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Best Android Apps For Running - Android Running App Reviews

Updated on April 20, 2013

If you jog with your smart phone strapped to your arm to listen to music, you might as well give some of these Android apps a go. They can make you a better runner, or at least make your run a little more fun.

 

RunKeeper

Google Play [free]

One of the most popular running apps available, and for good reason. RunKeeper will use your phone's GPS to track your run. It records how far you run, your exact route, elevation, average pace, and and current pace for the entirety of you run. It then uploads all this information to the RunKeeper and tracks all your stats over time.

Additionally you can set it to track specific intervals and alert you with a sound based on distance or time, and have it give you spoken updates on your stats while you are running. If I only had one app for running this would be it.

You can pay upgrade to the premium "Elite" service which can give you more statistics and analysis, but all the tools you really need are in the free version. I've never seriously considered upgrading and I use this app every time I run.

Zombies, Run!

Google Play [not free]

This is one of the very few apps that I have actually paid for on my phone. This app adds much more adventure to running, by essentially making you a hero in a post-zombie apocalypse world. You are given missions to retrieve items, or people, from outside the base where you must keep running to avoid the zombies.

As you run you hear radio communications from the base through your headphones, giving you instructions and building suspense. Between each part of the narrative it plays your music, so it helps to build a good zombie themed playlist to keep the mood. Sometimes you will hear the zombies groaning as they creep up behind you, and will be alerted when they are close - this means you need to start running faster to escape.

The production values of the audio narrative alone make this well worth buying, let alone the extra suspense and urgency it will add to your running.

 

Mobile Metronome

Google Play [free]

At first this this might not seem like a very useful app in terms of running, but let me explain. One of the most important aspects of your running form, to maximize performance and minimize injury, is cadence, that is, the frequency of your steps. It is generally accepted that a runner with the best form will have each foot hit the ground ninety times each minute, regardless of their speed.

Measuring your cadence by simply counting your steps and looking at your watch isn't too difficult, but adjusting it like this is very hard. This is where the metronome comes in handy. All you need to do is set the app to 90 bpm (beats per minute), select the tone you like, plug in you headphones and you are ready to run. Now as you run try to make sure your right (or left) foot hits the ground at the same time that the tone sounds. At first it will require a great deal of concentration and will seem near impossible, but over time this will become your natural cadence.

 

SleepTime

Google Play [free]

Admittedly this isn't directly related to running, but it can make getting out of bed and pounding the pavement easier, and lets face it this is sometimes the hardest part. SleepTime is one of several sleep monitoring alarm clocks, I like this one specifically because it has a really nice interface.

When you go to bed you switch on the app, and set the time you want to wake up. Then you place the phone on the edge of your mattress while you sleep. The app uses the sensors in the phone to calculate whether you are in a light sleep or a deep sleep. Then in the thirty minutes prior to the time you have set your alarm for, it will sense when you enter a stage of light sleep, and gently wake you up by slowing increasing the volume on your alarm tone. This means you will feel more refreshed when you wake up because you won't have been wrenched directly from your deep dream sleep. Of course if it gets to the time you set your alarm for and you still haven't entered into a stage of lighter sleep it will wake you up anyway, to make sure you don't sleep in.

This app is really useful because you are much more likely to convince yourself to go for a run if you wake up feeling fantastic and refresh, rather than being angry at your alarm clock and the world.

Comments

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    • profile image

      runnahoo 

      4 years ago

      Hi!

      You should try the app "runnahoo - Running metronome". It is available for Android devices. It is simple but powerful, and it is free! You can download it at Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com....

    • jeffthomson profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Thomson 

      5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      And these are only the tip of the iceberg!

    • carozy profile image

      carozy 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      This is cool! I have an Android but never checked into apps for it. Now I will. Thanks for sharing.

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