7 Apps for Runners

image: istockphoto.com/ gpointstudio

image: istockphoto.com/ gpointstudio

Marathon fever hit the South Shore Sunday, Sept. 13 for the first-ever Suffolk County Marathon and Half Marathon, and it heads over to the Hamptons on Saturday, Sept. 26 for the Hamptons Marathon and Half Marathon. Whether you’re training for a 26.2-mile trek or have been inspired to lace up your own running sneakers and finally get around to that resolution you set in January to shape up, you’re going to want to track your progress. Thankfully, that fifth limb you call your smartphone is loaded with apps that show you your time, pace, calories burned and mileage. Some even go so far as to give you encouragement, adjust your music to your pace and a little extra motivation in the form of zombies. Yes, zombies. I sorted through the app store to bring you seven of the best.

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Nike+ Running

Nike+ Running gives you the basic stats, like pace, total time, calories burned and distance. Power your workout with your favorite Spotify playlist, which can be streamed directly within the app. Hate the song that’s playing during your run? No need to fiddle around with your phone. The in-run experience gives you your map, music controls and time, pace, mileage and pause/resume buttons (helpful for when you hit a red light) all on one screen. Use the coach feature to train for a 5k, 10k, 15k, half marathon or marathon. After you nail your run, prove to your friends that you really ran an 8-minute mile by sharing it to Facebook. Free, nike.com

Zombie’s, Run!

So you hate running. Well, imagine your life depended on it because with Zombie’s, Run! it does. More than 1 million players and 200 missions, including options for interval training, have turned this sensational app into the biggest smartphone fitness game ever. Earn prizes (aka supplies) to rebuild your town, the one that those evil zombies destroyed. Maybe they’re not so evil, though, because those zombie chases are getting your heart racing and scorching the real enemy: that beer gut you’ve been trying to lose for two decades. Free, zombiesrungame.com 

Map My Run

The name suggests it’s more of a GPS for your run, but Map My Run helps you track all the tools you need for a healthy lifestyle. In addition to tracking calories, distance and elevation, Map My Run allows you to log your food, showing you a complete picture of your health. And of course, there’s the social aspect. Add friends and give them some encouragement or push one another with some friendly competition using the challenge feature. $2.99, mapmyrun.com

Spotify Running

Spotify Running is for the person who just wants to get out there, block the noise and run a couple loops. The app finds your tempo and plays music to match, aiming to keep you in time with the beat and train at your desired pace. It doesn’t track distance, so it’s not ideal for long runs, but it’s great for keeping you pumped during a four-mile interval or progression workout, or if you’re just looking to burn off some steam after a long day at the office. Free, spotify.com

Endomondo

Wannabe life coaches, social butterflies and Facebook addicts will love Endomondo. Start a neighborhood challenge and create a route for it or challenge your friend’s PR. If you’re more of the rah-rah type, send your crew pep talks and use the audio coach for an extra push towards your time, distance and calorie-burning goals. On race day, take tons of photos with your friends and tag them. Free, endomondo.com

Couch to 5k

A great choice for newbies to the running game, including everyone out there who swears they’re too busy to work out. Sign up for a nine-week plan designed by Active.com trainers that requires just 20 to 30 minutes of running three times per week. $1.99, active.com

Runkeeper

Get what you really want out of your workout with plans customized by Runkeeper for your goals, whether it’s losing weight, challenging yourself, getting fit, learning to run or training for a race. For added motivation to stick with it, Runkeeper rewards loyal users with sweet deals, like meet-and-greets with athletes and shopping discounts for New Balance gear. You can track your progress on your phone or look at it on the big screen (your computer), and the app also works with the Sony SmartWatch 3. Free, $10 for Run Keeper Pro, runkeeper.com

beth ann clyde

beth ann clyde

Beth Ann Clyde is a social strategist of Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email bethann@lipulse.com or reach out on Twitter @BAClyde.