Spring is right around the corner, which means it’s time to lace up those running shoes and get re-acquainted with the great outdoors. Whether you’re a seasoned runner training for your next marathon, or a couch potato who wants to ramp up to 5K these handy apps will help you achieve your fitness goals.
Hit the pavement with RunKeeper, which makes tracking runs easy by keeping a log of pace, distance and time. Built-in voiceovers that play over your music will keep you up-to-date on milestones as you’re running, such as distance traveled, or pace. The app stores a historical record of your runs, and will provide notifications when new personal bests are reached. In addition to tracking metrics, you can also get goals – whether it is to complete a 10 km run, or log 100 km over the span of a week – and monitor your progress, one run at a time.
Need an extra incentive to intensify your runs? Perhaps flesh-eating zombies will kick you into gear. Zombies, Run! is an immersive audio-narrated running game, where runners collect supplies in an effort to save themselves and their fellow humans from zombies that have taken over the planet. Occasionally you’ll get chased by zombies, which is very much like interval training because you’ll need to temporarily speed up to escape. The story is performed by professional actors, and interspersed between the music runners are already listening to on their devices.
More couch potato than marathon runner? Couch-to-5K will help you ramp up to confidently running 5K in just three months with only three 30-minute sessions each week. The premise is to help runners ease into a fitness routine slowly by building sustainable habits. The app alternates periods of running and walking, which it gradually intensifies over the course of the program. Meanwhile, virtual coaches guide runners through each workout with audio cues. Details of a run, such as distance or pace, can be logged and tracked within the app.
$4.99 | iPhone
iSmoothRun, created by runners, is jam-packed with more advanced features for seasoned runners. The app can help runners improve their stride, by monitoring cadence and includes a metronome to helps them increase their stride safely. The app auto-pauses and auto-starts accommodated breaks, such as when one gets stopped at a traffic light. The app also monitors heart rate zone by integrating with major heart rate monitors, and includes an editor for interval training.