I usually run with my phone when I head out not only for safety reasons but also to track my run and to listen to music. I wanted to do a round up of a few of my favorite running apps, or ones that I think might be beneficial to those who are just starting running!
I track every run with Run Keeper. I previously used Map My Run, but it’s mileage tracker was usually off and when running longer distances it started to matter how far off it became. When I track my run, it’s all about having it for my own personal records. Personally, I don’t want to compete with others or share it on social media. I know that Strava and a few other apps have that option which is cool if that’s what you’re looking for. I can see how it can be motivating but I just want to track my run for myself. RunKeeper has great features too like tracking elevation, pace and it also has a web based portal which is nice because I don’t have to access everything from my phone all the time.
For music, which I usually listen to while running, I switch between Pandora, my downloaded music on my iPhone, Rock My Run or Umano. I’m just becoming familiar with Rock My Run and I like it a lot! It offers interesting mixes at certain Beats Per Minute to keep you going the same pace and it’s great when you know how long your run is going to be because you can make a choice based on time as well. I really do well with more upbeat songs so having them at a certain beat per minute helps me out a lot. Umano is interesting because it curates news articles for you that you may be interested in and reads them to you. It actually helps because sometimes there are a few news stories I do want to read but I just don’t have the time so it’s great to ‘favorite’ them and then listen to them out while I’m running. It’s much different listening to stories or spoken word while I’m out running because I am so used to music, but it is nice on a longer run or when I’m not feeling the music that is playing.
As for safety, usually I’m running at practice with the team, but when I go out solo, I always make sure B knows where I am and where my planned route is and approximately how long I will be gone for. We also have an app called Couple, which I really like and it allows me to share my location with him. I also like using the RoadID app, which is another way he can track me and see where I am running at and you can customize the lock screen of the phone to have an easy access to call whoever you would like. I haven’t had any issues yet, but I’d much rather be proactive with safety while out running.
For food tracking and nutrition, when I’m actually trying really hard to work out and watch what I’m eating, I use MyNetDiary. It has a lot of foods stored in it when I try to enter them as ‘eaten’ and shows my calories for the day and my targeted calories for my goals. Again, I’m sure you could possibly share it online and use it with other people, but I’d rather just keep it to myself.
If you’re just starting out, try out one of the free Couch to 5K programs. They keep you on track and give you specific workouts to do each day to get you to your 5K goal. I know a lot of people who have done their first 5K with it and really like it! Hope these apps help you out!