7 Best Apple Watch Apps for Running

These are the best apps to experience runner's high.

7 Best Apple Watch Apps for Running

We live in a time where you’ll find an app for everything. I mean everything! Want to make noodles? there are recipe apps; curious about French? You can learn languages too. Want a plumber at your doorstep in the next 60 minutes? You’ve got it!

Some apps are made for people to help them be productive, apps that can help you sleep, meditate, or log your water and food intake.

For those looking for Apple Watch apps to help you get running, you should find dozens of options that will track your course, run metrics, analysis, and make your sessions more informed and enjoyable.

Doesn’t matter if you are running on the ground or the treadmill in your living room, these 7 best Apple Watch apps for running will push you further and make you a better runner.

Why do you need a Running App on Apple Watch?

People often ask why they need a running app when Apple does provide a pretty strategic one in the form of Workout. The answer is easy – for those looking for an app that provides dedicated running analysis that can help them train for a marathon, an extra app is worth it.

Some apps provide the support of communities to keep you accounted for, while some are great at customized workout and running statistics. But all of these apps will help you be consistent with your motivation and razor-sharp focus.

These third-party running apps will help you achieve a little more than Apple’s default Fitness or Workout apps.

Before we move on to the apps, let’s take a look at some safety tips for the next time you venture out for your running session on a road.

Road safety tips for when you are out Running

If you are an experienced runner, you know that running isn’t easy, and worrying about external factors only will make the session hard enough.

So, here are a few road safety tips if you go out for your running sessions with your Apple Watch. After all, if you don’t follow these, the worst that could happen is that you’ll die!

  • Whenever possible, run on sidewalks.
  • Follow all the rules of the road in your area.
  • If there’s no sidewalk, you should run facing traffic.
  • Run as far from traffic as possible.
  • Be alert all the time.
  • If you run with your headphones, don’t play music at full volume. At best, use some form of transparency mode if available.
  • Don’t use your phones while running.
  • Cross the streets at intersections or crosswalks.
  • Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
  • You should never assume that a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.
  • Be visible by wearing bright clothing during the day and reflective materials at night. You can also use a headlamp at night.

7 Best Apple Watch Apps for Running

These apps are for everyone, whether you are a veteran at running or just started. I have gauged a wide range of apps for runners for their Apple Watch. So, scroll below to keep reading about the 7 best Apple Watch apps for running that will help you be precise, keep you consistent, and motivated in your training.

1. Nike Run Club

7 Best Apple Watch Apps for Running

Nike Run Club is the best running app for Apple Watch which has even existed even before Apple Watch forayed into its fitness segment.

The app includes an incredible community with expert coaches who will impart tons of motivation to help you reach the finish line.

If your goal is to prepare for 5K, 10K, or even a half marathon, you can take advantage of Nike Run Club’s best-guided run features that include interactive plans for your goals and cater to your fitness level.

The spotlight feature of the app is shoe tagging which lets you track the mileage on your shoes. You can also identify your running speed for each pair. Moreover, if you are training with worn-out shoes, the app will warn you when it’s time to get a new pair. Isn’t that a neat feature?

Those looking for easy training, community advice, and a helpful feed to improve physical fitness will love Nike Run Club. What’s more? It’s free to use and favored by Nike users.

Main features:

  • Best for runners who are beginners and regulars.
  • Tracks the mileage on all your shoes with shoe tagging.
  • Get in-run audio cheers from friends
  • Earn milestone badges and trophies for streaks and personal bests.

Pricing: Completely free

Download Nike Run Club

2. Workout

7 Best Apple Watch Apps for Running

When it comes to the default apps, Apple’s serve the purpose. The workout app has a host of workouts, right from Running, HIIT, and Outdoor/Indoor walks to Yoga. It can also detect cycling if you haven’t chosen the option.

Workouts is an app that will work for most people, like me. I oscillate between HIIT, Outdoor Walk, and sometimes Yoga. I see essential information related to the workouts such as duration, current pace, active/total calories, distance, heart rate, and more. You can choose the order in which these units are displayed. What’s more? It’s even possible to create your custom workouts with periods of running or distance running followed by recovery periods.

This all happens on a single screen. When you swipe right while the workout is in progress, you can access your Now Playing widget, if you are using it. Swiping left will give you two main options – pause or end your current workout.

After you’re done with your run, your stats screen shows comprehensive information, such as time, distance, active calories, overall calories, average pace, and average heart rate.

The Workouts app ticks most boxes. It’s an overall great app that provided a wide range of different workouts, and the best part, it’s free.

Main features:

  • Easy reminders to start or end your workouts.
  • Automatically pauses and resumes your workout for running and cycling.
  • Mark segments in your workout to track laps or distances.
  • Running metrics show how you run: Vertical Oscillation, Stride Length, and Ground Contact Time.

Pricing: Completely free

In-built app

3. Strava: Run, Bike, Hike

7 Best Apple Watch Apps for Running

Strava is one of the oldest and most well-known running apps and its versatility is what made it a strong presence on the App Store. The app lets you create groups to track your progress and compete with friends and family, which are two good features to stay accountable. This can also be fun if you choose to see it that way.

For Triathletes, Strava helps you track your hike and ride with great accuracy. You’ll also see recommendations of different tracks from its intelligent system which you can explore based on your preferences.

The paid version lets you do more – track more than 30 additional activities and shows detailed insights.

If you want an accurate running app with a strong UI for your Apple Watch, then Strava is the one for you.

Main features:

  • Records 30+ sports activities – running, hikes, cycling, yoga, and more.
  • Robust training log.
  • Share your real-time location with loved ones while outdoors.
  • Syncs with a majority of apps and devices.

Pricing: Free; $11.99-$79.99

Download Strava: Run, Bike, Hike

4. ASICS Runkeeper – Running App

7 Best Apple Watch Apps for Running

ASICS Runkeeper is one of the best Apple Watch apps for running. It’s also one of the oldest and has a loyal following. This is a standalone app that frees you from your iPhone.

The app has some great workout options and running is one of them. You get all the essential information related to your running session – distance, time, pace, and heart rate. You can also swipe to other screens to see the heart rate zone you’re working in along with the current and upcoming intervals.

As for other workouts, there are pre-set workouts like 2 Miles with Rest or 20 Minutes Easy Workout; you can also create your custom workouts on your iPhone. You can access them on your Apple Watch.

ASICS Runkeeper is a free app but if you need live tracking, progress insights, and training plans, you can sign up for a Runkeeper Go subscription.

Main features:

  • Record activities like running with GPS or manually.
  • Apple Health integration keeps your Runkeeper workout details handy.
  • Listen to audio with Apple Music and Spotify integration.
  • Join in-app challenges, gain exercise rewards, and share achievements.

Pricing: Free; $9.99-$39.99

Download ASICS Runkeeper

5. Couch to 5K Runner

Couch to 5K Runner

As the name suggests, Couch to 5K Runner is an app that will help running enthusiasts become a runner and one day run a marathon. The app is great for those who will be running after a long time or are a complete beginner.

After you’ve installed the app, you’ll need to answer a few questions such as your age, height, weight, your running goal, running experience, and reasons for starting to run. This helps the app generate a starting point for your running plan so that you can skip ahead to runs that are accurate for you. If you’re using the app for free, you’ll have to start from Week 1, Day 1. To skip ahead, you’ll need a paid subscription.

For beginners, you’ll start out running for one minute and then walk for 90 seconds. This process is repeated six times. In your eighth week, you should be able to run 5K without any hurdles.

Couch to 5K Runner is a fantastic app as its sole focus is making people run gradually. If that sounds like an activity for you, download the app.

Main features:

  • Listen to your music along with the Human coach voice.
  • Compatible with all GPS and music apps.
  • Ability to skip or repeat parts of a workout.
  • Alternating run intervals.

Pricing: Free; $5.99-$24.99

Download Couch to 5K Runner

6. Map My Run by Under Armour

7 Best Apple Watch Apps for Running

If you are bored of running on the same track frequently, then the Map My Run app will help you combat that. The app helps you find new routes every time you run, making your running journey a little less monotonous and more gratifying.

You can log over 600 activities. Yes, this is indeed a feature-packed app. The app also has real-time audio coaching on GPS-tracked runs so that you know what you are doing. The app also supports live tracking that shares your real-time running location to make your running session more secure.

There’s also the integration with popular apps like Apple Health, FitBit, Garmin, and more.

Main features:

  • Log 600+ activities.
  • Real-time audio coaching on GPS-tracked runs.
  • Easy integration with other apps and wearables like Apple Health, Gramin, FitBit, etc.
  • Live Tracking to share the real-time running location.

Pricing: Free; $5.99-$59.99

Download Map My Run

7. Adidas Running – Run Tracker

7 Best Apple Watch Apps for Running

Adidas Running, formerly called, Runtastic is one of the best Apple Watch apps for running. The app comes with great features that also include tracking for a wide range of other sports, too.

You can keep your iPhone at home when you’ll go running with the Adidas Running app on your Apple Watch as you’ll be able to see your distance, current pace, heart rate, the time elapsed, and your current heart rate zone. Another best feature of the app is voice updates that you’ll receive as you run.

Like Map, My Run, Adidas Running also has Live Tracking, which you can turn on. It lets your followers see where you are and even cheer you on as you run.

The free version of the app lets you set a workout goal for distance or duration, but if you want to set a combined distance and duration goal or a calories burned goal, then the premium membership is what you need. This also unlocks training plans, target pace, interval training, and more.

Main features:

  • Virtual Races to race with athletes around the world.
  • Built-in GPS tracking.
  • Choose a personal goal for the sport of your choice: Distance, duration, or consistency.

Pricing: Free; $1.99-$44.99

Download Adidas Running


1. Does Apple Watch have running apps?

Yes, Apple Watch has an in-built running app called Workout. It houses over 15 various workouts, ranging from Yoga, Outdoor Walk, HIIT, Open Water Swim, and more. The best part? It’s completely free!

2. Which app is better, Strava or Nike Run Club?

Nike Run Club is a free app with no hidden purchases, while Starva has some in-app purchases. As for the features, the latter has a feature that shows elapsed time and the moving time, whereas Nike Run Club only shows elapsed timing. This makes it difficult to analyze your run time.

3. Can Apple Watch last a marathon?

If you have a Series 5 or newer Apple Watch, it can last a whole marathon and more – provided you charge it to 100% and go for the marathon immediately. According to a user on marathonhandbook.com, he started his marathon with his Apple Watch fully charged, and 4hrs and 14 minutes later the battery was at 74%.

4. How do I optimize my Apple Watch for running?

Optimizing your Apple Watch for running is easy. Simply go to the ‘My Watch tab’ of the Watch app on your phone > tap on ‘Privacy’ and choose Reset Fitness Calibration Data. Apple recommends recalibrating the watch by taking it out on a jog in a flat open area where you get good reception.

5. Which Apple Watch Ultra watch face is best for runners?

The Wayfinder watch face is available exclusively for Apple Watch Ultra only. It provided essential information important through the amazing complications. Make sure you experiment with the way you want your watch face to look.


These are the 7 best Apple Watch apps for running that will keep you accountable when you’re tuckered out from a heatwave, winter wind, or from a long day.

Apple has almost perfected its smartwatch segment not because of the ecosystem, but the other features, such as EKG, Blood Oxygen, step detection, and Crash detection it provides.

Running apps just scratch the surface. There are apps for everything now, even for the Apple Watch.

These apps have some or the other form of complications that you can use right from your wrist. This means you won’t need to check your iPhone to check the progress of your training.

These apps will help you in achieving goals that will further your journey. We all know that running is not easy and a two-day motivation won’t keep you consistent, so having records of your training might take you an extra mile (pun intended!)

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I am an ambivert, an avid reader, a movie buff, a tea connoisseur, and a staunch fan of Priyanka Chopra Jonas. I like to give my insights through words, which come naturally to me. They also help me to express the myriads of emotions I go through. When not working, I'm either watching the latest tech videos or flipping through pages.