Running made easy, one app at a time

Katie Leyton

Who’s that person at the gym on their phone? Is it you?

Whether it’s at the gym, home or work, we have all become dependent on technology. However, I don’t think it’s about how much you use your phone, but knowing when and when not to use it. Running is definitely one of those times to put your phone to use.

Trying to find the motivation to run can be a difficult task, but with the help of some awesome (and free) apps, running can be a little less painless, or even, dare I say it, fun!

Here are my four favorite apps to use while running:

Pandora Radio: Having a reliable workout playlist can make running 100 times more enjoyable. Pandora has its own genre titled, “Workout,” which contains so many great stations like Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout, Rap Strength Training, Electronic Cardio, and Hard Rock Strength Training to help you power through your run. No matter what type of music you listen to, Pandora has a station to help you run faster to the beat of some fast-tempo songs.

Nike+Running: This app has so many cool tips and tricks to help track your run, calories and even how you felt during the distance. The best part is its ability to create challenges. Last semester I joined a challenge to train for a half marathon, and each day, there was a certain number of miles to run as well as different activities that helped me reach my goal of 13.1 miles. You can even add friends on the app and challenge them to reach certain distances, such as “run 10 miles this week,” or “run 500 miles in a year,” which is one I’ve started with a few of my friends this year. The challenges will help keep you motivated and stay in competition mode.

Interval Timer: If you don’t like running long distances, this is the app for you. The app gives you the ability to set up time internals, such as running for a minute and a half and then sprinting for one minute for 10 sets. Interval training has proven to give runners successful results and, knowing that you only have to sprint for one minute at a time, makes the run go by much faster. If you do fast intervals, you can reach three miles in no time.

My Fitness Pal (Calorie Counter): The calorie counting app won’t help you too much with physically running, but it’s a great app to keep on your phone and update throughout the day. This app allows you to create goals, like how many calories you want to eat per day, by making it easy to enter what you eat and how much as well as what brand. You can even add in the exercises you do throughout the day. You can also connect with your friends who have the app. It’s like your own life-coach. 

These are just a few apps that I keep on my phone to help me power through my run or workout, but of course, there are hundreds of running, fitness or workout apps available. Some give you ideas on exercises that target certain areas of your body (try Sworkit) or some that literally make you run for your life (look up Zombies, Run). When it comes to fitness, using these apps can help increase your motivation as near the finish line.

Contact Katie Leyton at [email protected].