The Best running app for Apple Watch: Free/Paid

The Apple Watch is a great device to help you with your exercise and physical activity routines. Its relative small size, ease of use and screen visibility in direct sunlight make it very appealing as an addition to any fitness obsessive. So, which is the best running app for Apple watch you should use?

There are a ton of running apps for your Apple Watch which can make it difficult to choose one. Obviously you want an app with good reviews and ratings since you are going to be wearing it on your wrist for a while. I take a look at some of the best running apps for Apple Watch and try to figure out which one is the best  one for you.

Nike running watch faces are now more customisable
Get into the details post-run with the Pace Graph complication.

It’s common knowledge that running is excellent for your health. Not only is it a great way to become more active, but it can also help you control your weight. Running at the right pace and for the same distance each time can be challenging however. If you fail to build up gradually, you will not be able to keep discipline and may end up injuring yourself. To ensure that you get fit safely, it is important that you choose the right app for your Apple Watch.

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The biggest selling point for the Apple Watch is its fitness features. If you’re thinking about buying one it’s highly likely you’re interested in using it to track your runs, among other things. I know I was when I got my Series 5 Apple Watch. But choosing the best app for running on your Apple Watch can be hard, so today I’m going to break down the apps I’ve tried based on my personal preferences.

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The latest Apple Watch Series 6 is a great training tool for runners. The Apple Watch has transformed user experience while being used as a training tool.

The Apple Watch is capable of supporting third-party apps, which means there are numerous great new apps that you can install on your new device. If you’re looking to get some extra motivation while running, then one of the best Apple Watch running apps for you is Nike Run Club.

Nike Run Club

Best Free Running Tracker & Coaching app for Apple Watch

Nike Run Club best free running app for apple watch
Nike Run Club best free running app for apple watch

Whether you have recently started your running journey or are a frequent runner, Nike Run Club has the tools you need to run better.

Nike+ Run Club gives you everything you need to run better. Because no matter how fast or how far you run, when it comes to running, everyone should have a good time. From Audio-Guided Runs that let you run anywhere at your own pace to workouts created by elite Nike coaches — all designed to get you out the door and back again — Nike Run Club has everything you need to reach your goals.


Nike Run Club is the perfect running partner for wherever your running takes you. Get motivated by your own personal success, and celebrate your hard work along the way with audio-guided runs, helpful coaching cues and unique run challenges from the Nike+ Running Club.

Add your shoes to track your runs on Apple watch
Add your shoes to track your runs on Apple watch

The Nike+ Running Club app uses GPS to track how far and how fast you’re running, tells you your pace and even guides you in real-time based on your personal preferences.

You’ll complete weekly challenges and see how you stack up against runners around the world as you race toward your goals. Find a new workout challenge or run coach every week, or choose a plan and let them do all the work of honing in on your goals.


Imagine going out for a run with a personal running coach. Not only would your running partner know exactly where to go, when, and how fast, it would also build a better relationship with you by giving you constant motivation and feedback.

This is exactly what the Nike Run Club app on Apple Watch is to me – my dedicated running partner that keeps track of all my runs, gives me feedback and motivation every step of the way, and of course tells me where to go. My relationship with my watch also goes further than just being paired with Apple Watch – it extends into the Nike+ platform.

Earn milestone badges and trophies for smashing personal bests
Earn milestone badges and trophies for smashing personal bests

Whether you are a serious runner or just looking for some fun, Nike Run Club app for Apple Watch is the place to start your running journey. Get inspired with training plans, training videos, motivational stories and advice from professional athletes.

Nike Run Club offers a great experience right from the Apple Watch. It’s smooth, responsive and it does everything it needs to. I use Nike Run Club for workouts, tracking my runs and setting up exercise goals. With this Apple Watch app I have a set of tools which motivate me to run more often. Running with Nike is awesome!

Reach goals, earn achievements and go the distance Wike Nike run with apple watch
Reach goals, earn achievements and go the distance Wike Nike run with apple watch

Built for runners and designed for Apple Watch, this lightweight app puts the focus on your activity by tracking your distance, time/pace, calories burned and more. Nike athletes and experts guide you, talk to you and cheer you on, making it the motivation you need to run even further.

TRACK AND STORE RUNS with Nike on apple watch
TRACK AND STORE RUNS with Nike on apple watch

And with full Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6 support, you’ll never miss a beat as your favorite runs from your watch are wirelessly synced with the Nike Run Club app using the new Nike+Run Club (NRC) app.

Strava: Run, Ride, Swim

Best Cycling and running app for Apple Watch

Strava Run, Ride, Swim app for apple watch

Strava is the social network for athletes. Track your fitness activity and connect with the global community of runners and cyclists. Use the Strava Running and Cycling Apps to record your run or ride, map a cycling route, then analyse your training in detail to identify trends in your performance so you can train smarter, compete better and achieve more in races.

Strava gives athletes a competitive advantage by transforming the way people run and bike. It allows users to track and analyse their workouts, compare key metrics like pace, distance and heart rate, and share their activities with friends. The Strava app for Apple Watch lets you track your fitness activity at a glance – no need to unlock your phone when you’re running, walking or cycling.

You get real-time GPS tracking, activity history, an analysis of your performance and your heart rate. All this on the wrist of your Apple Watch.

An app you can use to track your running, cycling and other fitness activities. The free app gives you access to valuable new insights, includes a range of essential features and – most importantly – helps you enjoy the journey.

The perfect companion for running on Apple Watch, Strava delivers key stats as you work out: distance, pace, speed, elevation gained & calories burned.

Strava gives you 3 ways to train smarter: track, analyze and challenge. Take control of your performance and start logging activities with Strava.

The Strava app for Apple Watch allows you to track your performance and record your activities with GPS. It displays key stats like distance, pace, speed, elevation gained and calories burned directly on the screen of your Apple Watch. The Strava app for Apple Watch also provides heatmaps of your activity and displays personal records on the Activity screen.

Strava Running and Cycling apps have been downloaded over million times. Join the millions of athletes that use Strava to enhance their performance. Whether you’re new to fitness or a seasoned athlete, the Apple Watch app for Strava will make every run and ride better. The apps are your perfect running and cycling companions, with real-time audio coaching and guidance directly from Strava’s world-class experts.

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A ton of new features available exclusively for the latest generations of Apple Watch to help you get the most out of your run, cycle, backcountry ski, or other outdoor activities.

The GPS-based app allows you to track your run, bike or swim via a smartphone, Apple Watch, Garmin watch or Fitbit. However, you will need a premium membership to enjoy Strava’s complete set of features. Active users receive new achievements, leaderboard rankings and perks such as running segments. One major plus point is that Strava comes with an in-depth map for each route that shows time, distance and elevation.

adidas Running App Runtastic

Best Distance, Sports & Run Tracker for Apple Watch

adidas Running App Runtastic Distance, Sports & Run Tracker

The adidas Running App Runtastic for Apple Watch is the perfect running companion for you. No matter whether you’re running a 5k or reaching your first finish line – Runtastic on Apple Watch motivates you every step of the way.

Achieve your personal best with the adidas Running App Runtastic for Apple Watch. Join millions of runners around the world and get inspired to run a little bit further every day.

adidas best sports and distance Running App for Apple watch Runstatic
adidas best sports and distance Running App for Apple watch Runstatic

Run the way you want with your Runtastic running App for Apple Watch. Once paired via Bluetooth, you’re one step closer to your perfect run teamed with all the stats and data you need to get there.

Everything you need to stay on pace with your run is at your fingertips with easy-tap controls right on your wrist. Get call alerts when paired with iPhone or newer models. You can now easily control your music playback, triggering the start, stop and skip functions of your tracks via the tiny buttons right on the dial of your Apple watch.

Take your training and tracking to new levels with the Runtastic app for Apple Watch. Get all the stats you need from your performance and stay connected to your social network. Thanks to the intuitive technology, the Runtastic app for Apple Watch is always on hand when you need it most.

There’s no need to open or close a heavy app as you can instantly start tracking a run or utilize one of the other available features (e.g. start/pause/stop, weekly running program).

The free adidas Runtastic app is your personal running coach, tracking your activities and training progress as you become stronger and faster than ever. The GPS-enabled running app tracks distance, duration, calories burned, speed/pace and even your heart rate. Plus, workouts are synced to the adidas Runtastic online community for extra motivation and insightful analysis of your performance.

Adidas Running is the perfect training companion for all your running needs. Get a detailed insight into your performance thanks to advanced statistics such as duration, distance, average pace and heart rate. Also check out the map feature to view your route and never get lost again and see the time you’ve spent in each training zone.

t brings in-depth tracking of your run and cycling sessions, a live map, and automatic GPS position updates so you can see where you are, and exactly where you’ve been. After your exercise session, a built-in activity overview presents all the relevant data. And it counts steps: Just start with our iPhone app—it automatically syncs your daily activity to Apple Watch.

With Runtastic’s newest app, you can forget the hassle of stopping your activity to fiddle with your phone or constantly switch between apps. Premium is most advanced training app that includes all of the features available on iPhone — and now Apple Watch.

Runkeeper Running App

Best Hiking and running tracker for Apple watch

Runkeeper Running App for apple watch by asics

The ASICS Runkeeper app is an easy way to track your running activity as well as achieve your running goals. This app features goal-based exercise tracking, and lets you set targets that help you reach new personal records.

Data-driven, built to move, and designed to perform, present ASICS Runkeeper. With the ASICS Runkeeper app, it’s easy to track your run, walk or hike, set measurable goals and see progress along the way. This app was developed to keep you hitting (or moving toward) your stride goals whenever you’re on the move. It also packs in essential Runkeeper features such as live tracking so friends and family can follow your progress on social media, alerts that tell you when you hit milestones like 5 miles or 10K steps.

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With the ASICS Runkeeper app, ASICS is redefining how fitness technology can motivate and help achieve your personal goals. Take off with workouts you love, log runs on the road or track your progress without ever pulling out your phone—now that’s progress.

With access to exclusive on-demand coaching content, this free app is also the best way to track your latest workout and analyze your progress as time goes by.

The ASICS Runkeeper app for Apple Watch is a simple way to add some variety to your workouts. Runkeeper for Apple Watch tracks your progress, helps you push yourself a little farther and provides access to your stats so you can see how you’re improving over time. Record your runs, distance covered, pace and splits but also where and when you ran and finish times.

You can check the app for new weekly challenges that are tailored to new runners who want to reach a certain distance, or new race-goers who would like to meet their ideal finish time.

With the power of GPS on Apple Watch, you won’t need to carry your phone when you’re running to see how far, how fast and how long you’ve been running.

Challenge yourself to reach goals or earn a variety of badges to keep you motivated and inspired as you log miles. Keeps track of your progress towards any goal with smart alerts. Sync stats wirelessly with the Health app on Apple Watch.

C25K Trainer

Top-rated Running app for Beginners on Apple Watch

C25K Trainer running app for beginners on apple watch

A completely free app, designed to help you complete Couch to 5k in less than 9 weeks. The C25K Training app will help you get off the couch and start running. With this award-winning app, you can change your life and start reaching your fitness goals.

Created by experts, this fitness app includes thousands of tips, a beginner 5K training plan, personalized coaching, motivational support and much more to keep you on track!

Transform your body with this easy-to-use and effective Couch to 5K app. This app is designed for the new runner who wants to start running as well as the seasoned runner who wants a new challenge. It doesn’t matter if you want to run 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, or marathons—this program will help you achieve your goals.

With the Apple Watch C25K app you’ll be able to track your progress, listen to your music or audiobooks while on a run, receive coaching updates whenever you like, and get reminders

Whether you’re brand new to running or still need to start slow, The C25K App will help you reach your goal of running a mile by your target date. A convenient and encouraging audio coach guides you through the workout and offers assistance when needed. You set your goal, your pace, and your distance, and the app will provide a run schedule from three to thirty-one days. Track your progress with in-app tools that map out each run so you know how far you’re going.

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Keep up with friends online and work toward common goals together! Run in real time with GPS tracking for accurate distance measurements

The C25K trainer app features convenient audio coaching with alerts between each session that allow you to run at your own pace. Integrated with fitness apps such as Apple Watch and Health, it’s never been more convenient to get going on your fitness journey .

Is Apple Watch accurate for running?

The watch uses the same underlying workout algorithms as the iPhone and iPad, and is designed to be extremely accurate. The hardware and software in your Apple Watch and iPhone work together with built-in sensors and satellite data to ensure the information you see on your wrist is as accurate as possible.

To better understand how accurate the Apple Watch is for health and fitness, we decided it was time to test it out. I’ve been testing this for the past month and learned a lot about my running. The good news is that it generally matches up with other fitness trackers I use regularly such as my Garmin GPS watch and iPhone Activity app.

Is Apple default running app good?

The Apple Workout app’s default screen shows time, pace and heart rate. It also tells you the distance you’ve run and how much longer it will take to reach your goal. You can tap at any point to reveal a map of your route. In addition, tapping twice takes you back up to the top of your workout timeline. The Apple Workout app comes with the Apple Watch and is designed to be used for working out. For many users, it can be sufficient to track your runs. The Apple Workout app relies on the built-in GPS in the Apple Watch to pinpoint your location using satellites then records your distance, time and current pace. The app computes your calories burned based on what you’ve told it’s about your weight.

Can you use running app on Apple Watch without phone?

With the release of the Apple Watch Series 2, Apple has now built-in GPS into the smartwatch. This allows you to accurately track your distance and speed during outdoor workouts without having to bring your iPhone along.

You can start an outdoor workout on Apple Watch Series 2 and later and Apple Watch SE without iPhone—and view all your stats on the 44 mm face, just as you would during an indoor cardio workout. Once the workout has started, you can view distance, duration, current pace, average pace, current speed or average speed.

Can I run with just my Apple Watch and Airpods?

Would you believe that you can run with just your Apple Watch and Airpods? No iPhone or Garmin? I know it sounds crazy but I’m doing it.
It’s a question we’ve all asked: can I leave my phone at home when I go for a run? What if, to be more precise, I only took my Apple Watch and Airpods (or other wireless headphones)? Yes, you can! Your Apple Watch is capable of so much more than just telling the time or checking for notifications. You can navigate your way around town, go to sleep, get your heart rate without your phone, and receive text message alerts to name a few.

What is the difference between cadence and pace?

What is cadence? Cadence is your number of steps per minute. This is typically displayed as the number of steps per minute for each leg. For example, if one foot hits the ground 100 times in 60 seconds, that is a cadence of 100 steps per minute or 2 steps per second.  Your cadence changes with speed  (a fast cadence at a slow pace, or a slow cadence at a fast pace). Based on experience, I have found this rule of thumb to be pretty reliable: If your easy pace is faster than 10 minutes per mile then your cadency should be between 170–180 steps per minute. If your easy pace is slower than 10 minutes kilometer then your cadency should be greater than 160 steps per minute or higher.

Cadence and pace are two elements that comprise running form. Together, cadence and pace form the basis of sustainable running over longer distances, particularly after the first mile or two. The optimal cadence might change as speed increases, requiring an adjustment to your step rate. With a higher cadence, you might need to run with a faster pace to maintain a certain speed, whereas a slower cadence might allow you to run much faster at a much lower step rate.

Does Apple Watch show running cadence?

Apple Watch can show you both cadence and running cadence during a workout.
In addition, when outdoors for a run, cadence will also be displayed as a numeral and SPM in the “Workout” view of the Workout app. If you have an Apple Watch Series 2 or later , you can choose to set a target cadence number in the watch’s Workout app. If you choose to do so, during your run, when your cadence drops below your target, the watch will vibrate and display a red reminder telling you to increase your cadence. You can then take quick steps for a few paces to meet your goal.

What is the difference between rolling pace and current pace?

As unlikely as it may be to find someone who actually cares about this fiddly detail, the Rolling Mile Pace is much more meaningful than Current Pace because it gives you a real-time metric that compares your overall level of endurance during long distance running. For example, if one runner has a 10-mile pace of 52 seconds and another runner has 51 seconds for the same distance, it would seem like the first runner has better endurance. However, what if the second runner was at mile 8 (and therefore had run 3 miles longer)? The second runner’s overall pace would be 49 seconds at 10 miles! It makes sense to use Rolling Mile Pace over Current Pace because it gives you an accurate comparison between each mile in your run.

Can I listen to Spotify on my Apple Watch on a run?

So yes, Spotify Premium users can listen to Spotify from their Apple Watch on a run, but again, there are some limitations. It sounds like you’re already aware of the first limitation that it needs to be a premium account. In order to listen from your watch you’ll need to have the latest version of watchOS installed. According to Spotify, you’ll need at least watchOS 6.0 and perhaps later versions. Apple Watch models like the Series 2 and Series 1 won’t get this ability.

Can you run with just your Apple Watch and listen to music?

To listen to music without the headphones, you must have Bluetooth headphones or speakers. Even if your watch is not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular, you can listen to books or podcasts that are synced from your iPhone because the Apple Watch has built-in speaker storage.

What is a good cadence for jogging?

So, why do you need to know your optimal stride rate? It’s because cadence is a linchpin of running efficiency. Research shows that runners who maintain a higher cadence tend to be more efficient and get less injured. And one of the best ways to improve your cadence is to decrease your stride length. A good range to aim for is around 170-180 strides per minute. This will give you enough force to cover the distance, while also being able to maintain pace. It may take time to reach this speed, so you should allow yourself time to adapt so you aren’t injuring yourself during the process.

Wrapping Up – Top apple watch apps available for running

Running apps is a great way to sync and improve your performance. The new Apple watch has an incredible amount of features but can digital help you perform better? There are many running apps that work well with the new version of the watch. To get you started I selected some running Apps that will ensure you have the best running experience.

The latest running apps for the Apple Watch have thousands of users saying the Apple Watch is the best GPS watch, as well as the best fitness tracker for distance, speed, route tracking, calories and step counting. But it’s not all about just numbers.

Exercising with apps for Apple Watch gives you plenty to track and consult while you are running. And when your run is over you can scroll through routes and workout information at your convenience–even see splits all from your Apple Watch.

When the Apple Watch was released, we wondered: what would be the best running apps for it? And how could they compete with Nike Run Club? Since then, a lot of great running apps have sprung up that claim to be the best. There’s also been a new watchOS update! In this article, we take a look at all the apps that do more than just track your runs. Check out our list of 5 must-have running apps for Apple Watch.

Get the best running apps for Apple Watch today!

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