5 Best Free Running Apps for 2021

Whether you’re training for your first 5k or your fifth marathon, the best running apps available will help you track your training and help you reach your goals. Yet, the wide choice of running apps can seem overwhelming. Like a class at the gym, there’s no one-size-fits-all running app, and each has its pros and cons to suit different runs. To make your life easier, I’ve put together a list of the five best running apps for 2021.  

There’s no excuse not to download at least one of these running apps. Developers have created an application for just about every type of runner. No matter what category you fall under, you can use this list of running apps to create a cardio workout that’s best for you and your needs.  

Also, if you’re looking for more great app suggestions, I suggest you check out this link and this post here.  

Runkeeper — Distance Run Tracker

Whether you’re just getting into running, training for a race, or trying to reach a new personal record, Runkeeper can help. It allows you to track exercise, set measurable goals, and see progress along the way. Plus, you can choose a personalized running plan that’s right for you.

5k Runner: Couch to 5k Trainer

5k Runner ranks on many “best of” lists as one of the better running apps for beginners. It tracks your running, gives you a pace to strive for, and more. Training completes in about eight weeks for a 5k and gives you the option to train for a 10k or half marathon. Other features include time and distance tracking, integration with music, and heart rate monitor support. My favorite part is that the app is free, but if you wish to go with “premium” features, you only pay $9.99 for “lifetime access.” No pesky monthly or annual subscriptions.

Google Fit (Google Pixel and FitWatch)

Many of the recommended apps are for Apple and Android users, but I wanted to recommend those using the new Google Pixel phones and FitWatch technology.  Google Fit worked with the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association to offer two unique fitness programs. Move Minutes tracks your resting activity and provides suggestions to stay active. Heart Points motivate moderate exercise, such as walking your dog, and double points for more intense activities like running. The best part is that Google Fit is compatible with other running apps, such as Nike+ Run Club.

Zombies, Run

Do you find jogging to be boring and monotonous? Try the Zombies, Run app. It uses immersive audio to put you in the middle of a zombie apocalypse story. Each run becomes a mission to collect much-needed supplies while outrunning zombie hordes. With over 200 “missions,” this is the perfect way to liven up your fitness routine.


The benefit to the Aaptiv app is that it’s, well, adaptive to your needs. With over 1,000 workout videos (and 30 new workout videos added per week), Aaptiv aims to be the fitness app of choice that includes customized music selections and training programs. Be warned, though, that Aaptiv is not free, but a 7-day trial period is available to sample.

One More Thing

Was there a running app that I missed? What’s your favorite? I’d love to hear your thoughts at hello@heartandsoulblog.com. Also, please be sure to subscribe to the Heart & Soul Newsletter to receive more great tips straight to your inbox each week.  

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