Here at AppleToolBox, we’re no strangers to using Apple products to improve your health. However, when writing health-centric posts for Apple users, I tend to focus on Apple’s fitness solutions while ignoring others. But not today. In this post, I’m going to compare Apple’s Workout vs Nike Run Club.
This one is for the runners! Whether you’re new to running or are a pro, this post should give you an in-depth idea of which app is better for you. I’m going to start by giving you a quick breakdown of each app. Then, we’ll move on to the unique features that each brings to the table, before finishing with a competitive comparison.
Workout vs Nike Run Club: An overview
The first thing I want to cover in this Workout vs Nike Run Club matchup is what each app is. That way, you can start with an unbiased idea of both apps. Plus, it’ll give some context for those that haven’t used either one before.
What is the Workout app on Apple Watch?
The Workout app on Apple Watch is the bread-and-butter of working out on the Apple Watch. No surprises there!
It includes several types of workouts, including walking, yoga, HIIT, dance, swimming, and of course, running. When you open the app, you can scroll to the workout you want to track and tap it. After that, a timer will start and your Apple Watch will begin tracking your workout metrics.
This is primarily what makes this app unique in the Workout vs Nike Run Club matchup. It’s an all-in-one app for tracking any workout you want. It’s pretty simple, too, displaying just a few basic metrics.
What is the Nike Run Club app?
The Nike Run Club app, on the other hand, is an entire app focused on running. This is its unique placement in the Workout vs Nike Run Club matchup.
In this app, you’ll be able to follow guided audio runs, see the map of your run, and much more within the Nike Run Club app. All of this is completely free, too.
While you can’t track any other kind of workout with the NRC app, you get far more features and ideas related to running than you get with the Workout app.
Workout vs Nike Run Club: NRC’s key features
Now that you have an idea of what Workout vs Nike Run Club are each used for, it’s time to break down the key features of NRC. Below are a handful of the features that make the Nike Run Club a great option for runners. I won’t be covering the drawbacks of this app until later on, so this is just the pros, not the cons.
An entire app focused on running
As mentioned, NRC’s primary advantage in the Workout vs Nike Run Club battle is its singular focus on running. Every feature, screen, bit of collected data, resource, and setting on this app is centered around helping you keep track of and improve upon your runs.
While some may see this as a detriment, I don’t think most runners would agree. Having an app centered around your preferred workout can be a huge motivational boon. It can also help you better track your performance and understand your runs.
In addition to being completely focused on running, NRC is known for being one of the best running apps on the App Store.
A social network for runners
One of the included features in NRC is its built-in social network. You can share and read posts from other runners, including your friends.
This isn’t a fully featured social media platform, of course. It’s just a way to share your post-run results with others. Still, if competition is important to your athleticism, NRC has this built-in.
This is a feature that Apple’s Workout app doesn’t have an answer to. You can share your activity with other friends who have an Apple Watch. But those are the only people you can share your activity with, which makes this feature more limited than the one you’ll find on NRC.
Personal record tracking is near perfect
Another key feature of Nike Run Club is its personal record tracking. For many users, this is the best feature of NRC, and it’s why many people choose this app when comparing Workout vs Nike Run Club.
You can easily and instantly compare your personal bests, earn achievements, and track your progress from one run to the next. You can even train to reach greater distances and speeds if you want.
Again, this is a feature you won’t find on Apple Workout. It focuses on your performance using a day-by-day basis. While there are achievements, it doesn’t do a very good job of tracking your long-term performance.
Special running events
NRC hosts special running events throughout the year. This is pretty unique to the NRC app and is in large part due to Nike’s influence in the athletic space.
You can follow limited-time competitions, workout regimens, and other types of events while using this app. This is a great way to keep your runs feeling fresh and exciting. And if you’re someone who doesn’t have any runner friends, it can help you feel less isolated while you run.
A motivation-centric running experience
In case you haven’t noticed yet, a recurring theme with the NRC app is its emphasis on motivation. Alongside being running-centric, I would say that the motivational component of NRC is its strongest feature. Combined, these two features give it a serious advantage in the Workout vs Nike Run Club debate.
One of the motivational features that we haven’t discussed yet is cheering. While running, friends who use NRC can send you words of encouragement. You’ll see these while you run, which can serve as a great source of motivation. You can send cheers to your friends, too, and keep the positivity flowing.
When you put the special events, personal best tracking, achievements, workouts, and motivational messages from friends together, you end up with an app that will not only track your runs but keep you running, too.
Hundreds of included workouts
As mentioned, the NRC app comes with included workouts. Back in the day, these were premium workouts that you had to pay for. But now this app is completely free, and that includes the running workouts.
These workouts range in difficulty and focus. Some are there to help you improve your distance, while others focus on your pace. And some NRC workouts just aim to guide you on your run. If you’re someone who tends to quit right before you finish your intended run length, one of these guides can help you make it to the end.
This is a massive advantage in the Workout vs Nike Run Club battle. You can use Fitness+ with the Workout app. It’s a paid service, however, and only includes treadmill runs at the time of writing.
Keep track of the miles you’ve run in your shoes
One of the more unique features that Nike offers is mile tracking for your shoes. That means exactly what it sounds like: You can see how many miles you’ve run in a specific pair of shoes.
You can set this up by adding your running shoes to the app. You can then see how many miles you’ve run in them over time.
Of course, Nike has implemented this feature to push you to buy Nike shoes. You don’t have to use this with Nike shoes at all, though. You can use it to determine when it’s time to replace your running shoes as well as see how long a specific pair lasted you before they gave out.
This is a super cool feature that goes beyond the Workout vs Nike Run Club debate. I wish more running apps had a feature like this!
Workout vs Nike Run Club: Workout’s key features
And that brings us to the Workout app. You’ll probably notice that the Workout app has fewer unique features in the Workout vs Nike Run Club matchup. Although that is the case, many argue that Workout still provides a more accurate, consistent, and seamless experience. You should see this reflected in the features laid out below!
The most accurate and responsive running app on Apple Watch
By far the most important advantage that Workout has over not just NRC, but every other workout-tracking app on Apple Watch, is its accuracy and responsiveness. When it comes to calorie tracking and real-time updates during workouts, Workout not only wins the Workout vs Nike Run Club matchup but every other matchup, too.
There have been a handful of studies into the accuracy of the Workout app’s tracking features, and the consensus is that you can’t get much closer to the truth with consumer wearables.
This is in no small part thanks to Workout’s integration with the Apple Watch and watchOS. An app like NRC can’t be better integrated with the Watch than Workout, and so it’ll always be the less responsive of the two.
Integrates directly with your Activity Rings
Another benefit of Workout is its integration with Activity Rings. Yes, NRC data does show up on your Activity Rings. However, the data it adds there will be less accurate and direct than the data coming from Workout.
That’s because NRC is sending surface-level data over, while Workout is sending everything directly to your Activity Rings in real-time. If closing your rings is important to you, then the Workout app wins this portion of the Workout vs Nike Run Club race.
Works with Fitness+ workouts
As mentioned earlier, Workout relies on Fitness+ to provide guided workouts for your runs. If you use Fitness+ already, then this will probably be a perk to you.
After all, Fitness+ workouts are high-quality, display your Activity Rings on the workout screen while you exercise, and provide more detailed data on your performance. NRC, on the other hand, just plays an audio workout over your running.
There are some drawbacks to the Fitness+ integration, however, that might make this less of a win for Apple in the Workout vs Nike Run Club battle.
First, Fitness+ isn’t free. Yes, there are lots of free trials. But eventually, you’re going to end up paying $10/month for this service.
Second, all of the running workouts on Fitness+ are for treadmill runs. Apple may add outdoor running workouts at some point, but we’ve had no announcements of that yet. I would wager that this makes this feature useless to most runners.
Third, you need a device with a screen for Fitness+ workouts. You have to play the video on an iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV. NRC’s workouts, on the other hand, are audio-only. That means you can play them straight from your Apple Watch.
The details of your runs are stored in the Health app
Part of what makes the integration aspect of Workout so impactful is its integration with the Health app. To me, the Health app is one of the most powerful apps on your iPhone. It collects and curates all of your health-related data from all of your devices in a single, comprehensive space.
Whenever you track a run with the Workout app, it stores all of the details of that run in the Health app. That doesn’t just include your steps, distance, and calories burned, but also your heart rate, cadence, and minute-by-minute performance.
While your data won’t be stored in a run-centric format like on the NRC app, it’s much more accessible to your health provider. This can make it a more useful app for trainers and specialists than the NRC app.
The NRC app stores data in the Health app, too. It doesn’t provide anywhere close to the same level of detail, however, giving Apple another edge in the Workout vs Nike Run Club debate.
Instantly responsive to your running workouts
Lastly, the Workout app is instantly responsive. You’ll see real-time updates every time you check your Apple Watch. The NRC app and other third-party apps, on the other hand, will update infrequently during your run.
The Workout app will also detect whenever you’re running and start tracking instantly. It’ll notify you when it detects that you’re running and ask to track your run. Even if you don’t respond, your exercise will be logged in the Health app and your Activity Rings.
The NRC app, on the other hand, will only keep track of runs that you specifically track within it. Impromptu runs will be ignored, which makes it slightly less powerful in the Workout vs Nike Run Club matchup.
Workout vs Nike Run Club: Who comes out on top?
Alright, now that we’ve covered the core features of both apps, it’s time to see who comes out on top in the Workout vs Nike Run Club face-off. Below are some direct comparisons between these two apps where I feel one beats the other out.
Apple Workouts is better integrated than NRC
You probably didn’t need me to confirm this for you, but regardless, here it is. Apple’s Workout app is far better integrated with Apple Watch, watchOS, and Apple’s health and fitness features than NRC is. And it will probably always be this way!
It comes as a shock to no one that Workout’s advantage over Nike in this regard is thanks to Apple being the developer behind the Workout app. It’s impossible for any app, even one made by Nike, to compete with Workout in this regard.
The Workout app integrates with the Health app, Fitness+, your Activity Rings, Apple Music, Siri, watchOS, Activity Sharing, and more in ways that NRC can’t.
This doesn’t mean that NRC doesn’t integrate with Apple Watch at all. But in a head-to-head, Workout vs Nike Run Club comparison, Workout wins yesterday, today, and tomorrow forever.
NRC’s motivational components beat Workout’s colder approach
An advantage that NRC has over Workout is its motivational components. It is chockfull of running motivation. If you’re someone who has a hard time getting your runs in, this app will do way more for you than Apple’s Workout app.
NRC lets your friends cheer you on, lets you cheer your friends on, provides social posting for your runs, hosts special events, encourages you to beat your personal bests, and has tons of running-specific achievements to boost your confidence.
By comparison, the Workout app has pretty slim words of encouragement. It’ll remind you to exercise, give out some generic achievements, and let you know if your friends worked out that day. And that’s about it.
If you already love to run, then you probably don’t need an app to push you onward. But those who are new to running or simply struggle to make time for exercise might depend on an app to keep them motivated. If you want an app that can double as a coach, NRC wins in this Workout vs Nike Run Club matchup.
NRC offers free workouts, while Workout’s routines require a Fitness+ subscription
Lastly, a key distinction in the Workout vs Nike Run Club debate is the included workouts.
As mentioned, NRC comes with free guided runs for all users. Just bring your headphones with you and you can run with a voice coaching you.
Apple’s Workout app, on the other hand, only includes guided workouts when you use Fitness+. Fitness+ is $10/month and requires you to use a screen with your workout. You can’t use it with just your Apple Watch, unlike NRC’s workouts.
Additionally, Fitness+ currently only offers treadmill workouts for runners. If you want to run outdoors, you’re out of luck.
With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that NRC wins on this front.
Workout vs Nike Run Club: The AppleToolBox verdict
In my opinion, the decision between Apple’s Workout vs Nike Run Club is straightforward.
If you just want something simple and direct that will track your runs, Workout beats out NRC. It’s more accurate, reliable, and instant. Just tap the button and start running. Or, just start running – your Apple Watch can automatically detect when you start running.
If you consider yourself a more serious runner, however, and want to start improving and training, then you have to go with Nike Run Club. It provides you with more focused statistics, guided runs, maps, and abundant data. Workout offers a lot of this stuff, too, but you’ll have to dig through your iPhone to find this information.
To me, it comes down to focus. Workout’s focus is on being a general and built-in workout tracker. NRC, on the other hand, is built for tracking runs. So if you’re a runner, you’ll most likely gravitate towards NRC.
The one caveat I’ll include here is if your health is core to your running habit. Obviously, everyone who runs is interested in doing so for their health. But if you’re primarily running for health-related reasons, then the more accurate tracking of Workout might suit you better, even if the app has fewer running-centric features.
Settle Workout vs Nike Run Club debate and start running today!
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you get out there and run. Pick the app that will help you do that best and get after it!
For more healthy reviews, guides, and insights into all things Apple, check out the rest of the AppleToolBox blog.
See you next time!
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