App Your Run: The Best Smartphone Apps for Running Outside [CC’s ShapeU]

With the weather taking a turn for the consistently warm and gorgeous, what better time than now to get outside and work out, before it gets scorching hot, and the breeze that cools us down becomes hot air that makes us sweat after five minutes in the sun…yuck!

Running outside, especially in the springtime, is an awesome way to get a your fitness time in while also getting some fresh air and de-stressing with some awesome music and time to think! The downside? There are a few variables when it comes to figuring out where to run, how long, how fast etc. So why not opt for something that figures all this out for you (as we know, the less we need to do the better)? This brings us to the fabulous world of technology, and of course the App Store, because that magical little “something” I’m referring to is an app for your smartphone!

Like I said, the less we need to do the better, right? So here’s a list of apps that are THE BEST when it comes to running outside! Some of these are strictly iPhone, but others can be find on most smartphones with app capabilities.

Best for Distance and Mapping: 

MapMyRun (Free), Nike+ Running (Free), Strava Run (Free) 

These are all pretty similar, giving you GPS options, maps, recording your times, splits, distance and even giving you some motivational encouragement! While I can’t seem to part with MapMyRun, the Nike+ Running app is awesome! It gives you music options to set the pace in addition to all the other great things provided by the other two! And the best thing about all three…they’re completely free (unless you decide to “Go Pro,” which gives you even more options).

Best For Intervals:

PulseLite – Interval Training (Free), easyInterval Free (Free), Interval Run ($1.99)

All three of these give you options to set up intervals while you’re running, allowing you to choose the pace and duration of the intervals, and the length of your workout! The free ones are slightly limiting, and the Interval Run app has a few more options, but comes at a price.

Most To Offer:

Run 5k – interval training coach + stretch program ($2.99), Run 10k – interval training coach + stretch program ($2.99)

Both these apps are $2.99, which is a little expensive for an app when you could definitely opt for a free one, BUT they give you so many options, including GPS mapping, tracking your times, splits and distance, and also allowing you to set up intervals! The apps even come with warm up and stretch guides, which really makes for a complete workout for anyone looking for that! Since stretching is something many people neglect when they workout on their own, whether they just don’t care to do it, or are unsure of where to start, these apps definitely have the most to offer.

Best For Fun:

Zombies, Run! ($3.99)

For anyone interested in the Zombie Apocalypse, this app is 100% for you! You start out on your run, with GPS mapping and all, minding your own business, and coming across supplies as you go…then, out of no where, you get a warning about ZOMBIES! Depending on which direction and how far away those pesky zombies are stumbling along, you get directions to run faster or slower, adding in interval training to your workout, with the added motivation of running for your life!  Think $3.99 is pretty silly for an app? Isn’t that the point? This app is perfect for a fun alternative to running outside with intervals.

Best For A Cause:

Run4Good (Free), Charity Miles (Free)

These apps allow you to make your running about more than just your workout!  With Run4Good you can meet monthly challenges and help fight childhood obesity. Charity Miles lets you donate to a charity of your choice as you run, walk or bike. These are perfect for adding even more incentive to getting out and running!

And there you have it! Download an app that gets you out and active, and makes running outside and creating your own running workout so much easier! They can even help you prepare to survive an attack of the undead, and even donates some money to a worthy cause! Wayyy better than Temple Run.

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