Every four years, the Olympics provide viewers with inspiring stories of stamina. Part of the appeal of the Olympics is learning more about the athletes who, despite their physical strength, often endure profound journeys on the path to overcoming their hurdles and hardships.

This is evident even from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics so far. Most notably, acclaimed USA gymnast Simone Biles has demonstrated that taking care of our mental health is as important as our physical health. And among runners, many have found inspiration in 28-year-old heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

The Liverpool-born athlete, who has online sports betting odds of 28/1 to win the 2021 BBC Sports Personality of the Year, was initially an uncertain choice for Tokyo as she ruptured her Achilles in December 2020. Yet with hard work and determination, Johnson-Thompson qualified for the Olympics heptathlon event, demonstrating to the running community that setbacks aren’t an excuse to give up.

Johnson-Thompson’s journey has inspired many to continue their own running journey, whether it’s training for a marathon or just trying to improve general health with a few runs per week. With this in mind, we’re going to explore the best running apps, available on the Apple Watch, that can help to monitor and finesse physical performance for amateur runners.

The Best Running Apps On The Apple Watch

Nike+ Run Club

First on the list is the Nike+ Run Club application, which is ideal for runners looking for motivation in the form of pitting personal performance against that of peers. Whereas the run modes on the Apple Watch’s own app are designed with solo-runners in mind, the Nike+ Run Club is intended for social runners as it gives them the option to compete with friends during their runs.

The application works in concordance with Apple’s activity data and the Health app on the iPhone in order to provide runners with a comprehensive plethora of information, including duration, distance, and heart rate.

Runkeeper

Second on the list is the Runkeeper application, more suitable for those that want to customise their stats, as this isn’t a feature that most fitness applications provide. Runkeeper generates a map using the Apple Watch GPS and tracks your location and progress, including your pace, splits, heart rate, and stride. You can customise the run screen, which displays average heart rate, average pace, and current pace, in whichever order you prefer.

Runtastic

Finally, this last application on the list is perfect for those who are marathon training. Runtastic ensures that you’ll be able to reach your personal best goals as the app tracks your runs and then offers training plans based on the data collected. It will save your stats so you can check back at later dates and try to beat your previous times. The app also seamlessly synchronises with your exercise ring goals on the Apple Watch, making sure you close all your rings.


The Olympics produce stories of inspiration, making millions want to do better and achieve more. This year, we’ve been blessed with dozens of these stories, from Biles to Johnson-Thompson. Luckily, with smartwatches like the Apple Watch, we’re able to strive for our own personal goals with apps that are tailored to enhance our experiences and to push our performances to their very best.