Running can be a pretty low-key sport. You find some sneakers, a good sports bra, a lit playlist, and just trot along. But once you realize that some accessories can actually make running less miserable (i.e. workout earbuds, an arm band for your phone, cushier socks), it's easy to find yourself knee-deep in a bunch of gear that you don't need. One free (or relatively cheap) tool that's probably worth it? A running app.
While some serious runners don't like to run with their phone at all, when you're first starting out, apps can provide helpful feedback about your running. For most people, running is not about the stats or splits, and you definitely don't have to become obsessive about the data in order to be a runner. But if you usually just run without a planned route, you might realize you were going way too fast, or that your regular running loop is actually very steep and you should scale back. All these numbers might not mean much to anyone else, but they can really inform your next run.