Thanks to constantly-improving smartphone technology, there are several apps available for both iPhones and Android phones that will help you track your running and walking by measuring your total time, distance, calories burned, and more. Most apps will produce maps of your route and some have social features as well, allowing you to connect with friends to keep each other motivated. We’ll list our favorite run-tracking apps in a moment, but before we do, we want to tell you about the brand new Virtual Strides app:
Virtual Strides (Rated Infinity Stars – totally unbiased)
The Virtual Strides app is not a run-tracking app, but was designed to give you a way to quickly and easily navigate the most popular parts of our website from your mobile device. With so many great running apps out there, we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, so we built our app around the idea of giving you easy access to your Virtual Strides account. From the app, you can register for any of our virtual races, upload your results and a photo directly from your phone, access our FAQ, and Contact Us. Of course, VirtualStrides.com has much more to offer than that (like this Blog, for example!), so if you’d like to visit our full website any time, it is only one click away from the app.
Now that you’ve got the Virtual Strides app and have registered for a virtual run, how should you track your time and distance? You can do this however you want, of course, but here is our list of the best free running apps that you might want to check out. Reviews for each of these apps vary greatly and are largely a matter of personal preference, so be sure to try out at least a few of them to determine which one best suits your needs.
Note: When you upload your results to our website, you are always welcome to use the Manual Entry method, but it’s worth mentioning that our results system directly integrates with a few of these apps, allowing you to upload your results with just a couple of simple clicks. In addition to FitBit (app not reviewed below), Virtual Strides currently integrates with Strava, MapMyRun/MayMyWalk, and Runkeeper.
Without further ado, here are our Top 8 Free Run-Tracking Apps:
1. Charity Miles (Rated 4.2/5 Stars)
Charity Miles lands in the top spot of our list, not for the app’s bells and whistles, but because it’s an easy way to turn your training into money for charity (in addition to the donations we make when you register for any of our virtual runs). Just choose a charity and hit the streets. As you walk, run or bike, the app will track your distance and you’ll earn money for your selected charity: 10¢ per mile for bikers; 25¢ per mile for walkers and runners, all up to $500,000 per year, courtesy of the Charity Miles corporate sponsors.
2. Strava (Rated 4.6/5 Stars)
Track your runs and rides with GPS and join Challenges and see how your running and riding compares with friends. Strava is world’s largest route and trail resource.
3. Map My Run (Rated 4.5/5 Stars)
MapMyRun will record your workout details, including duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned, and route traveled on an interactive map. You can even effortlessly save and upload your workout data to MapMyRun where you can view your route workout data, and comprehensive workout history. MapMyRun allows you to set and track weekly goals, view training intensity, monitor your recovery, and connect your gear.
4. RunKeeper (Rated 4.5/5 Stars)
Join the more than 30 million people around the world using RunKeeper to power their active lives. Track your workouts and get the motivation you need to hit your fitness goals. Track your pace, measure workout distance, chart weight loss, crush training goals and more! RunKeeper is the simplest way to improve fitness, whether you’re just deciding to get off the couch for a 5k, biking every day, or deep into marathon training.
5. Running Distance Tracker+ (Rated 4.7/5 Stars)
Running Distance Tracker+ tracks your distance, pace, calories and more. It includes access to your music player and voice feedback guiding you as you run towards your target distance or time. It also maintains a history of your runs and improvements over time, and shows you a complete log of your running activities.
6. Endomondo (Rated 4.5/5 Stars)
Whether you’re running, cycling, walking, kayaking, or something completely different, Endomondo keeps you motivated. Track routes, record stats and share your workouts – all from one simple app. Join 25 million users and start freeing your endorphins. Endomondo offers audio coach feedback and allows you to compete against a friend or yourself.
7. Runtastic (Rated 4.5/5 Stars)
This app tracks cardio workout progress (duration, distance, elevation change, calories burned & more) to help you build healthy lifestyle habits and reach exercise goals. What’s more? The Runtastic running app is a great fit for users of all fitness levels. Become a part of a global fitness community of over 40 million registered users that is fun and motivational today – whether you’re looking to improve your overall health, build cardio endurance or train for a marathon! Runtastic has a real voice coach to provide you with audio feedback throughout your session.
8. Zombies, Run! (Rated 4.3/5 Stars)
Zombies, Run! is an ultra-immersive running game and audio adventure. Every run becomes a mission where you’re the hero, with immersive audio drama putting you at the center of your very own zombie adventure story. While you run to the perfect mix of heart-pumping audio drama and pulse-pounding songs from your own playlist, you’ll collect supplies to grow your base back home. The first four missions are free, but, after that, you’ll need to unlock new stories on a weekly basis. You can also unlock more than 240 missions if you upgrade to a paid membership.