As we have also been able to show in recent weeks, all the major manufacturers of smartphones and mobile operating systems seem willing to focus on fitness: watches are arriving that can monitor our heartbeat and health, apps that want to keep track of everyone. our biomedical data, services that promise to get us exercise.
For some time, however, there has been software that can be installed on the mobile phone that aims to help those with a passion for running, which allows you to keep track of the routes taken during your jogging session or the times and specifications of each runner. Indeed, these apps are now so numerous that it is difficult to find your way around and choose one from which to start when you want to try to settle down and start running, perhaps motivating yourself a little with some graphs to look at and show. For this, we present today five running apps that are perhaps the best available on the market for various operating systems.
Run with MapMyRun
A Catalog of Routes, With Various Improvements
MapMyRun is a service that has been on the web since 2007, at the dawn of the appearance of smartphones, launched by the Americans of MapMyFitness, a company based in Austin, Texas, owned by the US sportswear company Under Armor. The site was originally intended to offer a database of all the running routes available on the face of the Earth, but over time it has expanded to become just the web interface of a series of apps with a wider range.
STATISTICS AND CALORIES, FOR EVERY ENVIRONMENT
Run with MapMyRun, in fact, first of all, allows you to use the GPS to track your runner activity, but also records the statistics of your run (duration, distance, speed but also pace, elevation gain, and calories burned), then allowing you to share your progress with friends, family or social networks directly. The application, however, is only one piece of a larger project, which also includes the MapMyRide apps for cycling enthusiasts, MapMyHike for those who love mountain trekking, and MapMyWalk for quieter walks, and finally, MapMyDogwalk for those who instead take the dog for a walk.
The app – available for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry – also allows you to synchronize with the main heart rate sensors on the market, calculate the calories introduced with food during the day, and draw up real rankings of the various routes, so as to be able to compare their times with those obtained by other runners.
Nike + Running
The Reference App for Nike Devices
If MapMyRun is owned by an important sportswear company that still does not seem to put much of a mouth into the development of the app, for now, Nike + Running is an example instead of how one of the main brands in the sector has invested right away, and decisively, in the synergy between clothing, sport, and technology.
SPORTWATCH, FUELBAND, BUT ALSO WITHOUT ADDITIONS
Nike, in fact, was among the very first to believe that the iPhone first and the devices that mounted Android then could be an important vehicle for the diffusion of their running shoes; for this reason, already in unsuspected times it launched on the market shoes equipped with a particular sensor that interfaced perfectly with a special app, through which to keep track of a whole series of statistics on running habits and performance. As the years went by, then, the app was disconnected from the necessary combination with shoes and always enriched with new functions, until it became an indispensable companion not only for those who wear Nike shoes,
Today Nike + Running allows you to create maps of your runs thanks to GPS, to measure distances, pace, time, and calories burned, follow specific training plans, to participate in remote challenges with friends or complete strangers to get the right motivation, to start a Power song that makes us get in gear and also to share photos of your running session. A complete app, therefore, has its strength in the suggested workouts and in the presence of a brand that is synonymous with quality.
A Community of 30 Million Users
The experience offered by RunKeeper, which has been on the market since 2008, is also very similar to the two previous apps, but it can boast a community with impressive numbers, which in fact is around 30 million users. On the other hand, the application, initially designed for running, has expanded over the years to cover a whole range of other sports activities, such as bike rides, excursions, and even walks.
SPACE FOR MOTIVATION
Also, in this case, the software keeps track of the distances traveled, speed, times, and calories burned, as well as providing via headphones both the music of your device and a voice that provides data on your progress and advice for the session. training. The motivational aspect is also good, with the possibility of analyzing one’s data in relation to the past, in order to examine the progress achieved, or in relation to pre-established goals and personal records.
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The offer relating to in-app purchases is also particularly developed: RunKeeper – also available for Android and iOS – offers the Elite option, a monthly subscription package (currently at € 8.99) or annual (at 35, 99, definitely more advantageous because in fact, a year costs as much as four single months) which allows you to access advanced workouts that help you reach your goals more easily, especially if you are no longer amateurs but are starting to take running as an activity to be pursued with a certain dedication and seriousness. The free version is however already quite complete in itself and is enough and advances to users who are beginners and want to start this type of activity.
“Release your endorphins”
Compared to all the apps we have seen so far, well done but also very similar to each other, Endomondo has some features that make it unique: first of all, it is available, as well as for iOS and Android, also for Windows Phone, which is not negligible when you have to deal with the cell phone in your pocket; secondly, it already monitors a series of different sports activities altogether, even with values neglected by the other applications.
FROM RUNNING TO KAYAKING
In fact, the app allows you to keep track of any distance-based sport in a single system, be it running, cycling, even kayaking or more; for this, thanks to GPS (but indoor workouts can be added by hand), it stores data relating to the duration of the run, speed, route, calories burned, maximum speed, altitude and so on, providing a sort of activity diary that can be consulted at all times. In addition, a lot of work has been done on integration with other devices: through the BTLE heart rate monitors, you can record heartbeats, while a good job conducted on the Pebble smartwatch allows the app to be controlled by a watch, thanks to a mini version that can be viewed on the display.
Here too, finally, ample space is left for the social and motivational aspect, in the wake of the motto “free your endorphins”: you can set goals and receive encouragement from an audio coach, but you can also participate in challenges, take photos workouts and then share them, tag friends, and check their progress and so on. The Premium function – available in various versions with a monthly subscription that starts from a few euros and then rises depending on the options – allows you to view even more detailed statistics and draw up a personalized training plan.
The Social Network of the Race
We conclude with another app designed not only for running but also for cycling: Strava GPS, developed in San Francisco and available for iOS and Android. Unlike all the apps we have seen so far, of which Strava shares the main features, however, this software invests decisively on the side of challenges, prompting the user to confront himself and others to derive further motivation to start running and improve their performance.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CHALLENGES AND RANKINGS
The app allows you to view route maps, statistics, personal records, and all the other usual data, but above all, it has a sort of internal social network that allows you to see, in a feed, the progress of your friends and the trend of their weekly workouts; in addition, Strava continuously launches new challenges, which you can subscribe to and share the results of, both with friends you already follow, and with strangers in the community from all over the world.
Here too, through in-app purchases, a form of subscription is available which costs € 5.49 on a monthly basis and € 54.99 on an annual basis: this version allows you to view the rankings with particular filters (based on age and weight, for example, in order to compare only with one’s own “sector” of reference), to set more specific objectives and to better track them day by day, as well as providing in-depth statistics of the Power Zones and the Distribution of Rhythm.
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