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Fitness

6 apps to keep you motivated while running

Running is like marmite; you either love it or you hate it. If you love it, you’re just born that way – like morning people. You guys have it good!

The difference between running and marmite Is that even if you hate it, you can still do it, feel the benefits of it, and even learn to enjoy it (you may never love it, and that’s totally ok).

Whichever camp you fall into, we can all use a little bit of motivation and extra support every now and again. So, here’s a round-up of some of our best and favourite running apps for all abilities to get you going.

Best for Beginners
Couch To 5K

What we love the most about Couch to 5k is that it does exactly what it says on the tin. Regardless of your running experience, no matter how fit you are, the app breaks down a training schedule into achievable, bitesize sessions with the aim to get you running 5k in just 9 weeks. The programme consists of 3 runs per week, and focuses on gradually building up endurance and stamina by beginning with a mix of walking and running, which progresses over the following weeks.

The downside? If you were looking for excuses not to run, you’re fresh out of them my friend. Couch to 5k is so simple and accessible that even the most exercise-adverse individuals can get on board and find a love of running they never knew existed!

Best for Tracking
MapMyRun

What started out as a tool to plan and measure running routes has evolved into a firm favourite in the running community that has stood the test of time, thanks mainly to the acquisition by Under Armour. UA worked it’s magic, and compared to what used to be a pretty clunky way to track your run, is now looking damn sexy and slick as hell.

It does everything you want a good running companion to do; record your running route, distance, time, pace, splits, stride length. Create your own routes locally or use it to discover new cities with the help of routes submitted by the MapMyRun community. The app sets inspiring challenges to keep your training interesting and motivational, and you can compete against yourself or against others in the community.

Possibly our favourite thing about this app is that you can pair it with Under Armour’s Smart Shoe. The latest in smart clothing, the UA Hovr trainers are microchipped to record everything that your mobile phone would, without needing to take your phone on your run with you, making it possible to hit the road with nothing but your running spirit!

Best for Sharing
Strava

It’s little wonder that Strava has achieved cult status in the running world; this one-stop-shop for runners (and cyclists) does it all. With the ability to track and analyse every aspect of your run. It pairs with an ever growing list of devices,

Connect with friends or groups locally to you, and watch your own running community grow. Great for providing an added motivational boost in the form of support – you can give kudos or give and receive comments on impressive runs or PBs – or with a healthy dose of competition. Set up challenges – fastest 5k, most miles covered over a set time period – or simply try to improve on your PB.

Switch on Beacon mode to add an additional safety feature, allowing you to share your run in real-time with a loved one or other responsible adult; essential for night-time joggers, those running in poorly lit areas or in high traffic.

Best for Motivation
Charity Miles

Wouldn’t it be lovely if by running you could save the world? Well, while it may not give you superhero powers, Charity Miles makes every mile more meaningful by donating money to a charity of your choice for every mile you run. The app is free to download, and once you have chosen your charity, you can start raising funds for them every time you log activity.

You can create a team with friends or colleagues to combine fundraising power, and create a pledge page where family and friends can sponsor your efforts. It’s a really inspirational and motivational tool to get you moving and doing some good for a worthy cause.

Best for Treadmill
Studio

If you too are a fair-weather runner, but find the repetition of running on a treadmill akin to a hamster running a wheel, you will rejoice at the Studio HIIT running app. Make treadmill running fun with classes geared specifically to utilising the speed and incline power of treadmill training.

Compete in real-time against other Studio users, and check your times against the leader board. The app gives you a variety of workouts at your fingertips, so if you do like to switch between road-running and treadmill, you are covered.

Best for Imagination
Zombies, Run!

Running can be dull as hell. There, I’ve said it.  But you know what can make running really, really fun? Zombies, of course!

No, wait, hear me out on this. You are one of the few survivors of the zombie epidemic in this immersive running game. Begin your run and you will receive your mission instructions; collect supplies to build your base, and speed up your pace if you’re chased by zombies!

You can play anywhere in the world, and with over 200 missions, your run will never be boring again!  Zombies, Run! has amassed over 1 million users, and just as any standard running app it records your time, distance covered, pace and calories burned via your phone’s GPS.

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