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How runners can use fitness tracker apps to find motivation in training

If you're in a training rut, turning to a tracking app could help you out

running motivation

After months of training in the cold of winter, we don’t blame you if you’re losing your motivation to get out the door for a run every day. Even though spring is so close (which means racing season is, too), the promise of good weather might not even be enough to excite you at this point. So, how are you going to break out of this rut? There are plenty of ways to rediscover your motivation, and one option could be through a tracking app. We know it sounds strange, but trust us, a tracking app could give you just what you need to get back to being excited to train. 

Woman monitoring her progress on smartwatch

Newbie tracking

If you’ve never used a tracking app, then simply recording your runs might be enough to get you pumped and eager to train. It can be easy to get bogged down if you’re unsure of the time you’ve been running, your pace or your total distance in every run. Using an app to see these stats will change the way you train, and that change could lead to new-found motivation

Strava challenges and community 

On Strava, there are two main ways that you can regain your motivation to train. The first is the app’s challenge tab, where you can enter dozens of different virtual projects, from distance-based challenges (like running 100K in a month), to goals regarding elevation (climb 2,000m in a month, for example) and more. 

The community you’ll find on Strava is another feature that could reignite your desire to train. Strava is a form of social media, and you can follow your friends, elite athletes and anyone else you can find on the app. Seeing other people’s workouts and receiving kudos for yours might be what you need to get into a better headspace in training. 

MapMyRun coaching 

MapMyRun is Under Armour’s run tracking app, and while it has the usual features you’ll find in other running apps, the main one that could help people with low motivation is its coaching capabilities. If you have a pair of Under Armour shoes from the company’s HOVR lineup, you can connect your phone (and the MapMyRun app) to your shoes via bluetooth. Once you do that, MapMyRun will give you tips on form, cadence and more in real time, helping you become a better runner with every workout. Knowing that you’re improving with the help of MapMyRun may be the key to your next motivational kick. 

RunGo’s routes 

You might be unmotivated to train simply because you’re bored. It’s easy to fall into a routine in training, and you may find that you’re running the same routes day after day. If you’re looking for a change of scenery with some new routes, check out RunGo, a Canadian-made run-tracking app. On RunGo, you can map out new routes before each run, and the app will then tell you exactly where and when to turn when you’re out and about. (It even works on trails.) A change of scenery might be what you’ve been missing, and RunGo will make sure you get it without having to worry about getting lost. 

Virtual races 

Virtual races may have become popular during the pandemic, but even though we’re racing in person once more, these events are still easy to find online. Maybe some competition (even the virtual kind) is all you need to reignite your passion for training. While some virtual races require you to use a specific tracking app, many don’t, and as long as you use a reliable app to prove you ran the right distance, you’re set. Download a tracking app, test it out and sign up for a virtual event. Re-introducing goals into your training will almost certainly help you rediscover your motivation. 

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