Running can be lonely. And that is precisely the reason some enjoy it so much: you can be alone with your thoughts and focus all your energy and attention on your individual performance.
But, if you’re not a member of the ‘lonely runners’ club’ or even if you are, there may be times when you need support from runners like yourself who get your pain when your motivation wanes and help you through those tough moments.
Polar Flow is a brilliant app for runners for storing and visualizing all your running data, but it’s even better paired with your other favorite running apps, especially if you’re looking for a running buddy or need support or a boost in running motivation.
We collaborate with some of the best sports apps out there so by connecting your Polar Flow account with one (or many) of the below running apps, you can be part of multiple running communities, take on challenges with your running buddies or other fellow athletes, see different interpretations of your data, cheer your pals, get lots of inspiration and much, much more.
To help you find the best running apps for you, our experienced in-house running enthusiasts tested these five running apps on harsh winter roads to find out what each running community has to offer.
Here we go! (The apps are in no particular order.)
Run your way to health and fitness with adidas Runtastic. Even though the name refers to running specifically, the adidas Running app works not just for running, but for all your sports, and supports you in staying fit and active.
With adidas Running you can compare your progress with others and get real-time support from your friends with LIVE Tracking. You can compete with your friends (light-heartedly or less so) with leaderboards, set yourself yearly goals – and lots more. The Premium membership gets you training plans for running, staying fit, and weight loss as well as more detailed analyses.
You also have the possibility to record sessions with the app.
With Endomondo you can test the power of challenges. Find your friends and challenge them, and get your training done in good company. Or participate in one of the featured challenges – there are lots of them.
For example, with a distance challenge, it’s motivating to get out even in less-than-optimal conditions and log some more miles.
Endomondo lists your PRs promptly. You can add photos into your training summaries and of course share them on social media, as well as tag Endomondo friends into your workouts. Don’t forget to send pep talks to your friends!
You get lots of stats from your workouts, and the premium account of course gets you a lot more. You need the premium to be able to record Endomondo sessions with real-time heart rate.
Relive is all about visualizing your training sessions from a geographical point of view: you get a neat 3D video story of your session from a bird’s perspective. Add your comments and feelings, take some photos along the way and add them into your video as highlights. The video will look really nice especially when you’ve covered some hills or mountains.
You can also join Relive Club, which is the premium version. You’ll get your videos in HD, and you’ll be able to import old activities as well, just to mention a few features.
Here’s a tip: many Polar watch users record workouts also on holidays. The lovely run in the beautiful rough terrain of Tenerife; the once-in-a-lifetime hike up to Mount Fuji – these adventures would be great to try out Relive Moments. It’s their latest feature that lets you place notes, emojis, and even Live Photos on your route to tell the whole story.
TrainingPeaks is a training platform designed to make sure any committed endurance athlete, whether coached or non-coached, can effectively plan, track, and analyze their path to the starting line. They connect athletes and coaches providing them with streamlined communication, structured workout builders, and tracking tools with the goal of fostering long-term coach-athlete relationships and performance success.
If you’re training for an event, then you’ll love TrainingPeaks. Simply add your event and specify your race day goal. For each completed session you’ll get a ton of stats and visualizations.
Those who already know a thing or two about training will enjoy the wealth of information, and those who want to learn more certainly will, over the course of time.
TrainingPeaks is great for planning, tracking, and analyzing your data: you don’t actually record sessions with the app.
Strava is all about being social. Connect with friends, share and get kudos for your adventure right in your feed.
Challenge yourself to new levels and fill up your Trophy Case with badges from your recent achievements.
If you haven’t already done so, check out Strava Live Segments – created by the millions of Strava athletes, segments mark popular stretches of road or trail (like your favorite local climb) and create a leaderboard of times set by every Strava athlete who has been there before.
You can record sessions with the app and see your heart rate during the session as well.
Nike Run Club
Audio guidance occupies a big role in the Nike Run Club with a wide range of different types and lengths of audio guided runs to choose from, also for treadmill workouts. The Nike Run Club offers you featured guest coaches (in addition to their own coaches) who talk you through your run with a playlist to match. You can send shout-outs to your friends with custom cheers while doing your workout.
Audio-guided runs offer a valuable learning experience for beginners, but can also bring a welcomed change in the routine of an experienced runner. Nike offers training plans as well, and you can also just set a distance, duration, or speed goal for an individual session.
The audio guidance is not based on heart rate, but you can still pair your Polar product with the Nike Run Club and see your heart rate on the app when you’re on the move.
Next up: Get cracking
It’s safe to say that using these running apps with heart rate, or with your real-time Polar Flow running data, makes them come alive, and makes them so much more personal. Self-evidently it’s your heart rate and your stats that count for you and make a difference in your training.
Take advantage of the free trials of these running apps and check for yourself what each has to offer and which is best for you.
Join one (or all) of these running communities and multiply the fun!
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.