Running is one of the most rewarding activities you can do in a day. I used to be extremely lazy and very obese (around 350 pounds) but thanks to the best running apps for Android I have lost around 150 pounds. Not that I have dedicated my life to losing weight. I still eat a weekly pizza on movie night.
I still eat snacks and ice cream and I eat a very calorie heavy breakfast. I simply run for around 40 minutes daily with the help of some of the best running apps for Android around. This article is more about how a couch potato like me started to get better than a simple bland list of apps.
Note: The 10 best running apps for Android were tested on a Samsung Galaxy S3 and a Galaxy Note 4 smartphones. I also use a smaller Galaxy Young for my runs as the Note 4 is very large and feels uncomfortable in my pocket. I also don’t want to get mugged in the morning.
1. Runtastic – Free and $4.99
1.A Free Version
Runtastic is a fantastic running app for Android and has one of the best looking interfaces in the business. The app uses GPS to track any treading physical activity, be it running, power walking, jogging or sprinting.
The app can also track your biking distances as well, take a look at the GPS Navigation apps for Cyclists for apps with more depth. Runtastic was a good app over a year ago when I initially checked it out but now it has gotten an amazing overhaul. The interface is seamless and very easy to use.
In-app Purchases: $0.99 – $54.99 per item
- The app maps your workout in real-time.
- It also comes with a personal diary to keep track of your activities.
- The app supports a live map as well.
The app integrates itself well with Google Earth (the app is also required) and provides you a 3D view of your running route. Take a virtual tour of a new route so you only have to worry about running and not getting lost.
1.B Paid Version
The paid version of the app also comes with in-app purchases which is kind of odd to see. However the pro version does have some additional benefits. One of the major additions is the voice coach.
2. Map My Run – Free and $2.99
Where You Went
2.A Free Version
Map My Run is a great way to know how much work you are putting on your body. The app basically records where you run and how long your run and shows it all on an interactive map. The app is an excellent GPS based utility which is sure to help you in achieving your health goals.
Map My Run also comes with advanced sharing capabilities which make it easier to keep track of your running across multiple devices. Some days you want to take the smaller phone and some days you need a bigger screen.
In-app Purchases: $5.99 – $29.99 per item
- The app comes with some great social features.
- You can view your progress on the internet too.
- There are great virtual competitions to keep you motivated.
The app is highly compatible with numerous leading running accessories. This runner app for Android also has great importing capabilities which come in handy if you are making a switch.
2.B Paid Version
The paid version is an ad free version of the standard app. However it is important to notice that it is not a subscription. You will still need to pay a subscription fee to access premium features of the app. I recommend that you use the free version first before investing in a subscription based app.
3. Sports Tracker – Free with In-app Purchases
Track Your Runs
If you need details about your daily runs, this is your choice among the best running apps for Android list. The app comes with a serviceable interface but the details are amazing. Sure, many apps can tell you how long you ran and how much time it took to complete the run.
This app takes it a bit further with its in-depth charts and graphs. The app can measure your speed and even the altitude of your run and chart it on a graph. This means if you slow down a little, the app will know you did that, not many runner apps for Android do that.
In-app Purchases: $1.35 – $27.99 per item
- This app is for those who need perfection.
- Want to time your bursts of speed? Get this app.
- Can track cycling as well.
The app comes with some good social interactions. There are profiles for all your friends and you can view their progress on there. I suggest you make friends at your local track, this way you will become much more competitive and stay motivated. Do not visit your fat friend Dave’s profile, he simply installed and forgot about the app.
4. Strava – Free with In-app Purchases
Run and Cycle
Strava is one of the best cycling apps out there and incidentally it also captures running very well too. This is the app you should get if you are into both running and cycling. You can run a route, mark it and then send it to the world to follow. You can also find routes which are already on the app, tried and tested by fellow runners.
The app gives you details about the distance, speed, pace, calories burned and even elevation so you have every base covered with this one.
In-app Purchases: $6.00 – $60.00 per item
- Some great social features.
- The map is detailed and routes prominent.
- Share your activities on social media.
Strava makes cardio training into a fun challenge. You can set your personal goals and even share them with your friends.
5. Endomondo – Free and $4.99
5.A Free Version
For some reason if you prefer tablets over smartphones, Endomondo is the app made for you. The app has an amazing looking interface when viewed on tablets and uses the screen real-estate optimally.
I suggest you take a small phone when running and back use this app back at home. The app tracks almost any distance based sport which obviously includes running. The best part of this Android runner app is its audio feedback. The audio notifications work really well when you are using earphones.
In-app Purchases: $0.99 – $29.99 per item
- Comes with a full training diary.
- You can view your daily training volume.
- Analyzing your performance is easy.
The app has customizable home screen which is amazing for those who want everything perfect. The app automatically pause the counter when you stand still.
6. Nike+ Running – Free
This is one of the best looking running apps for Android. I usually don’t like apps which are basically free advertisements for established brands but this running app deserves to be on the list.
This is a simple to use app which basically records how long you ran. The most important thing about this app is its eye-catching interface which is not only beautiful but also highly assisting. The design team has outdone themselves with this app.
- Tracking your progress is easy.
- Staying motivated by socializing is great.
- Can play music too.
Set a target distance, invite your friends and compete.
7. RunKeeper – Free with In-app Purchases
Run Keeper looks amazing on a smartphone, especially the maps. Usually the map page on apps hides all the information and only show the map. This app however displays all the critical info right on the top. Sure you can view the full map too but when you are running, you just have time for a quick glance.
The app also helps you in doing that 5K challenge and even marathon training. Using GPS on your Android device, the app gives accurate and reliable results. You can also check the best calorie counter apps to maintain your health.
In-app Purchases: $0.99 – $39.99 per item
- Find new routes to run on.
- Get audio cues from the app while on the run.
- Can be used as a great indoor cardio app.
This running app for Android comes with support for third-party accessories. The Polar Hear Rate Monitor as well as any Android Wear smart watch can be used with the app. This is the best running app for Android wear.
8. miCoach train & run – Free
This app is made by Adidas and used to be my personal favorite for a long time. I’ll be honest here; I really love Adidas running shoes as well as track suits and liked this app because I was brand conscious.
Now I’m a little wiser and critically analyze each app. miCoach is a satisfactory app and can track your daily running and cardio workouts. The app measure distance, pace, speed, time taken and even calories burned. The interface is good but there is nothing about the app which really stands out.
- Keeping track of your workouts is easy.
- You can calculate a detailed elevation profile with the app.
- Check detailed and animated charts to analyze your workout.
The app comes with deep integration with Google Play Music. This makes your workouts a little more enjoyable.
9. Running Calories Diet Tracker – Free with In-app Purchases
Running Calories Diet Tracker is an app which tracks your diet, calories and you guessed it, running too! The app has great depth when it comes to details.
Check out your route mapped on a nice looking map. You can even share the route instantly on Facebook. The app also allows you to compare different types of activities to get the best results.
In-app Purchases: $3.99 per item
- Helps in losing weight.
- Tells you details about calories burnt.
- Can assist in maintaining a healthy diet.
The app gives you BMI scale calculation. BMI stands for Body Mass Index and tells you if your weight is fine according to your age and height.
10. Running Tracker – Free
Simple and Fast
This is a very straightforward app which is extremely lightweight. The app has a bare bones interface which also makes it one of the fastest and reliable running apps around. Some running apps are battery power hogs; this app however barely puts a dent in the overall charge percentage. The app also runs great on older smartphones.
- Blocky yet readable interface.
- Compatible with smart watches.
- Has a great fully loaded website.
You can send your workout data to run-log.com and get advice from the fine community over there. The forums are also a great way to gain valuable knowledge.
If you are seeking a great cardio trainer app, these best running apps for Android certainly fit the bill. Now before we close, I would like you to remember one simple rule; stay hydrated. Once in a hot summer evening I learned the lesson the hard way (fainting mid-course) and it was embarrassing.
Do not try to be a hero and always take a water bottle with you. Never drink in one go either, take a sip every 10-15 minutes and you will be fine. Of course some of you will be pros at running. Feel free to give suggestions in the comments below.