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Best running app for fitness: summer is here!

Full disclosure: I was a Runtastic fan, and had the Pro version installed on my phone for a while, but I got sick of the ridiculous battery drain I had to put up with and decided to look for another app to take its place. On the recommendation of a colleague I made the switch to Runkeeper and after a week on board I wanted to tell you about what I think is the best app for running fitness.

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It's that time of year: get in shape for summer at all costs! / © Yeko Photo Studio/ Shutterstock

Runkeeper is a pretty clean, no-fuss app. It has four basic tabulated categories: one for exercise, one for your profile and stats, one for the social side of the app, and one for add-ons like optional training programs. I really like the simplicity and straight-forward feel of the app. It looks and feels like a training tool, a simple means to track your activity and achieve your goals without being too complicated.

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The main activity screen (left) and personal profile page (right). / © AndroidPIT/Fitness Keeper

As you can see in the screenshots (I used my colleague's app because he has much more training data than me!), there's a basic map view that switches to a tracking screen when you're in the middle of an activity, whether it's walking or running, that will keep track of time elapsed, distance covered, calories burned and allow you to snap shots along the way with geo-tagging capabilities. All of this data will be saved to your profile and can be shared with your friends.

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Your activity record is cleanly laid out and you can share details with your friends. / © AndroidPIT/Fitness Keeper

Your profile page contains a history of your activity and a breakdown of all the stats accumulated along the way. You can set goals for yourself to keep you motivated, and you can see at a glance if you're improving or falling behind. Your personal records screen will give you your best efforts across a wide range of activity, from hiking to cycling. You can see your longest distance, highest elevation gain, longest duration and more. If you like stats, then Runkeeper can keep you busy.

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Stats, stats, and more stats. There's little that Runkeeper doesn't keep track of. / © AndroidPIT/Fitness Keeper

If you lack the drive to get yourself to the park everyday, even with the goals you may have optimistically set for yourself, then there's a whole bunch of different training options available too. Maybe motivations isn’t your problem, but you feel like you're not particularly scientific about how you approach your fitness regime? If that's the case, you can activate a training program designed by professional trainers that will lay out your activity for you, step by step. All you need to do is follow it.

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If you want some extra guidance, there's a range of training options available. / © AndroidPIT/Fitness Keeper

I have to admit that it's still early days for me yet, both in terms of my acquaintance with Runkeeper and my fitness efforts, but I have to say I really appreciate the simple layout, clean interface and manageable content that Runkeeper provides. GPS tracking of all of your activity, with stats, maps and social interaction combined, makes Runkeeper a quick choice for my best fitness app for running. And it doesn't drain your battery.

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With all this at your fingertips, there's really no reason not to get in shape! / © Fitness Keeper
Runkeeper - GPS Track Run Walk Install on Google Play

What is your favorite running app? How many have you tried?


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  • Im gonna download it right now!

  • S Health is the best

  • I'm just trying Strava at the moment only because it is compatible with my gear fit and I can get an instant reading on my wrist. seems to work well and is accurate. Though it crashes every time I look at the map on my phone.

  • Stuart May 24, 2014 Link to comment

    Runtastic is still the best for me. I have tried various others but I found runtastic to be very stable and accurate. As for battery drain I haven't found any issues with that I have ran for 3 hours and lost about 25% of my battery which I thought was perfectly acceptable.

    • @Stuart, you're lucky then. I wasn't using it every day or anything (not like I exercise everyday!) but when I did it just destroyed my battery - like 70% even when GPS was turned off. Still, Runtastic is a great fitness app too.

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