5 Best Running Apps for Beginners to Experts [2022]

Many runners experience burnout and lose motivation. Here are five apps to motivate runners.
Austin Betzer
Posted on
Minute Read

American is a nation of runners.

Americans have started exercising outdoors, like running, in higher numbers since the pandemic outbreak of 2020. But even before then, participation in running and jogging events has increased by 50% over the past decade.

And that is on a global level.

Still, running can be repetitive, boring, and sometimes injury-inducing. It can be challenging for expert and novice runners to stay optimally motivated when running.

When runners occasionally become unmotivated and emotionally disinterested in running, it is called runner burnout.

Well, as they used to say, there’s an app for that.

21st-century runners are now turning to apps to motivate their running exercises, mix things up, entertain themselves while exercising, and even raise money for charitable endeavors.

Here are the five best running apps for experts and beginners.

Contact Strides today to get professional consultation and assistance with launching your app.

Related: What Are the Most Profitable Apps? [2021]


The Runkeeper app is a favorite of people who are new to running as a personal sport. And this running app is optimal for novice runners who want to develop training plans and exercise schedules.

Runkeeper is designed to read your smart device’s GPS data digitally. For Runkeeper to work optimally, you need to be a beginner running or exercise enthusiast. You should at least be already cycling, hiking, running, power walking, swimming, or any other distance activities for Runkeeper to work.

Runkeeper will then analyze data from your smart device’s GPS to calculate all of your exercise-related metrics. The Runkeeper app records total exercise time, distance, walking and running pace, total calories burned, and other distance exercise-related metrics.

Runkeeper will then use this information to create customized training plans, alternate distance activity routes, exercise challenges, and other gamified challenges. You will also be able to analyze your workout history, overall progress, sync Runkeeper with other apps, and receive regular reports of your distance activities.

The “Enable Audio Stats” option will allow you to receive audible time checks at predetermined time intervals as you run to motivate yourself. The Runkeeper app is not entirely automated. You can choose which distance activity metrics and statistics you want to follow and track.

The basic app is free, but you can also download an advanced version called Runkeeper Go for $40.

Runkeeper can be synched with Wear OS devices, Apple Watch, and even Spotify.

Download Runkeeper at Google Play or iTunes.

Girl running on sidewalk surrounded by trees and grass near river.


Many app industry reviewers consider Strava one of the best running apps on the market for its comprehensive calculation abilities and community connectivity and engagement abilities.

The Strava app comes with many of the usual running app features that would be optimal for use by experienced or novice runners. The Strava app can track distances traveled, running speeds, and other detailed exercise analytics. The Strava app can track daily, weekly, and monthly progress.

These metrics can be used to develop your own training plans and challenges. The Strava app can synch with a sensor to monitor your heart rate. However, the Strava app can do a lot more.

The tracking and analytical abilities of the Strava app are so precise that you can use it to track your progress on over two dozen activities. Although many people use the Strava app for cycling and exercise, you can also use it to track and optimize around 31 other exercises like yoga, swimming, canoeing, hiking, alpine skiing, rowing, stand-up paddleboarding, and more.

The community connectivity app allows you to connect and sync your exercises with family, friends, neighbors, work colleagues, and anyone else. This mutual connectivity allows everyone on the community app to see each other’s metric progress, track activities, and challenge each other with new activity challenges.

However, the logistic tracking of the Strava app is so advanced that anyone invited into the community link by others can track you, your progress, or your address. In 2018, someone used Strava’s tracking functions to reveal the locations of classified military bases.

Strava has updated the app with advanced privacy settings to allow you to mask preferred metrics, activities, and activity routes as you see fit.

The basic app is free, and the advanced functions cost $60.

Download Strava at Google Play or iTunes.


The Peloton craze of recent years has made many exercise enthusiasts want to try the advanced and interactive cycling exercise system. However, the average cost of such biking systems ranges from $1,500 to $2,500. 

This system is a cycling machine with a computer monitor mount that is connected to exercise classes where people are motivated by trainers and other fellow cyclers.

The Zwift app developers decided to downgrade this concept to be much more affordable and accessible to anyone who wants to try it. 

This app is best for people who would rather cycle or run at home than at the gym.

You must use treadmills, cycling equipment, foot pods, bike stands, or sensors compatible with Zwift’s software – here is a list.

The Zwift app allows you to break the monotony of exercising at home. You can use the app as a screen visualization where you can imagine biking or running through New York City, London, or a customizable or preprogrammed visualization.

Zwift can be synched with your tablet, smart device, computer, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or other computer devices. You can even connect with other people online to compete and motivate each other to exercise. The Zwift app has exercises preprogrammed by exercise experts as well.

Zwift running app is free. However, if you want to use the cycling aspect of the Zwift app, you can use it free for a one-week trial but would then have to subscribe to a $15 per month membership fee.

Download Zwift on Google Play or iTunes.

Woman Professional Runner listening to music on iphone.

Zombies, Run! 

Fans of The Walking Dead series or apocalyptic zombie horror films, in general, may love this app. Have you ever fantasized about how fast you could run if you encountered the undead lumbering towards you?

Well, you can wonder no more. Zombies, Run! is an exercise and running app combined with an interactive audio zombie game experience. 

The Zombies, Run! app prompts you via audio of an imaginary storyline where you are running during a zombie outbreak. The app has over two dozen story chapters where you are prompted to run to rescue survivors, gather supplies, and heroically try to save the world from a zombie apocalypse. 

You can synch your motivation music playlist to play in between the story chapters as you run as well. The theme of the app is to provide an audio-enabled imaginary adventure while you run, have some fun, and enhance exercise motivation.

However, Zombies, Run! app functionality can be configured to work as a more traditional running app. You can turn off the zombie adventure-themed audio prompts if you desire. The app can track running activities, GPS data, treadmill running distances, and step counts for power walkers.

This app is probably not optimal for serious and competitive distance runners. But the Zombies, Run! would probably be ideal for exercise enthusiasts who are easily bored by monotony, gamers, and zombie genre fans.

Download Zombies, Run! at Google Play or Itunes.

Charity Miles 

Sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to exercise, especially running, every day or every other day. It can get boring and repetitive for veteran and novice runners alike to perform the same motions and run the same routes constantly as they exercise.

Sometimes the most electrifying forms of motivation can come from knowing that your actions will positively help others in need.

The Charity Miles app tracks your GPS and distance running activities to raise money for the charity of your choice. In other words, the more that you run every day, the more money that you can raise for your preferred charities.

You can choose from over 50 charities affiliated with Charity Miles. Then you can get family, friends, employers, or volunteers to sponsor your running activities. 

Charity Miles then syncs with GPS on your phone via the Apple Health metrics calculated on an iPhone. Then you earn money for your charities with every mile you run via your sponsors.

The users of Charity Miles have earned over $2 million running for their respective charities.

Download Charity Miles from Google Play and iOS

Get in touch with the technology professional at Strides to launch your app today.

Related: How to Sell an App Idea in 6 Easy Steps

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