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3 Apps Every Runner Should Use

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Meet, Clint Murphy, an avid runner, marathoner, ultra-marathoner, and self-proclaimed app-junky. If there’s an app, he knows about it and he has probably studied it in great length.

Clint’s improved his running and fitness through app technology, and here at Sweatworks, there’s nothing more that we love than fitness inspired technology. Clint’s going to walk you through three apps you need to try starting with our very own client, Strava, who we worked with to integrate Samsung Watches with Strava. 

Let’s get running: 

Clint Murphy is an app junky. If there’s an app, he knows about it and he has probably studied it in great length.

He’s also an avid runner—he has completed dozens of half-marathons, multiple marathons and has been dabbling with ultra-marathons in recent years—which means he knows all the best running apps available at any given time.

Murphy is adamant: “Strava s definitely number one,” he said.

1. Strava 

Essentially, Strava (https://www.strava.com/) is like a social network for runners and cyclists, meaning it’s not just about helping you plan and track your runs, it’s also about connecting you with your community. 

Like many apps, Strava tracks your runs or rides via GPS or smartphone, but it also lets you share your rides and connect with other like-minded running enthusiasts. This is what Murphy loves about it most.

“Strava has a great social community, (meaning it gives you the) ability to follow people, whether friends or professionals and build a support network,” he explained. “You can also see the best runs in your area, and see who’s the “king of the mountain” for certain segments (of the course), which is big with runners and cyclists.”

It can also map your performances over time so you can keep track of your progress, he explained.

For 544 days straight, Murphy logged everything on Strava and then was able to compare his speed and performance against himself, “which was awesome,” he said. 

Further, with Strava, you can live track your data and synchronize your smart devices to analyze your pace and heart rate, among other things. 

Finally, Murphy enjoys the challenges Strava puts out each month, such as how many km you can run this month. 

“Some are sponsored and you can win different prizes from companies you like,” he said. 

This also gives various companies a chance to build their brand and connect with their followers, as they often advertise local events through Strava.

“Brands follow you and they invite you to runs in your area,” said Murphy. This goes a long way in motivating users to keep on running.

Key Strava Features include:

  • Tracks and analyzes every aspect of your activity
  • Measures your performance by recording just about any performance metric you can think of
  • Connects your with friends and and allows your to share your adventures via your strata feed

2. MapMyRun

MapMyRun (https://www.mapmyrun.com/) has been around for a long time, but it’s still incredibly relevant today.

“It’s all about route selection,” Murphy said. This is especially useful if you’re new to an area, or on vacation visiting a new city, as you can check out the runs people in the area do and even sort them by distance.

“When I was in Europe, whether Paris, London or Italy, I was able to find runs of the length and variety I wanted,” Murphy said. 

He added: “Also, it synchronizes with your phone’s GPS and headphones so that while I’m running, the voice pauses my music or podcast and says, “In 100 meters, turn right on Villa Tremblay,” so I don’t have to look at the map…I’ve got my watch on, phone in a pocket and am listening to music.”

Key MapMyRun Features:

  • Helps you create running routes
  • Tracks your routes, including live tracking for others to see
  • Logs your routes
  • Tracks your steps, your speed, your elevation and calories burned etc on each run you take. It also has the ability to do a cadence analysis of your run that you can analyze after.
  • Allows you to see other routes people in your area are doing
  • Connects to your gears and devices via bluetooth (such as Polar heart monitors, smart headphones, smart bikes, Apples Watches, FitBits, Garmin etc etc…)
  • Allows you to export your workouts to .xml format so you have it whenever you need it 

3. Training Peaks

Training Peaks (https://www.trainingpeaks.com/) is a great app if you’re working with a coach and following a specific running program, Murphy explained. 

In fact, Training Peaks will help you find and hire a coach to program appropriate workouts for you and your goals.

“But you may want to simplify and use a cloud-based Google sheets,” Murphy explained, adding this was the most effective way for him and his coach to communicate when he was working with a running coach.

That being said, even if you’re not working with a coach, Training Peaks can be useful for planning and logging your workouts. And with its Garmin Connect AutoSync feature, you can sync your workouts, which allows for a seamless training experience, where you can create and track structures workouts in real-time through your Garmin device, and then receive an analysis of your run once you have completed it. 

Key Training Peaks features:

  • Find a coach
  • Create an annual training plan
  • Plan your workouts
  • Track your workouts, as well as your fatigue, recovery and form (complete analysis of your workouts)
  • Export your workouts
  • View all peak performances

The best part: All of these apps are free to download and to use. So make your life, and your running, easier and get Strava. Or MapMyRun. Or Training Peaks. Or all three!

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