10 of the best training apps

Training has never been easier than with the latest selection of training apps for your smartphone

by David Arthur   December 22, 2012  

With more and more people buying smartphones and the proliferation of training apps now available for them, it’s never been so easy to accurately keep track of your training. Gone are the days when you kept track of your training in a notepad, with careful handwritten notes.

The latest generation of training apps makes it far easier to record and analyse your training, as well as setting goals and targets and reviewing previous performances. We’ve chosen 10 of the most popular apps so you can kick start 2013 with a digital thump.

And with smartphones now offering GPS maps and large colour screens, many cyclists are opting to use them in place of a dedicated cycle computer. Either mounted to the handlebars or safely stored in a jacket pocket, recording your ride on a smartphone is now common.

Garmin Fit

Garmin’s Fit app allows you to use your iPhone or Android smartphone as a training tool. It can be used for various sports, and one you’ve finished it uploads your session to Garmin Connect. It costs 69p but Connect itself is free to use. Once there you get all the important data and there’s useful functions like a calendar that totals your hours of riding each week, giving you an easy way of tracking your training progress.

Available for iPhone and Android.

Cyclemeter

This app functions as bike computer but can also store your route in Google maps, which can then be exported to social media networks like Twitter nad Facebook. A calendar makes it easy to see your recent rides at a glance and help to plan your next ride, and your favourite routes can be saved for future use.

www.abvio.com/cyclemeter/

The Athlete’s Diary

You can easily keep track of training rides with graphs of the total distance and time accumulated with this app. Information is clearly presented with the main screen a log showing some of your latest rides, so you can see at a glance how training has been going. You can also search your recorded rides too. Data is manually entered, but there’s an Autofill option for rapid entry. Only available for iPhone and costs $19.99.

www.stevenscreek.com

SportsTrackLive

This app lets you share and compare in a number of sports. As well as speed, distance, time, it works with compatible heart rate monitor straps and cadence modules. You can replay tracks on Google Maps, share with Facebook and Twitter friends, and export to the SportsTrack website. It only works with Android phones and costs £2.99.

www.sportstracklive.com

Training Peaks

A popular choice for cyclists, as it stems from Joe Friel’s TrainingBible series of books, Training Peaks is a very comprehensive training package that offers unlimited detail and control of your workout data. There’s training plans that can be bought and downloaded, taking the guesswork out of training, and there’s the novel Virtual Coach too. Works for Android, iPhone, iPod and iPad.

http://home.trainingpeaks.com

CoachMyRide

CoachMyRide, only available for the iPhone, lets you set goals and choose training sessions from a library of 105 included in the app. And for analysing sessions, Lionel Reynaurd is a professional cycling coach is available to offer feedback and share his knowledge. AS you progress in your training and you get fitter, the app easily adapts your training to suit.

www.coachmyride.com

Endomondo

Endomondo is a community based workout app that lets you challenge friends and analyse your training. A clean and clear display shows distance, speed and time when cycling, and you can customise what is show on the screen. Once you’ve done a ride you can upload to the website where you can create groups for your friends to share rides, and share through Facebook. With a Bluetooth heart rate strap you can add heart rate data to your training data. It’s free and works across all platforms.

www.endomondo.com

Kinetic

Described as the “Swiss army knife of GPS tracking and timing” Kinetic lets you organise your training sessions by activity or event. It can set goals and monitor your progress against a predicted finish time. Voice notifications chart your progress in real-time. Kinetic GPS Lite is free, while the full version is $3.99.

http://kineticgps.com/


Cychosis

Rather than automatically logging your ride data, which is fine if you want to use your smartphone on the bike, Cychosis differs by requiring you to manually enter data from each ride. So you can leave your phone safely at home or not have the battery drained in 5 minutes by the constant GPS usage, and enter ride information form your cycle computer when you’ve finished your ride. And if you love your spreadsheets, you can export ride data to your computer.

www.cychosis.com

Strava

One of the most popular apps is Strava, because of its unique feature of letting you compared times on ‘segments’ of road. Users can create segments themselves, and any person that has ridden along this segment is added to a leaderboard. So you can see who is fastest on your favourite climb for example. With a community revolving around this feature, it adds a competitive element to training on your own. A suite of power and heart rate analysis tools makes it a good option for those who want to take their training seriously. Available for iPhone and Android.

Already use Strava? Join road.cc’s club and share your rides with us http://app.strava.com/clubs/road-cc

http://app.strava.com/mobile

26 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I've always used Endomondo, but switching to Strava for the trike, just because more people I know use it Big Grin

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8795 posts]
22nd December 2012 - 16:49

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If you are using a Suunto HRM (with or without a Bikepod) the Movescount app is genius. It works with the online Movescount portal to give you a ton of geeky stats goodness. And it's all free. Works for any outdoor activity, not just cycling.

I rate it the same but different to Strava, and use both on iPhone at the same time.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

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posted by KiwiMike [473 posts]
22nd December 2012 - 17:29

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"Gone are the days when you kept track of your training in a notepad, with careful handwritten notes." OH NO THEIR NOT!!!Although I have used a heart rate monitor since 1994 and a power meter since 2006 (Power Tap with related software on PC) I still keep a handwritten diary. I try hard to keep up to date, but have found being just behind the cutting edge is my comfort zone, perhaps in a couple of years an I phone will be on my Xmas list, I have only just got used to touch screens!

onward ever onward

bikecellar's picture

posted by bikecellar [224 posts]
22nd December 2012 - 17:57

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Anyone got any ideas for Windows Phone apps? I love my Windows Phone in terms of ease-of-use and all the games I want are on there - but not much in the way of cycling apps.

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posted by Ghedebrav [1080 posts]
22nd December 2012 - 18:34

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I would also recommend My Fitness Pal. Its free. Picked up on it after a ref. in Cycling Weekly (am allowed to mention the comic on here?) Anyway very good at setting calorie intake required then tracking calories eaten & burnt during exercise. Helped me loose a stone without too much pain
which has got me pretty close to my ideal racing weight.

posted by Monsieur Velo [19 posts]
22nd December 2012 - 19:44

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If you are a Strava addict I'd recommend Veloviewer which was written by one of my clubmates.

It analyses your results and you can even add a natty little summary to your Road.cc signature. (Like wot I have)

I think Ben who wrote it has also written a Strava app for Windows mobile.

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

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posted by badback [267 posts]
23rd December 2012 - 7:56

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badback wrote:
If you are a Strava addict I'd recommend Veloviewer which was written by one of my clubmates.

It analyses your results and you can even add a natty little summary to your Road.cc signature. (Like wot I have)

I think Ben who wrote it has also written a Strava app for Windows mobile.

That's a cool little app, thanks for the share, will take a closer look at it (as an occasional Strava user. Ahem...)

David Arthur's picture

posted by David Arthur [1477 posts]
23rd December 2012 - 14:49

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Ghedebrav wrote:
Anyone got any ideas for Windows Phone apps? I love my Windows Phone in terms of ease-of-use and all the games I want are on there - but not much in the way of cycling apps.

I've found Sports Tracker to be good on Windows Phone. The web interface is pretty good at giving you all the data you need in a format that I find easier to analyse than Strava, though I always download a GPX file from Sports Tracker to upload to Strava (or I did, until I treated myself to a Garmin). The only problem I've had with it is that occasionally they'll have a server problem at the weekend, which has meant that I've not been able to view my ride until Monday. That's only happened a couple of times in a year of regular use though.

posted by lc1981 [49 posts]
23rd December 2012 - 15:34

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YAY, I made the Road.cc club on Strava!

I keep emailing them to ask when club specific challenges will be introduced, and they've given me March as something to look forward to.

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
23rd December 2012 - 16:22

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Also, how come my veloviewer comes off the end? Thinking

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
23rd December 2012 - 16:22

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Raleigh wrote:
Also, how come my veloviewer comes off the end? Thinking

You need to edit the signature 'profile' so that the RH bits are left blank. (easier to do than explain - I'd be a very bad teacher).

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

badback's picture

posted by badback [267 posts]
23rd December 2012 - 18:42

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Thank you lc1981, you've made my wife very happy with the Sports Tracker recommendation for Windows Phone. She'd been bemoaning the lack of an option for her otherwise lovely Nokia Lumia.

My recommendation for iPhone (there's Blackberry & Android options, too) is MapMyRide which has a very good interface for creating routes on a desk screen which can then be uploaded in various file formats for other smartphone apps or devices such as Garmin or Bryton

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
24th December 2012 - 10:24

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Quote:
Also, how come my veloviewer comes off the end?

i will try and explain, if you look at the veloviewer sig creator you can specify the number of columns and rows, change to three columns and it will fit.

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posted by mrmo [1064 posts]
25th December 2012 - 1:23

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Monsieur Velo wrote:
I would also recommend My Fitness Pal. Its free. Picked up on it after a ref. in Cycling Weekly (am allowed to mention the comic on here?) Anyway very good at setting calorie intake required then tracking calories eaten & burnt during exercise. Helped me loose a stone without too much pain
which has got me pretty close to my ideal racing weight.

Seconded. After about 8 weeks using the app for calorie tracking, I'm down 6 lbs with two more to go. It really hasn't been too hard!

posted by TheBigMong [218 posts]
26th December 2012 - 15:27

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nick_rearden wrote:
Thank you lc1981, you've made my wife very happy with the Sports Tracker recommendation for Windows Phone. She'd been bemoaning the lack of an option for her otherwise lovely Nokia Lumia.

I'm pleased to hear that. It served me well until I.could invest in a Garmin and I still use it as a backup on some rides.

posted by lc1981 [49 posts]
29th December 2012 - 17:05

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Not sure which one to try now! Just got a new phone after years of having a Nokia with Sports Tracker but reluctant to go with that again as it crashed 1 out of 4 times I used it last year, usually on a longer ride of 3+ hours. Otherwise happy with the data it gives you.

Anyone got any recommendations? I only use it to track mileage from a long (slow) ride, i.e. charity rides, and occasionally download the results to Facebook. Otherwise all data is for my records only.

posted by Dread66 [9 posts]
8th January 2013 - 10:46

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Looking for a bit of advice on which android app to use. I've been using MapMyRide (have it installed on my smartphone) as a training diary for 3 or 4 years, just mapping routes manually and transfer metrics from my cateye computer.
Since updating my smartphone, I now have a spare ant+ compatible samrtphone and would like to use an app to record distance, speed, cadence, hrm metrics etc. Unfortunately my phone contract doesn't offer enough of a data package to run GPS so I was wondering is it possible to use any of the apps with using the GPS tracking function.
Luckily enough I've a decent sense of direction so I am able to accurately map routes from memory when I return from training.

posted by stephen connor [20 posts]
8th January 2013 - 10:55

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Its a crowded space and I cant see all these solutions surviving too long so I would be careful over which one you go for..

Strava appears to have the momentum, its the one I use and 100% of friends who cycle.

posted by NeilXDavis [111 posts]
8th January 2013 - 10:57

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Heartily recommend Myfitnesspal, and Endomondo automatically adds your training to Myfitnesspal, so you just eat and train and it seamlessly records everything in one place

Live to ride, riding to live

posted by Updesh [9 posts]
8th January 2013 - 11:31

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Can it be used with out GPS enabled on the phone (just as a basic computer with ant+), unfortunately in Ireland the phone companies have us at gun point when it comes to charging for mobile data.

Thanks for your hep.

posted by stephen connor [20 posts]
8th January 2013 - 23:20

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stephen connor wrote:
Can it be used with out GPS enabled on the phone (just as a basic computer with ant+), unfortunately in Ireland the phone companies have us at gun point when it comes to charging for mobile data.

Thanks for your hep.

GPS is separate from mobile data, your phone will only be receiving signals from the GPS satellites, not through the mobile network.
If you turn off mobile data on your phone before you set out on a ride that will stop any apps that try to 'helpfully' load any mapping etc which is the thing that would use your mobile data.

posted by imperator [18 posts]
9th January 2013 - 1:52

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Sports Tracker is great, all the essential info on your phone and a more detailed analysis via the web.
Preset exercises, gps tracking and mapping, dashboard.

I love the smell of cleats (mexican accent, you do the jokes)

posted by paulfrank [80 posts]
31st January 2013 - 0:39

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I agree with Bikecellar. Can't beat a wee notebook with handwritten mileage, routes, maintenance costs and dates.

posted by vbvb [231 posts]
8th February 2013 - 2:35

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Great suggestions! I'd also recommend the app ActivityLog. It's much like apps like runkeeper but also, it's a great buddy when weight-training. Surely the most complete allround app for logging your training! It's also possible to add friends and compete with them!

posted by habbahabba [1 posts]
8th June 2013 - 16:44

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I am using VeloPal app now for all my cycling rides. it is Free and has lots of features.

posted by CproT [2 posts]
15th September 2013 - 17:58

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I second that. VeloViewer is great and a lot better than the Strava site! And IpBike and GhostRacer are better than the Strava app too. But the fun is in the segments. When are other sites going to copy "segments"?

posted by timtak [23 posts]
25th April 2014 - 7:14

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