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The 3 Best Phone Apps for Improving Your Training

by | Nov 24, 2022 | Gear, Training

Phone apps are a huge help for many things in our lives, but they also can be distracting and costly if you aren’t careful. Keep it as simple as possible! These 3 apps are ones that have been on our phones for years that make our training more fun, consistent and effective:

Tabata Timer

There are lots of timer apps to choose from but finding one that will let you quickly setup different patterns of intervals for strength training or even bike workouts like 30/30 without having to rig up your smart trainer or stare at your watch. Tabata Timer is a popular one we have found works great.  Seconds is another one we have used and also works great. Both are free for limited use (no saved timers) but work in a free mode for basic use.

HRV4TRAINING

Morning heart rate and heart rate variability measurement using just your phone’s camera! This application keeps getting better and we love the simplicity and accuracy of this app. It syncs the recorded data to training peaks and asks you subjective questions (how sore are you, how did you sleep etc) so that it can help you track your recovery. This app is ~$15 one time but beats many of the expensive alternatives (Whoop, Oura) in its simplicity, portability (you always have your phone) and in that it is very open source. It also works with other heart rate monitors like Oura that will pair to the app, and we’ve found that we tend to prefer this app to any of the device-specific ones.

Wahoo Fitness

We mentioned this in our free apps and videos article a couple weeks ago, but it bears repeating. If you crosstrain or don’t want to bring a cycling computer on every ride, this is an easy app to use to record rides, runs, skis, whatever! Of course, it’s also how we train on our Wahoo Kickr trainer BUT it also records runs/bikes outside and will pair with Bluetooth HR straps if you have them.  This often saves me when I forget my Garmin or it dies because I forgot to charge. It will also upload after the workout to Training Peaks and Strava (and more)  if you click the little button on the summary page post-workout.

TrailForks

Honorable mention here for TrailForks, which isn’t free but is worth the spend for mountain bikers and trail runners who often travel beyond their usual trail networks! We’ve used it around the world and love it. (Strava’s free version is helpful when you’re already in a trail network and a bit lost, but TrailForks is definitely the best for riders who want to make a fun route!)

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