I’ve run 5 marathons, and this is my top running app recommendation

A photo of a woman looking at her running app
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As a marathon runner, January normally means the start of Spring marathon training, and at 8 months pregnant, I really miss the anticipation of starting a new training plan this year. Yet despite working for one of the biggest tech websites on the planet, I’ve always been pretty old school when it comes to my training — I’d much rather tick off sessions from a printed calendar on my fridge, or fill out a training journal than look at an app on my phone. That is until I discovered Runna.  


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Runna made it onto our list of the best running apps and for a good reason — I used the app for my last marathon and was seriously impressed. Whether you’re gearing up for your fastest marathon yet, or you’re looking for a training plan to get you running more regularly, here’s why Runna is my top running app recommendation. 

1. It has everything you need in one place

I’ve been lucky enough to train with a running coach for a number of years, and while running apps can never replace personalized training, Runna is the next best thing. It gives you everything you need to reach your goal in one place — from the running sessions themselves to strength training to help you avoid injury. 

Of course, half the battle when it comes to sticking to a plan is getting it to fit around your life — there will always be sessions you just can’t make. Runna makes it super easy to drag and drop training sessions to different days of the week, so if you need to do your long run before work on a Thursday, you can easily switch it on your app.

2. It’s cheaper than a gym membership

For a sport that’s supposedly ‘free’, getting into running can be expensive. There are the running shoes you need to buy, the sports bra, and perhaps one of the best running watches if you’re getting serious about your training. Runna costs $17.99/£15.99 per month, which isn’t the cheapest, but is still more affordable than some gym memberships, or the cost of a running coach. 

a photo of a phone with the Runna app on

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3. You can easily switch sessions

The one downside to running a spring marathon is dealing with the weather in the winter. On days when the weather took a turn for the worst, last year I opted to use one of the best treadmills in our Tom’s Guide testing center to get my miles in. It was easy to switch my session’s pace to be done on the treadmill on Runna — something that’s always tricky if you’re not used to running in kilometers per hour, or miles per hour.

Runna allows you to customize the units your training sessions are displayed in. You can choose between kilometers, miles, treadmill (kph), treadmill (mph), or RPE in kilometers or miles. RPE refers to Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) — a scale that can be measured from 0-10. 1-3 being a walk, 5 being an easy run, and so on. 

4. You can sync your plan to your watch

Finally, getting your running sessions onto your watch can be fiddly, and something you don’t want to be doing before heading out the door in the morning. Runna syncs with Garmin running watches, Apple Watches, Suunto, and Coros, so you’ll be able to send your plan to your watch at the click of a button.

Again, the best running plan for you is the one that motivates you to stick to it, but compared to some of the other training plans I’ve tried in the past, Runna took a lot of the admin out of my training, which I appreciated. 

If you’re not looking for a training plan right now, you can check out the rest of the apps that made it onto our best running apps list here. 

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Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.