPS tracking of 30+ fitness activities
  • Inbuilt integration with iTunes and Spotify library
  • Ability to explore new running routes
  • Connects you with runners in your area

CONS

  • GPS drains battery life
  • Shares your running stats with other users (some people might want privacy)

Recommended if …

  • You’re looking for an app that’s simple and easy-to-use
  • You want an app that combines the best features of all running apps

Compatible with: Garmin, Pebble and Apple Watch.

Download on the App Store

(Free Download)

1) Strava

Strava is for runners who like to compete, take up challenges and set new personal records. While other running apps are focused on helping you achieve a long-term goal (like losing weight or running 5K), Strava is for professional runners, who care more about improving their interval timing and pace distribution.

For instance, Strava’s powerful goal tracking feature lets runners set a time, distance, power or segment goal, and track the progress on the go. It also comes clubbed with extensive performance metrics like Suffer Score (measures how hard you’re trying), Power Meter analysis (second-by-second performance) and Race analysis (visual breakdown of pace across a stretch) that provide in-depth insights to take your training to the next level.

Perhaps, the coolest feature of Strava has to be the live activity map, which tracks pace distribution across different segments in your run, and gives a visual representation of how you stack up against other runners.

That means– when you’re running on a random track, you’ll instantly be able to see how fast other runners crossed the segment and whether you beat their timing.

Strava is also a great community app, for runners, who are looking to socialize and want to connect with other runners in the area. For example, Strava gives every runner an individual ranking based on their performance, so you’ll be able to instantly compare your weekly or monthly performance with your friends or other runners in the neighbourhood.

Since Strava keeps all the uploaded data public, you can click on profile of any runner across the globe and see their fitness activity. If you’re a professional runner and want an app that helps you compete and connect with some of the best athletes in the world, you would love Strava.

That being said, if you’re worried about your privacy and want to keep your activities truly private (for instance, you don’t want people to know where you are living!), stick with other running apps on the list.

Strava is strictly for the alpha-runners, who want to keep the competitive spirit alive.

PROS

  • Track your runs and measure your activity in detail
  • Visualize your training with advanced performance metrics
  • Set personal records and see how you stack up against your friends
  • Join challenges from across the globe
  • Personalized coaching and live-feedback for extra motivation
  • Live fitness feed for viewing and sharing runs

CONS

  • Less control over what gets shared
  • Advanced analysis and goal tracking feature limited to premium members
  • Expensive membership

Recommended if …

  • You are a professional runner and want detailed pace distribution analysis to improve your overall performance
  • You’re a social butterfly and want an app that lets you connect with runners around you
  • You want to stay on top the game by taking up challenges and training harder

Compatible Gear: ANT+ and Bluetooth LE sensors

Download on the App Store

(Free/Paid Version: $5.99/month)

Did we miss out on an amazing running app?

We updated the article, after considering feedback from our readers and personally trying out the apps for multiple runs. However, in case you have a personal favourite running app that did not make it to our list, please let us know in the comments section below.