Motivation, Reviews, Training

Best App for Running

What is the Best App for Running?

I have tried the major fitness apps out there, this post is a pros and cons list of each one, along with my take on which is the best.  This is a truly honest post (no affiliate links here) and is only my personal opinion.


Aaptiv Price: $15/month, $100/year

Aaptive Pros

  • When I quit Orangetheory, Aaptiv was a great substitute.  It’s cheap if you catch it at the right time.  I currently have a year subscription for $50.  Once the year is up, I will probably not renew for the regular $100 price.
  • They have monthly challenges to motivate you.  If you enter a challenge (like muscle gains or running faster), you are put on either a blue or red team.  Every time you do one of the prescribed workouts, you earn a point for your team.  The challenge has its own message board where you can post workout results and offer encouragement.
  • The daily coach gives you a list of things to do each day.  After setting up your profile, it will alternate between strength and cardio workouts.  This is good if you become overwhelmed with all of the options in the app.
  • The Facebook group is active and motivating.  You can even interact with the coaches there.
Aaptiv Coach
Screenshot from my Aaptiv Coach page

Aaptive Cons

  • It’s audio only.  Peloton and Studio are video based, which is better in my opinion.  Aaptiv does have a video library of moves in each workout, which helps.  However, if you are new to strength training, this might not be the one for you.
  • The music is pretty terrible.  All of the workout apps got into some trouble a while back over using music in their workouts.  This affected them all, but Aaptiv seems to have the worst playlists out of them all.  If you like electronic music, this might be for you.
  • The coaches are “meh”.  I used to love their old coaches, but something happened and they fired many of them.  There are still a few good ones, but I’ve had better coaching in other apps.


Studio HIIT

Studio HIIT Price: $15/month, $100/year

Studio HIIT Pros

  • It is video based.  I like being able to see the moves in strength workouts.  I also like to know the instructor is suffering with me on the treadmill (Studio misses the mark here, more on that later).
  • They have Fitcoin, which you earn by taking workouts.  If you have a heart rate monitor connected (the Apple Watch works here), you earn more Fitcoin for keeping a higher heartrate.  As someone who finds it difficult to push to discomfort, this was motivating.  You can use Fitcoin to enter raffles for prizes.
  • The music is great.  They stream different stations into each workout.  I don’t know much about copyright laws or music streaming, but I think this allows them to offer a better music selection.  The songs change every time someone takes the workout.
  • The studio looks cool.  I love all of the neon lights!
  • There is a message board where you can post accomplishments.  They also put you in a Tribe, which is a smaller group.
  • There is a leaderboard on every workout.  You take the workout at any time, and it ranks you against everyone else who has taken the workout, using heart rate data.  This is a great motivator.
Studio HIIT
Studio HIIT example. Notice the heart rate in the center, Fitcoin top right, and leaderboard top left.

Studio HIIT Cons

  • This is the big deal breaker for me: their coaches don’t actually run.  Sure, they may look like they are running on the treadmill, and they do for bits and pieces at a time.  But, when they change shots and show the side view, you see that the coach can’t be running higher than a 4.5 on that treadmill.  When they yell at you to push the speed, they will often jump off the belt and coach you from the sidelines.  I’m sorry, but I want a coach who can actually run.  If you can’t handle running and talking at the same time, you probably shouldn’t be coaching other people to run.  If you watch the videos, you can tell that running isn’t their focus.  This might not bother everyone, but it really bothers me.  This alone was my deal breaker and the reason why I didn’t pay for more than a month of membership.
  • The sound quality is pretty bad.  They should really invest in better headsets.  The voices in every single workout are crackly and tinny.  Again, it might not bother everyone, but it really bothers me.



Peloton Price: $12.99/month

Peloton Pros

  • The price is right!  Until this month, I used to happily pay $20 a month to use the app.  I felt it was worth it at this price.  They recently dropped the price to $12.99 a month.  There is a drawback to the new price; you can’t have multiple users on the same account.  I think they realized that people were abusing this feature and splitting the cost of the app with strangers, instead of people in the same household as intended.  Still, at $12.99 for a single user, you are at a lower price point that the competitors.
  • The instructors are amazing!  Like, seriously amazing.  I haven’t taken a class yet that I haven’t enjoyed.  Each instructor brings his or her own personality to the workouts.  Bonus, they are legit athletes.  Becs Gentry just ran an Olympic qualifying time at the NYC marathon, and Matt Wilpers ran a sub 3 hour NYC marathon.  I know that some people prefer coaches that are approachable, every day people.  Not me!  I want to follow someone who is legit and accomplished.  Peloton coaches are the real deal.
  • The workouts are fun.  I use Peloton mostly for treadmill running, but they offer a lot more.  The treadmill runs range from endurance to HIIT.  They also have a category called Fun Runs.  There are workouts that have a lot of variations and are based on a music genre or artist.  They really are fun!  A 45 minute Fun Run goes by so quickly.
  • They have their own line of equipment, the spin bike and the tread, but you can use the app without them.  Many people have their own, much cheaper bike or tread and use an ipad or phone to follow the workouts.
  • Recent update…there is a FireTV app!  You can now follow workouts through Amazon Fire.  I have a Fire Stick and the app works perfectly.
Peloton Home Screen. There are more workout options than what is pictured.

Peloton Cons

  • Their equipment is really expensive.  The cost of a Peloton bike is $2,245 and the cost of a Peloton treadmill is $4,295.  To make it worse, the app will cost you $39 a month if you own the equipment.  This is because with the Peloton bike or treadmill, your stats will appear right in the app and you can compete on their leaderboard.  It doesn’t seem worth it to me, although the treadmill is a nice looking piece of equipment.

What is Best Fitness App for Running?

I used to love Aaptiv.  I was even an affiliate a while back.  However, after using Peloton for the last couple of month, I would have to say that Peloton is the best fitness app for running.  Peloton’s classes are not only fun, but their coaches are serious athletes who know their stuff.  I feel confident following their workouts because I know they are successful in their sport.

Each of these apps offer free trial periods.  I suggest you try them all and see what works best for you.  After you do, drop a comment to let us know what you think!

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