Summer may seem like the ideal time to start a running routine, but the hot sun and higher temps can actually be a little discouraging. The cooler fall weather is perfect for lacing up your shoes and hitting the pavement.

Running inside on a treadmill makes things easy because, depending on the machine, you can use it to track and plan your workout from start to finish. Usually, though, the programs are preset and hard to customize. 

Fortunately, we’ve got apps for that! If you are trying to get more serious about running, try one or more of these applications. They can be easily downloaded to your smartphone so you can take control and reach your goals.

Runkeeper

This app has been around for forever and a day. People love it because it uses your phone’s GPS to track running, cycling, and other activities while recording important information such as your pace, distance, calories burned, and total exercise time, among other things.

You can also make use of its training programs and challenges, which will help you push yourself to the next level. In addition to being available for Android and iOS, Runkeeper also works with Apple Watch and Android Wear.

Strava Running and Cycling

Looking for an accurate, high-quality running tracker that can also serve up some competitive fun during your run? Strava provides leaderboards, challenges, and achievements that you can unlock based on your accomplishments. Along with maintaining a record of your workouts, you will also have the ability to showcase some bragging rights. How cool is that? Strava is available on Android and iOS and is compatible with Android Wear and Apple Watch.

Map My Run

It may not be as fancy as some of the other apps, but Map My Run still gets the job done! Its straightforward approach allows runners to use their phone’s GPS to track and map their running course and measure speed, time, and distance traveled.

For a small fee, you can add on voice coaching and location sharing services to enhance your experience. Map My Run is available on Android and iOS.

Footpath Route Planner

Some cities offer unlimited amounts of sidewalk, giving runners great options without having to do much planning. Other cities, however, are a little less pedestrian-friendly, which makes Footpath so useful.

All you have to do is give the app a general idea of where you want to go and it will suggest a route based on nearby roads, paths, and trails, while also providing information about elevation, allowing runners to evaluate the level of difficulty beforehand. Available on iOS.

Running for Weight Loss

If you are taking up running to lose weight, this app has programs designed to help you succeed. Along with tracking, users can access coaching, guidance for healthier eating, and the fitness log.

The Running for Weight Loss app also provides running music as well as 5k and 10k training plans. For a fee, users can remove advertising and gain access to more features. The app is available for Android and iOS.

Staying motivated can be a challenge, but using a tracking app will help you measure your success and progress, and hopefully will keep you coming back for more.  If you can hit the road all on your own, that’s great, but if you find you need a boost, it’s right there at your fingertips.