Every November I go to Las Vegas for the Rock and Roll Marathon‘s series where thousands of runners race down the Vegas strip.

You see runners of all skill levels from elite runners who’ll complete the marathon in a little over 2 hours to people who walk a 5k.

But almost all of the contestants or competitors have or do use apps to help them train. I wondered which apps are best for tracking runs and just getting started.

Linda Walker from Washington State told me when she decided to start running at the age of 53 she downloaded the app Couch to 5k.

“I liked the app because it gave you a progression and it gave me a goal, you know, counted by days even if I skipped a day,” Walker said after completing a 10k race.

“I like things that keep me on track. It would remind me if I was behind but I didn’t feel like it fixed me too hard. It was easy enough to do,” she added.

Roy Quinn from San Diego, California is a more experienced runner who uses one of the most popular apps for runners and cyclists called Strava.

Quinn describes it as “like a Facebook or Instagram for runners and cyclists so it will log your miles per week, per month, per year. You can set goals for how many miles you want to get in.”

You can also follow other runners and track how well you’re doing compared to others.

Both apps work on smartphones but where Strava shines is on the Apple Watch. 

Emily Powell has been running for fitness and in races for much of her life. She told me the Apple Watch along with Apple’s Activity and Health apps are a big help in training and tracking. 

“There are certain things on here that tell you to get up and stand up and you can set a certain goal for yourself and it sends you reminders throughout the day,” said Powell.

It’s both a motivational and accountability partner. 

All three of these apps are a key to starting on course of your fitness goals but the first step to a 5K our half marathon is taken with your feet.