Best running apps for iPhone and Apple Watch in 2023

Best running apps for iPhone and Apple Watch

“Health is wealth.” It’s a common proverb that describes the importance of a healthy body and mind. Apple vows to this notion and brings it out in the wide range of products it creates. Additionally, in this digital age, running enthusiasts are increasingly relying on iPhone and Apple Watch apps to enhance their workouts and track their progress.

With the plethora of running apps available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs. Fear not! In this article, we have carefully curated a list of the best running apps for iPhone and Apple Watch that will help you optimize your running experience, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned marathoner.

  1. ASICS Runkeeper
  2. Nike Run Club
  3. Adidas Running
  4. Strava
  5. Garmin Connect
  6. Map My Run
  7. C25K
  8. Running Trainer
  9. Peloton
  10. Running Walking Tracker Goals
  11. Distance Tracker

1. ASICS Runkeeper – Editor’s Choice

    When you look for a running app, the first thing that comes to your mind is its efficiency and cost. What if I tell you that there is an app that ticks off these parameters and more? Let me introduce you to the Asics Runkeeper app.

    The platform thrives upon its easy-to-use interface that works as your perfect virtual running coach. Set your personal goals; the Runkeeper app will help you quickly achieve them.  Once you download the app, you encounter a series of questions guiding the algorithm to assess your goals. For instance, ASICS Runkeeper serves professionals training for an upcoming race or running enthusiasts willing to create a personal record.

    In addition, the ASICS Running coaches adopt a well-planned regime to curate a portfolio of audio-guided workout sessions just for you. So feel free to pick a personalized plan that motivates you to wear those running shoes daily.   

    The app’s seamless integration with Apple Watch lets you track your workouts on the go, even without access to your iPhone. In addition, you can select the stats you want to listen to while running, such as distance covered, pace, and time taken. Earn rewards by joining the in-app challenges or participating in virtual running groups. 


    • Good for beginners and experts 
    • Customizable interface 
    • Seamless integration with fitness apps and wearables 
    • Trained experts keep you motivated  


    • Live tracking is limited to paid version only 

    Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $9.99) 


    2. Nike Run Club – Best free running app 

    Nike Run Club Running App

    Do you need the right motivation to make running an inevitable part of your routine life? If yes, the Nike Run Club running app is here for you. With Guided Runs and Training Plans, you can take the first baby steps toward running and turn it into a habit in no time. The platform shines as one of the best running apps for Apple Watch by offering expert guidance and a global user community to seek inspiration. 

    Get trained by fitness experts, even Nike legends, using Nike Run Club’s Guided Run. The encouragement, guidance, and help you will get from the professionals will work as a catalyst to achieve the set targets. Whatever your goal – 5k or 10k, long or short runs, easy or hard – you will likely find a Guided Run routine on the NRC app. Additionally, you can choose the pre-planned Training Plans created by NRC coaches.   

    The Run Tracker keeps a record of your running speed, distance, heart rate, GPS route, and mile splits without bothering you. Moreover, by syncing this activity tracker with your Apple smartwatch, you will always have constant access to your running stats. The app also houses a shoe tagging feature that tracks the mileage on your shoes and sends a reminder when your pair gets worn out.   


    • Get trained by Nike legends  
    • Wide variety of Guided Runs 
    • Easy tracking of activities 
    • Shoe Tagging available 


    • Less in-depth features 
    • No suggested route functions 

    Price: Free  


    3. Adidas Running – Learn from the experts

    Adidas Running App

    Coming from a leading sports firm, Adidas Running is a comprehensive app that caters to the requirements of running enthusiasts. This Apple Watch-compatible fitness app displays your runs through maps, pictures, charts, and graphs. Additionally, a tap on one of the past activities shows crucial vitals like mileage, distance covered, time taken, and average speed.

    The free version of the Adidas Running app provides seamless access to real-time GPS tracking, calories burned, and heart rate statistics. You also get regular running stats, like your weekly activity, remaining distance from your target, etc. If you need a push, you can join Adidas’ running online community, listen to ‘Story Runs’ (aka podcasts), read blog posts, or participate in challenges or training groups. Oh, and you get rewarded every time you hit a milestone!

    You can customize your run by giving it a name, adding photos, adorning it with a smiley, or selecting an icon related to it. In addition, the app notifies you about the details of your run, so you don’t have to be a slave to your Apple Watch and glance at it constantly. All the data your Apple Watch tracks is easily downloadable on the Running app. Keeping track of your data will never be an issue with this amazing app.   


    • Track stats like run duration, distance, consistency, etc. 
    • Virtual Races to compete with global athletes 
    • Seamless integration with fitness apps 
    • Useful for yoga, hiking, cycling, etc. 


    • Limited features for advanced runners 
    • Average community engagement 

    Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $0.99) 


    4. Strava – Tracks routes for safe running

    Strava Running App

    If you are aware of fitness apps, Strava must have caught your attention at some point. The platform records your runs and bicycle rides and lets you compete with people who share your passion. Access a detailed description of your run time, distance covered, pace, and other factors on your Training Log. With seamless integration with Apple Watch, Strava relieves you from the burden of carrying your iPhone.

    One of the most notable features of Strava is its ability to make users feel the adrenaline rush of competition. After completing your activity, the stats go into a pool where the app ranks you on the Leaderboard against other participants. Cool, right? In addition, with the Routes tool, you can find the best routes for running or cycling. Also, you can share your live location with family members to ensure your safety. 

    Strava allows you to build a strong community of fellow runners who will keep you motivated. Moreover, you can participate in monthly challenges, collect digital badges, and create winning streaks. The platform is fully compatible with multiple apps and devices like Fitbit. It’s simple and cost-effective.  


    • A diverse collection of features 
    • Strong community support 
    • Easily compatible with health apps


    • Demands access to personal information  
    • Expensive 

    Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $11.99) 


    5. Garmin Connect – Compete with other runner enthusiasts

    Garmin Connect Running App

    Garmin Connect is for anyone who wants to keep a check on their fitness. Apart from being an impressive running app, Garmin Connect trains and keeps you motivated to work towards a healthy lifestyle. Find your favorite pick from the diverse range of Training Plans curated by Garmin Connect’s team of health professionals. The predesigned running plans train you for 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon races.  

    When you open the app, you come across the ‘My Data’ section, which displays an activity summary of the past 24 hours. This includes your activities, steps covered, calories burned, heart rate history, and more. What makes this app a perfect pick for women is the period tracker that ensures you never miss the date of your next cycle. Also, Garmin Connect allows you to compete with your friends on running tracks. A perfect way to keep the motivation high! 

    In addition, the Calendar tool lets you track down health stats for a week, month, or year. You can review your personal running stats, achievements, and more on Apple Watch. Don’t hesitate to customize a Training Plan based on your needs. The platform tracks several important vitals like weight, sleep, stress, oxygen levels, energy, hydration, respiration, and others.  


    • User-friendly interface 
    • Accurate tracking of body vitals 
    • Connect and compete with friends 
    • Offers access to daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly running stats 


    • Issues with synchronization 

    Price: Free  


    6. Map My Run –  Reliable companion for Apple Watch

    Map My Run Running App

    Map My Run by Under Armour thrives as one of the best running apps for Apple Watch users. With an array of impressive tracking and training tools, this robust platform makes running a part of your life with ease. You can be a beginner, a seasoned runner, or an advanced one- the Map My Run app will effortlessly cater to all your whims.  

    Seamless access to customizable Training Plans paired with personalized tips from experts makes this app quite popular. Moreover, the platform lets you track your runs directly from your Apple Watch. So, now, you can get real-time updates on distance, pace, time, heart rate, etc., about your activities right at your fingertips; oops! I mean wrist. The audio-supported expert training on GPS-tracked runs will help you achieve your goals.  

    With the Routes feature, you can find safe running paths near you. Quickly save your favorite routes, add new ones, and share them with your friends. Also, the app’s training plans allow you to customize them per your fitness needs. You can integrate your Map My Run account with other fitness platforms like MyFitnessPal and achieve your health goals successfully.   


    • Customizable user-interface 
    • Wide range of Training Plans 
    • Accuracy in data collection 


    • Limited features in the free version 

    Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $5.99) 


    7. C25K – Accurate running stats for you

    C25K Running App

    C25K is a perfect companion for people who want to start running as a routine workout. The platform strives to keep new runners motivated so they do not give up on their fitness goals on the first step itself. You get access to a well-structured program that starts with a balanced routine of running and walking. Gradually, as you build the necessary strength and stamina, the app shifts you to intense running schedules.  

    Once you download the C25K app, you must provide the platform with your personal information like weight, age, running target, etc. Based on the data collected, C25K sets the initial point for your running plan. Each training session offered by the app comprises guided audio lessons and alerts from professionals and health experts. You can skip ahead to the next levels; however, this is only possible for paid subscriptions. 

    The app records all your activities inside your C25K account. This includes stats about your runs, distance covered, time taken, step count, etc. Moreover, you can track your daily and monthly progress through graphs and meters. Get the widest smile on your face on completing your running targets. 


    • Well-structured Training Plans 
    • Keeps users motivated 
    • Graphical representation of stats 


    • Issues with data accuracy 

    Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $1.99) 


    8. Running Trainer – GPS-enabled tracking for runners

    Running Trainer- Tracker&Coach Running App

    Running Trainer can be a reliable consideration if you are looking for Apple Watch and iPhone running apps. Recognized for accuracy in distance and time tracking, the app houses a streamlined interface that offers access to an array of useful tools. The platform works seamlessly with your Apple Watch to ensure that you can always view your running stats, past records, and progress charts.  

    Decide your target, provide it to Run Tracker, and allow the app to help you achieve them organically. Every time you put your running shoes on a roll, the app guides you through audio feedback as and when you move toward your target. Moreover, you can integrate the app with Maps and enable GPS instantly. This will save you from the hassle of finding the right route.  

    The app can easily connect to your music player and stream your playlists on the go. Also, you can connect your Run Tracker account to Apple Health to record heart rate vitals and calorie count. Keep yourself active with Run Tracker’s efficient interface that helps you achieve your fitness goals easily. 


    • Simple user interface 
    • Guided audio feedback 
    • Integration with music player, Apple Health 


    • Occasional lags in tracking

    Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $9.99) 


    9. Peloton – Live training sessions at your fingertips

    Peloton Running App

    Change the way how you see physical activities like running with the Peloton app. Trusted as one of the best run-tracking apps for the Apple Watch, Peloton has everything that a beginner or a trained runner might need. The portal offers a dedicated collection of workouts, such as indoor and outdoor running, cycling, meditation, and more.  

    Quickly adopt a fitness routine using the thousands of live and on-demand training sessions taught by Peloton’s global instructors. The trainers follow a simple-to-learn routine while giving instructions to keep the participants motivated and less burdened. Most of the training plans available on this app range from 4 to 18 weeks. GPS-supported interface supplies you with key metrics, including pace, running maps, elevation, etc.  

    In addition, you can participate in the app’s monthly Challenges that mix into your routine seamlessly. One of the most interesting features of the Peloton app is its training session for indoor running. So, even if you are running on a treadmill, the app keeps you in check with interval coaching and energetic playlists.  


    • Preloaded training classes 
    • Training sessions for indoor running 
    • Seamless accessibility via Apple Watch 


    • Explicit language usage by experts 
    • Issues with live classes 

    Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $12.99) 


    10. Running Walking Tracker Goals – Reports to keep you motivated  

    Running Walking Tracker Goals Running App

    Willing to take the next running challenge? Pick Running Walking Tracker Goals and accomplish all your set goals without stressing your body and mind. Be it running, walking, jogging, or biking- this efficient app has got you covered. The app is fully optimized for the Apple Watch, which makes you access data regarding the distance, pace, and time of your runs anytime and anywhere. Just create your profile and switch to the training plan you would like to follow. 

    Analyze your running activities using the monthly progress reports and stay motivated. The live graphical interpretation of your activities will help you find the positives and loopholes in your running schedules. Though, this feature is limited to the premium version of the app. In addition, don’t shy away from sharing your progress chart with your friends whenever you complete a milestone.  

    Start your favorite routine directly from the Apple Watch with the Goals app. Further, the premium version gives you access to other important features like a calorie counter, audio feedback on your activities, live intervals, etc. Moreover, you can keep a check on your pulse rate while running using your Apple smartwatch after purchasing the paid version.  


    • Graphical data representation 
    • Daily and monthly progress reports 
    • Allows pulse rate tracking using Apple Watch 


    • Occasional app crashes  
    • Faulty reports at times

    Price: Free (In-app purchases start at $7.99) 


    11. Distance Tracker – Access important vitals quickly

    Distance Tracker Running App

    Running is an exhaustive physical activity. Most of the time, while achieving our target, we forget to track our stats. If you also face such issues, the Distance Tracker app can be your perfect companion. This app is fully compatible with the Apple Watch, so you are always in access to important information that matters during running.  

    Analyze your requirements, set goals, and customize them by adding unique names or motivational quotes. In addition, you can save your past routes or achievements and hop on to them whenever your mood says so. Distance Tracker app gives you accurate records of your activities, distance covered, time taken, pace, heart rate, etc., at your fingertips. Looking at your past achievements will bless you with an instant dose of motivation.  

    Apart from running stats, Distance Tracker offers you access to many other important vitals like calorie count, weather, temperature, hydration, etc. Stream your favorite music without leaving the app while straining your muscles during long-running schedules. Also, like social media, the Distance Tracker app lets you share your progress reports with friends. Flexing is an art, so why not be the artist! 


    • Easy-to-customize Training Plans 
    • Water reminder available 
    • Smooth music integration 


    • Messy record keeping 

    Price: Free  



    Can I run with just my Apple Watch?  

    Apple Watch has in-built GPS support that lets you track distance and speed during your runs even without your paired iPhone.

    Can I use my iPhone to track my run? 

    Yes, you can use the Health app on your iPhone to track your outdoor workouts.

    Wrapping up! 

    Apple Watch, when paired with these amazing running apps on your iPhone, can help you achieve your fitness goals with ease. l these apps work perfectly well for beginners and advanced runners. Moreover, they are free to download; so you get good health without spending any wealth. Woah! That’s a cool rhyme.  

    I hope your search for a perfect running app for Apple Watch will finally come to an end after reading this article. Do let me know your views in the comments section.  

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    Author Profile

    Srishti is an avid writer who loves exploring new things and letting the world know about them through her words. With a curious mind, she will let you move through the nooks and corners of the Apple ecosystem. When not writing, you can find her gushing over BTS like a true BTS Army would.

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