Top IPhone Running Apps

An IPhone App to Suit Every Runner

Running should be a simple sport. Lace up your running shoes and off you go, right? Not if you're like me and you want to take a cellphone, iPod and GPS running watch with you on your runs.

Fortunately, a number of apps use the iPhone's built-in GPS so you can leave some of these accessories at home. I put nine popular iPhone running apps to the test to find out which are worth your hard-earned money. 

Runmeter GPS 

I was blown away by the Runmeter GPS running app. It has one of the best interfaces I've come across, with large, easy-to-read numbers that are easy to see at a glance – even when you're running. Runmeter GPS is also packed with features you won't find on other running apps. Workouts are rated by how well you do in comparison to previous runs. It's motivating, I promise! There's also an automatic email program that will alert your friends or family when you've finished your run or reached a preset distance. The Runmeter GPS app integrates with Twitter and Facebook. You can customize voice alerts so you only hear the information you want. A downside is that you need earphones with a remote to control your iPod playlist. Download Runmeter GPS at iTunes

RunKeeper Pro 

RunKeeper Pro is undoubtedly the most popular of the bunch. It's also one of the more expensive apps, but I think it's well worth the money. RunKeeper Pro is highly accurate and the interface is sleek and easy to navigate. The app is very easy to use, and I'm able to get a quick view of my essential running details at a glance: time, distance, pace and calories.

The app includes several customizable running workouts and it can also shuffle songs from your iPod playlist. One downside: The audio prompts can be annoying, but there's an option in the settings menu to turn them off. Download RunKeeper Pro at iTunes

Nike+ GPS

I'd heard mixed reviews of the Nike+ GPS app, but I came away impressed after testing it out. The app is very accurate, but it still includes a calibration option so you can tweak your runs if the GPS signal happens to go out. Facebook and Twitter integrations are another plus. I still think Runmeter has the better interface overall, but Nike+ GPS is easy to see during a run and you can control your music from the display. Unfortunately, you can't stop or pause a song without stopping your workout, but that's a minor complaint. Download Nike+ at iTunes

C25K (Couch to 5K) 

C25K is one of the best running apps for beginners. You'll have to pay a little extra to unlock its GPS tracking capabilities, but the C25K app takes you step by step through a nine-week training plan. It's designed for true beginners, hence the name Couch to 5K. You'll start out by alternating running and walking until you can run a full 3.1 miles. The app is easy to use and you can control your iPod playlist right from the main display. I do have a few nitpicky complaints about the GPS tracking, mainly that you can't really use it independent of the training plan, but C25K is a great app for those who are new to the sport. Download C25K at iTunes

Map My Tracks

MapMyTracks is another running app that is super easy to use. In fact, it has the fastest GPS time of all those I've tested. It only took a second or two to acquire a strong GPS signal in my tests. The app also does a good job at maintaining its GPS signal, which ensures excellent accuracy. The app integrates with Facebook and Twitter, and your running data is automatically transmitted to your free account at The only disappointment is that it doesn't include iPod controls on the homepage, which is a big downside for a running app. The numbers for pace and distance would also be easier to read if they were a bit bigger. Download Map My Tracks at iTunes

Endomondo Sports Tracker 

Endomondo has a great modern interface that's uncluttered and nice to look at. It displays distance, time, speed and average speed in numbers that are relatively easy to see while running. The GPS tracker was accurate in my testing, and I like the neat PepTalk feature that transmits messages from friends as long as they send them through Of course, that feature would be a lot cooler if it integrated with Twitter or Facebook. However, my biggest complaint with this app is that it doesn't include iPod controls. Download Endomondo at iTunes

Runtastic PRO

This app monitors your time, speed and distance, and it follows your route in real time with a Google Earth-type view – a nice touch. Runtastic includes a personal exercise diary and training plans, and the dashboard is configurable. It's loaded with features for workouts, competitions, training and even for other sports like skiing or cycling. One drawback is that some add-on services are expensive. Download Runtastic PRO at iTunes 


This is a nifty app for those who like to explore new areas when they run. It shares the most common features of other running apps, but it also includes a navigator that will alert you to new and unknown jogging trails, complete with voice prompts to guide you so you don't get lost. It requires a subscription, but if you upgrade to premium, RunGo will lead you to routes that have been given thumbs-ups by local runners who know the area, along with notes as to safety and scenic points of interest. Download RunGo at iTunes 


I had more issues with testing iMapMyRun+ than I did with any of the other iPhone running apps. It had problems acquiring GPS satellites during my first run, and it never did get a reliable signal – it counted only about a mile of my 3.5-mile run, although subsequent runs went more smoothly. You might want to try moving away from trees or tall buildings if you're getting inaccurate readings. IMapMyRun+ includes Twitter and Facebook integration, and it will also play or shuffle songs from your iPod. The interface is fine, but I would like to see a larger font for current and average pace on the run detail page. Download iMapMyRun+ at iTunes

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