In a previous blog I wrote about how to bring technology into your running by discussing what gadgets will enrich your running life. Maybe you’ve bought a GPS watch or some Bluetooth headphones. I hope you’re enjoying using them! In this blog I’ll tell you about the best apps to download and link to your watch, other useful running apps and the best websites to find information about upcoming races and running in general. Disclaimer – this article may lead you to abandon your family or work for several hours at a time. I cannot accept responsibility for any divorce proceedings or disciplinaries!
You’ve probably heard a lot of sporty types mention this! Strava is an app with over a million users worldwide and is used by both runners and cyclists alike. It links to the GPS navigation on either your phone or your watch to track your progress on a run or ride. You can then analyse your performance with all the precision of Gary Neville at the Skypad on Monday Night Football. Similar to Twitter you can follow other athletes and/or they can follow you. Certain parts of your run or ride may be identified as a ‘Segments’ (this could be a hill or long straight road, for example) – you can compete to be the fastest Strava athlete on this segment, or just aim to better your own time. At the end of every year Strava will present you with a lovely video summarising your annual performance, including the number of activities, minutes and miles you logged!
Similar to Strava but without so much detailed analysis. If you’d prefer something more basic – go for this one. Like Strava, has a free version, and a premium upgrade which includes more features.
You know how on the coverage of the Tour de France they do a funky CGI aerial tour of each stage? Well this app does that for your runs! Yes, you can relive the pain of that 9% hill over and over again… Not particularly useful but strangely satisfying!
As much as we love spending time with our clients, your We Run Coach can’t be with you all of the time! This app focuses on your cadence (steps per minute) and lets you know if you’re running too quickly or too slowly. It even works on top of your music player. Or how about:
These two apps actually work with the music stored on your phone. They pick tunes from your collection to match the speed you are running, helping you keep up a solid tempo or relaxed jog throughout your run.
Ok, Ok, so I don’t really need to recommend this or even include a link to the page – because you’re here! Great choice! On the We Run site you can find your local We Run Coach, download free training plans, get free workout routines and read inspirational stories and fascinating blogs from extremely handsome bloggers.
Runbritain has ranked every single runner who has run an officially licensed race in the UK! They do this via a handicap system, (very similar to golf) which will take into account not only race times but how tough the course and conditions were. The current British Number One is – of course – Mo Farah, who has a handicap of -7.1. (That’s minus 7.1!) If you’ve run an officially recognised race you should be able to find your own page with your handicap history, your national position, your position within your postcode area and your position within your age group within your locality. It doesn’t give you a full local list, which is annoying as I’ve been wavering between Number 1 and 2 M40 since I moved to this area six months ago and I’d love to know who my rival is!
Runbritain also has a list of upcoming races where you can refine your search by region, distance, terrain, course profile and other variables.
If you’ve exhausted the information from the We Run site and still want more then you are unlikely to ever reach the end of Runners World! This site also has race calendars, only this time with race reviews from people who’ve run them before. Other great features include a runner’s forum where you can lament your latest injury and a pretty accurate race time predictor.
For great stories and useful information – We Run and Runners World
For upcoming races – Runners World and Runbritain
For race results and national rankings – Runbritain
To analyse and store your runs – Strava or MapMyRun
For funky run flyovers – Relive
To regulate your stride and keep you going – Running Cadence, Music Motion or Record Beater