The spring marathon season for 2017 is done and dusted. So we wanted to see how people are using running app data throughout the year and how they will be preparing their legs for next year’s torture fest.

We also wanted to see if users of these apps are falling into a data drain trap. Some of these apps plot routes using GPS data and connect with music streaming services like Spotify, so it’s worth looking into the efficiency of each app in order to keep our customers informed.
We looked at a subset of 100,000 corporate mobile devices in our global network to analyze the running app data usage patterns of five popular run tracking apps: Strava, Nike+ Run Club, Map My Run, Runtastic and Runkeeper.

What time of day are people lacing up for a run?

Running app data
Our running app data analysis shows that the most popular time to go for a run is straight after work at 5.00pm.
Looking at each app’s usage individually, it’s evident that Runtastic users are early risers, typically running an hour before users of other apps. Runtastic users are twice as likely to have run before 8am than Nike or MapMyRun users.
Nike fans, in contrast, are night owls preferring to run later in the day. Users of the Nike app are twice as likely to run after 8pm than Runtastic users.

Which day are people getting their miles up?

Running app data
Our running app data analysis shows Sunday is the most popular day to go running, with Friday proving the least popular – likely because people prefer to hit the pub instead of the pavement on Fridays.
This pattern is especially pronounced with the weekend warriors of Runkeeper and Runtastic. Only Strava bucks the trend, with its users preferring Tuesdays over the weekend.

Which running app is winning the data efficiency race?

Running app data
Strava eats up data much faster than the others, suggesting more intense usage. This makes sense, as Strava typically attracts cyclists as well as runners, meaning distances and time spent using the app are more common.
Runtastic, Runkeeper and MapMyRun all use around a very moderate 0.5MB a day, with the Nike app consuming double that amount. This implies that either Nike users go for longer runs, or as is more likely the case: the app is less efficient in using up users’ data.

The last minute marathon trainers

Running app data
Analysis of how regularly running apps data is consumed in general shows that February to April is by far the most active time of the year for lacing up for a run. Collectively, running apps are used 55% more frequently in the lead up to Marathon season than they are in January – perhaps as runners start to panic about the impending race.

What can we learn from this running app data analysis?

The good news overall is these apps don’t consume a huge amount of data so you shouldn’t be too concerned next time your employees head out the door at lunch for a run.
It is important, however, to keen eye on the data consumption of each app. New features and app updates can lead to increased consumption and therefore increased cost. Wandera provides these insights and the ability to restrict access to certain content categories as well as individual apps via Content Filtering.
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