If you are sitting down right now with your phone in your hand and have decided that you want to start running or have already made the leap off the couch and bought yourself a shiny new pair of trainers (run shopping is amazing) let me show you what apps I find so helpful for new runners.
Some of these I downloaded way before I got back into running. They just sat there staring at me from the home screen taunting me to just get out there…..
Why I recommend apps:
- When you start out, they give you structure and clear specific instructions.
- Some of the apps are great for accountability – they remind you if you haven’t gone out on that training run.
- There are several apps out there that help break the monotony if you are a new runner and marathon training.
- Many apps have social connection – you can cheer fellow runners on and potentially make new running friends.
Sitting here at my laptop I found it hard to only recommend 5 apps. I wanted to get real clear though on the ones I believe will really help you as a new runner.
So which free apps made it into my top 5?
C25K – 5K Trainer
A brilliant app from Zen Labs.
This is the official couch to 5 k app and the free version is perfectly ok to get you running. It starts off with really manageable intervals of running and walking and tells you when to do both.
It also cheerily tells you when you are half way there (which is encouraging no matter how good a runner you are!).
I have recommended this app to so many fearful new runners and it works. I really love that if you need to slow down with the progression each week you can go back and repeat a session or two.
(One of my clients used this app two years ago and is entering 2 marathons this year…. after just 5k she saw herself as a proper runner).
This was a tough call as I also really love Runkeeper but I am sticking with my choice as Strava has connected me to so many new running friends.
Quite simply Strava is an app that will
a) Measure your route (on a map that you can see).
b) Tell you your distance run.
c) Tell you how fast you have run.
d) If you repeat any of the same stretch of a previous run it will tell you if you got a new personal record.
e) It shows you if your friends have run the route too.
This app changed everything for me. Once I really started running I linked up with people who I connected with who run locally. We now meet up for post run chats and encourage each other on every run.
I know many of you will already have Spotify and the reason I recommend it for running is that it has dedicated playlists on it for runners – heck it even has playlists according to how fast you want to run (Not for me! Slow and steady….)
When I started doing parkrun every week I had just completed couch to 5k and I struggled to keep going from about 4k. My playlist really did help.
You can listen to my playlist and I hope it inspires you to give it that little bit extra next time you run.
There are some days I just love going out for a run with no gadgets. Some days I just want music. Quite often I like to listen to someone chatting away and I have recently got into podcasts.
Podcasts are free and you can subscribe to them via the app. They really range in length from quick short ones to some that are over 2 hours long.
There are podcasts for runners but I prefer to listen to podcasts about subjects that I am interested in learning or improving. As an entrepreneur through and through I love the podcasts of Tim Ferriss and Side Hustle Nation .
There are podcasts for everything from comedy to crafts to cooking. Pick your favourite hobby or maybe learn something new and get inspired as you run!
Running and yoga are a GREAT combo – when you are a new runner especially!
I find without my regular yoga practice I become stiff and sore and more injury prone.
This is a great free app and perfect for beginners to yoga – lots of different levels and class lengths. If you start yoga at the same time as being a new runner you will set up a strong, flexible and happy body.
This is my go-to app when I am travelling a lot too, especially if I don’t have the opportunity to get to a gym.
So that’s my list – let me know if you have any recommendations of apps for new runners or if any of these have helped you on your running journey. I would love to hear from you.
Get downloading and get running
P.S. Apologies if many of the links to apps are to the iTunes UK site – my browser sets this as a default country.