These Apps Will Help You Run Your Best Race Ever

Running is one of the most ancient, primal things the human body can do, but a boost from modern technology can actually make your race day performances stronger than ever. By downloading a running-specific app to your smartphone, you can track your speed, monitor your progress and drop more pounds. A recent study from Northwestern University showed that using an app helped participants lose more weight than exercisers who didn’t use technology, likely because an app can make you mindful of your behavior and also feel held accountable. See how much an app can help you with these free ones (they work with both iPhones and Androids):

  • Strava: Perfect for runners with a competitive spirit, this app tracks your route using your phone’s GPS and compares it to others who ran the same path (friends, strangers and even professional athletes). If you’re someone who’s motivated by seeing where you rank, it’s a fun challenge to see your name climb the leaderboard as you get faster.
  • Wahoo Fitness: The giant numbers this app displays on your phone’s screen make it easy to check your pace and distance mid-run without tripping. Sync the app with the accompanying chest strap ($80), and it will also measure the efficiency of your form, including smoothness, cadence, impact and ground contact time.
  • Nike+: Use this app if you’re a social butterfly who’s motivated by sharing your progress with your friends. Let your Facebook friends know you’ve started a run and they can comment on it, sending you cheers through your headphones as you’re pounding the pavement. Another motivational tool for those who love to rock out: the One More PowerSong feature, which challenges you to beat your previous running record by going for the length of just one more high-energy tune.
  • Map My Run: If you’re trying to not just increase your mileage and speed, but also to lose weight, this app tracks all your info in one place. Log your running stats as well as your food intake and weight for easy monitoring. Plus, if you’re bored with your usual running path (or you’re traveling and want a scenic or challenging route), you can get suggestions for courses from other users.

If you’re looking for other ways to become a better runner, check out these blogs:


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Photo credit: US Army Central

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