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4 fitness apps to get you running

Whether you’re preparing for a marathon or just want to get off the couch, download these for training or tracking distance.

The Runtastic app tracks distance, time, your speed

The Runtastic app tracks distance, time, your speed and calories burned. Photo Credit: Under Armour

If you ran in the New York City Marathon earlier this month, congratulations. And if you’re planning on running in the Long Island Marathon six months from now, you should think about starting training soon. These apps can get you up and running — or maybe just help you burn off calories from last week’s Thanksgiving eating marathon.

MapMyRun

(iOS, Android; free)

For many, running with a partner helps kick up the motivation factor. MapMyRun has a community of 40 million runners you can compete against and seek advice from. Not sure where to run on Long Island? The app’s Routes feature has a large collection of popular running spots near you and lists others who have run the route with their times.

Couch to 5K

(iOS, Android; $2.99)

Thanksgiving feasts and too much television often mean an ill-fated combination of mashed potatoes and couch potatoes. But this aptly named app promises you will be in shape to run a 5k (3.1 mile) race by following its training regimen: 20-30 minutes three times a week for nine weeks. The app tracks your running distance with GPS. If you’re a treadmill trainer, you can enter the workout stats manually.

Runtastic

(iOS, Android; free)

One of the earliest fitness apps for mobile devices, Runtastic continues to get better with continual updates. The app tracks distance, time, your speed and calories burned, and adjusts for when you are laboriously running up a hill (or coasting down one). The app can be customized for an array of activities including jogging, walking and biking. The Pro version ($4.99) adds several features and is well worth the price.

RockMyRun

(iOS, Android; free)

Let’s face it: Running is boring. You need all the motivation you can get. For many, the right tunes can help you go that extra mile. RockMyRun gives you access to a wide selection of music genres and curated playlists aimed at boosting your workout. The app interfaces with several dedicated exercise apps, including MapMyRun and Runtastic.

No HomePod for the holidays

Apple’s next major hardware product, the HomePod speaker, is being delayed, missing the key holiday shopping season. The $349 HomePod, which streams tunes from Apple Music, is Apple’s answer to the Amazon Echo and the Google Home speakers. Apple says it needs more time to perfect the speaker’s technology. The HomePod is expected to go on sale in January. — Bloomberg News

Patients want face time

Recent laws mandate that physicians must keep and update patients’ electronic health records. But doctors who use computers to input information during an examination may be upsetting their patients. A new University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center study found that patients preferred face-to-face communication during exams. Doctors who used computers during an exam were seen as less compassionate and less professional. — PETER KING

Checks and balances

Americans are addicted to their smartphones — and they’re trying to cut back. A survey from consulting firm Deloitte found users checked their smartphone an average of 47 times a day, with 89 percent saying they checked right after they woke up. But 47 percent said they are trying to cut back, mainly by turning off notifications or keeping the phone out of sight. — PETER KING

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