BUYING GUIDES- Apple Watch, Running, Wearables

Best Running Apps for Apple Smartwatches

Namrata Sona

23 February, 2021 - 7 MINUTES READ

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Apple Smartwatches are the number one wearables in the market. Almost all models of these hi-tech watches have in-built GPS, which makes them perfect for runners and gym bunnies.

Moreover, these wearables have LTE connectivity that lets you stream music. The new series of Apple Smartwatches designed with WatchOS 5 operating system are equipped to handle the tracking requirements of runners and outdoor enthusiasts. With Smartwatch and fitness tracking features, Apple wearables are best suited for both regular and outdoor use.

Also, there are many Apple apps designed for runners. In this guide, we will look into some of the best running apps for Apple Smartwatches.

Nike+ Run Club

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With its trendy design and inspiring features, the Nike + Run Club app reflects Nike’s Just Do it vibe. This app has Audio Guided Runs, which features guided running and workout sessions from athletes and Nike coaches. Setting up this app and launching it is very easy. You just need to add the Nike+ Run Club complication to your Apple Watch face and use the Quick Start option to start using it.

You can choose to display options such as duration, speed runs, distance, and more. The Match Your Last Run feature will motivate you to beat your previous record. If you have a Series 3 Apple watch, then you can use the barometric sensor to track the elevation during your runs. This Nike app also tracks duration, heart rate, and distance. You need to rotate the crown to check either the pace or distance stats during a run. Use the indoor mode in the app to track metrics during your treadmill runs. However, you need to manually change from outdoor to indoor tracking.

The downside of this app is that the in-run screen doesn’t always display the accurate pace at which you are running. Plus, it doesn’t give you the average pace stat. While tracking treadmill runs, there are differences between the distance stats on the wearable and the treadmill. The top features of this app are the compilation support and reminder for the next run. Download the app for free and start using it right away.

Strava Running

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The Strava Running app works directly from your Apple Smartwatch and doesn’t need Smartphone support. It tracks basic running metrics such as duration, distance, splits, and heart rate. You can directly launch the app from the home screen compilation. Download for free.

Endomondo

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Endomondo tracking app from Under Armour is specifically designed for Apple Smartwatches. You can launch the app directly from the compilation on the watch face. It offers both indoor and outdoor tracking. The screen displays current pace, distance, duration, and HR while you’re running.

Swipe left to check the stats in detail. Swipe again to check your current BPM and the breakup of the specs from the 5 heart zones. A huge downside of this app is that it doesn’t use GPS, which means you need to use the GPS from your Smartwatch. Also, there is no history.

So, after you view the stats, there’s no way to go back and check the specs of your past runs. This app also doesn’t have music control, map, elevation, or cadence. If you are looking for a basic app that gives you current running stats, then the Endomodo is a good option. Download for free.

Apple Workout

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The Apple Workout is a powerful app for fitness tracking, and more so if you have Apple Smartwatch with WatchOS 5. This app has both indoor and outdoor tracking modes. You also get plenty of workouts from this app.

This workout app tracks average pace, rolling pace, current pace, duration, distance, active calories and total calories. It also offers cadence tracking, exercise detection and analyses your last km or mile speed. Use the edit option in the companion app to decide on which stats you want to be displayed on the screen.

You can choose either the single view or multiple metric view. Swipe left to play music and swipe right to pause or end. You can directly launch the app from the compilation on the home screen.

Runkeeper

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With the Runkeeper app, you can create workout sets such as 10 minute easy workout, 2 or 2.5 miles with rest. You can also create custom workouts using your iPhone app and sync it with this app in the wearable.

This app also lets you set a target pace and maximum heart rate during your workouts. Directly launch the app from the compilation on the home screen. The display screen splits into three sections in the run mode with the top section displaying duration and strength of GPS signal. With a tap on the middle section, you can switch between current pace and distance.

Tap the bottom section to switch between current and average pace or current pace and heart rate. It doesn’t store history, so you need to check your historical stats on your synced Smartphone. Download this app for free.

JogRunSprint

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The JogRunSprint gives a twist to your regular workout. The workout is simple – jog for 30 seconds, run for 20 seconds and then sprint for 10 seconds. Take a quick break and repeat the three steps again.

You can set the number of jog-run-sprint sets and interval times using the iPhone app. The smartwatch tracks the distance covered in each set and transfers the data to your watch. However, you need to hit the 99p mark to access the past data. This method makes your daily workouts more interesting and challenging.

The JogRunSprint app works without the phone and can be directly launched from the home screen compilation. Available for free download.

SIT (Simple Interval Timer)

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The Simple Interval Timer is a simple workout app that will help you customize the number of sets, rest time, and workout duration using the iPhone app.

After you’ve custom created the workout session, click on Hit Go and start your workout. The screen displays the number of sets, remaining time in the current set, rest period, and current heart rate.

The SIT app works without the phone and is available for free download.

Runtastic Pro

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You can directly launch the app from the compilation on the home screen. The Start screen gives you three options, from which you can choose your activity. You can also use the Live Tracking option to allow your family members to track your real-time progress. You can also choose to have voice updates.

In the running mode, the app displays current pace, distance, duration, heart rate zone, and heart rate on one screen. You don’t have the option to customize the display. Use swipe left to control music, skip tracks, or pause the music. Also, these controls work for iTunes music and not for Spotify or other music streaming apps.

After your workout ends, you can share an emoticon about how you felt during the workout, your experience, the track and terrain details, and more. The activity summary includes average pace, max heart rate, elevation gain, elevation loss, max elevation, max speed, distance, calories, duration, dehydration, and calories. But, once you hit Close, all the data disappears from your wearable, but can be accessed on your iPhone.

This running app is available in both free and paid versions. For the premium paid version, you need to spend 500 INR while the free version comes loaded with ads. Even if you go for the paid version, you need to spend another 5,000 INR annually for add-on features. When you spend so much, you would like to get an app that’s super functional and feature rich. But sadly, that’s not the case. There were many glitches while testing this app. In some places, the app was unresponsive and simply “froze.”

RunGo

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RunGo offers basic running tracking such as pace, splits, distance, and elevation. It also offers 70,000 pre-installed routes that you can select for your runs or build your own offline route.

This app has the ARKit feature that lets users view routes and directions using virtual reality. The app can be directly launched from the home screen compilation. The premium feature offers interval training as well as live tracking for friends and family members who follow you.

The specialty of this tracker is that it offers voice assistance for the visually disabled. If you own a Series 2 Apple Smartwatch, you can access the workouts without the phone. Download for free.