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Train like an Ironman with these apps for triathletes

Chris Holt | Feb. 4, 2015
If you're about to run your first triathlon, or if you're a seasoned vet working towards a better time, than you already know that this three-legged race is famed for its demands on the body and the mind, making training for the event uniquely rigorous. But don't let that discourage you--even beginning athletes have to start somewhere. Whether you're moving from couch to bike or have several Ironman events under your belt, these apps will help you perfect your training regime, monitor your progress, and become part of the larger triathlete community.

Track your progress in real time

MapMyRun ($3) monitors a host of activities — from cycling to pushups to running. As the name implies, the app will live track you on a map as you go. You can also create routes, track your progress over time, change your music, and even get coaching (if you upgrade to MVP status).

Though on the pricey side, it's an exceptionally useful training tool for the running and cycling legs. You can also log your workout and your diet, and share your progress with your friends. MapMyRun is that rare fitness app that has as great interface, collects fantastic data, and has a strong social component. 

But what if you use a fitness wearable?

Runtastic (free) is the only app that can rival MapMyRun, in terms of transparency and app-generated statistics. You can track your run duration, distance, calories burnt, and average pace, but you can also access training plans for different goals — beginner runs, weight loss, or marathon training, for example. However, you have to purchase the training plans for around $20 each, which may not be worth the cost depending on your goals.

Getting access to additional features, like routes and interval training, requires buying Runtastic Pro ($5), which also offers a voice coach, power songs to work out to, and more personal stats. You can connect a selection of running gadgets to further supplement your training, including a heart rate monitor, a smartwatch, or Runtastic's Orbit. While Runtastic makes you pay more for a lot of features other apps give away for free, the premium user will find the ceiling on this running-centric app to be pretty high.


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