7 Best Free Running Apps to Train for a 5K

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You're a runner? Start here first.

Each year, millions of runners will cross the finish line at running events in the United States. With so many ways to train for a race, it can be challenging to find the right method that works for you.

For runners looking to succeed on race day, here are the top seven free running apps to help you train for a 5K.

Read on to learn more.

1. Couch to 5K

This is one of the best apps for running if you're starting your training program from scratch. It works three 30-minute running sessions into your week over nine weeks. In less than three months, you'll be ready for race day.

The innovative training works by incorporating resting, walking, and running intervals and gradually increases the amount of time you run. The app also provides tons of helpful running tips and advice. 

The Couch to 5K (C25K) program has been translated into over a dozen other languages, making it one of the most accessible running apps out there.

2. Runtastic

Can't get enough of 5K races? Check out one of the best apps for a 10K, Runtastic. This GPS running app offers several fresh features like:

  • Track your progress
  • Find new routes
  • Share your runs

Runtastic also offers a premium version with countless other workouts other than running to add to your training plan.

This training program takes a whole-body approach and will have you working your abs, arms, and back muscles through strength training exercises

3. RunKeeper

Looking for something to hold you accountable to your goals? Check out RunKeeper. This unique app gives you audio cues about your distance, time, and pace to keep you on track during your run.

The app also allows you to compare your previous runs to see how your workouts stack up to each other.

It designs personal goals based on your progress to help you reach your target on race day. This is a great app if you're interested in the specific details from your run such as splits and trail elevation.

Try Playlist Connect to add your current tunes right into the app and use your love for music to motivate your run.

RunKeeper allows you to join a community of fellow app-users and participate in virtual races, share accomplishments, and even earn workout rewards.

4. Nike+ Run Club

The Nike+ Run Club is one of the best apps for running if you're looking for a personalized training plan. The app will take into consideration your fitness levels and goals to find you a starting point and adapt as you progress.

This training program offers Guided Runs with Headspace to connect your mind and body while you run. 

This app even offers encouragement from elite athletes and will keep you motivated to the finish line. 

5. Map My Run

If you prefer to have things laid out visually, check out UnderArmour's Map My Run. This training program offers one of the most accurate GPS tracking features on the free version. Try this app to find new running routes in your area. 

The training program also offers nutrition tips and tricks. This is a perfect app if you are looking for a lifestyle change.

Don't miss UnderArmor's MyFitnessPal app to further your healthy food quest. The app has tons of cool features, including:

  • Calorie tracker
  • Ingredient breakdown
  • Serving sizes
  • Nutrition information

MyFitnessPal will also take your workout calorie-burn into consideration and calculate a personalized daily calorie count based on your height, weight, and activity level.

6. Zombies, Run!

Do you have a love for creativity or a big reluctance to run? Give Zombies, Run! a go. This entertaining app combines your workout plan with a zombie-inspired audio story.

You must help your cohorts find supplies, rescue survivors, and protect your outpost before it's too late.

The app offers over two-hundred missions to accomplish. 

This program is designed to encourage you to train with speed intervals. This style of training will ward off boredom and help you to make the final push to the finish line when you're feeling fatigued.

7. Endomondo

Endomondo is perfect for people who simply love to run. Inspired by the way endorphins are released when you run, the app seeks to add to that bliss.

Did you know that overall positive feeling in the body after a run is caused by endorphins? It's one of the reasons millions of people use running to reduce stress and live a healthier life. 

Another great feature is being able to connect with a friend during your run for another layer of encouragement. 

The app works to provide you audio feedback during your run for each mile or kilometer you complete. It offers you advice on how to reach your goal. The app syncs with the mother website, Endomondo.com, which allows you to:

Analyze your fitness activity
Access a full training log
Track your progress
This training program also works well for cycling, hiking, and walking. If you have a running watch, this app will sync directly to it. Together, the running watch and Endomondo can track your heart rate during your run.

Best Free Running Apps

Running a 5K race is a thrilling experience. Don't let the lack of a training plan add stress to the fun. Be prepared with the best free running apps out there and kick the competition to the curb on race day.

What are you waiting for? The finish line awaits!

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