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The Best Running Apps to Help You Train for Your Next Race

C25K® 5K Trainer

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Best running app for: Beginner runners who want to ease in

Cool features: If you're looking for an app that'll walk you through a couch-to-5K plan, then this is the perfect place to start. The app coaches you up to a 5K distance over eight weeks, instructing you to run or walk just 30 minutes a day, three times a week. When you're ready to upgrade from a 5K to a longer distance, download the company's other training apps for 10Ks, half marathons, and full marathons.

Price: Free

Available in the iTunes App Store, Google Play, and Amazon

Photo: C25K 5K Trainer

Strava

strava running and biking training app

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Best running app for: Finding your run tribe

Cool features: For new runners, who could use a little help training for their first 5K or athletes new to a city, you can connect with other runners and riders—the app tracks cycling too—by posting your run or ride and the sick views that go along with it, or making a meetup for a group run. Track your own performance thoroughly, and also invite a run buddy or other safety contact to track your location via the advanced GPS system if you’re headed toward uncharted trails. 

Price: Free

Available in the iTunes App Store and on Google Play

RunKeeper

runkeeper running training app

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Best running app for: Runners who like a little friendly competition

Cool features: Hold yourself accountable for every mile with RunKeeper, which lets users "compete" with others on the app to crush your fitness goals. You can keep yourself motivated by outlining your daily or weekly runs based on your schedule, and then challenge friends, congratulate them on their pace, or share your own success. Then you can check your progress on a larger scale—so basically, everyone wins. 

Price: Free

Available in the iTunes App Store and on Google Play

WalkJogRun

running app route finder

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Best running app for: Runners who prefer outdoor training

Cool features: With a database of more than 1.7 million user-contributed routes, filtered by distance and time, the WalkJogRun app takes the monotony out of race training. Choose a "training diary" from the app's pre-set plans or create your own for any distance goal. It's a bit pricier than many running apps, but the incredibly accurate GPS tracking system eliminates any chance for surprises on race day. Here's how else to prep the week before your race. 

Price: $4.99

Available in the iTunes App Store

PaceDJ

running music app

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Best running app for: Any runner in need of musical motivation

Cool features: We've all been there: You're logging miles like a pro with up-tempo tunes to help you keep the pace, when all of a sudden that '90s ballad comes on and totally ruins your stride. The PaceDJ app uses beats per minute, BPM, to match your exact stride length with songs from your music library, or you can browse and purchase from the 35 million songs on pacedj.com to get up to speed. So your run will never be interrupted by "My Heart Will Go On" again!

Price: Free

Available in the iTunes App Store

Nike+ Run Club

nike run club training app

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Best running app for: Intermediate and advanced runners who want a structured training plan

Cool features: This training program pushes runners who log in a few miles a week to marathoners, and everyone in between. The app features reminders to help schedule your training runs, saves all your stats (distance, elevation, heart rate, and more—hook it up to your Apple watch too), and the best part: personalized coaching from a Nike+ coach, to ensure you’ve always got someone in your corner rooting you on. (Want even more coaching? Check out these genius running tips to stretch out properly before, beat your time during, and care for yourself after.)

Price: Free

Available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store

 

Charity Miles

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Best running app for: Runners who want each step to give back to the community

Cool features: Your training not only preps you for a race, but can do good too: Log in as many miles as you can by walking, running, or biking—and earn cash for your favorite organization. Each mile you walk or run earns the charity 25 cents, and each mile biked 10 cents. More than thirty charities are have jumped on the bandwagon, so all you need is your feet to do your part.

Price: Free

Available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store

Aaptiv

best running cross training app

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Best running app for: Cross-training

Cool features: To get in tip-top shape for your race, you can't rely on just pounding the pavement. The Aaptiv app acts as a personal trainer at your fingertips (or your wrist—you can view all the weekly classes on your Apple watch). You can choose from more 30 workout routines designed by top trainers each week, and tailored to specific goal, whether it's upping your leg strength, prepping for an outdoor race, or stretching out your muscles with yoga. You’ll be race ready in no time, and other forms of exercise are a great way to avoid injuries during the race.

Price: Free; $9.99/mo after trial period for unlimited workouts

Available in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store

MyPlate by Livestrong

running diet app myplate

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Best running app for: Runners who want to shape up their diet

Cool features: Getting fit for a race involves more than just running—eating the right foods to fuel your body is just as important! With the MyPlate app from LiveStrong.com, you can track your intake of protein, carbs, and more to make sure your nutrition is on-par with your training goals (plus take a look at this guide to pre-marathon eating). With a comprehensive database of more than 1.3 million foods and restaurant items, you can easily keep track of everything that goes in your body. It also features a community of members who can inspire you to stick to your goals. 

(BTW, don't worry if you fall off the training wagon momentarily. Here's how to get your race-training routine back on track.)​

Price: Free

Available in the iTunes App Store

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