Updated · Aug 03, 2022
Best for: Tracking goals and setting milestones
What Is a Runkeeper?
100, 50, or even 20 years ago, if you wanted to get better at running, you’d walk out the door and run.
Today, we’ve gone digital. There’s an app for everything – and, of course, that includes sports.
The ASICS Runkeeper app is a fitness solution that claims to make you a stronger runner. The product was launched all the way back in 2008. In 2016, it was bought by ASICS – a Japanese corporation that produces a wide range of sports equipment.
Available on both Android and iOS, the solution is very popular among runners of all levels. It’s accessible, easy to use, and offers useful features for beginners and seasoned athletes alike.
In the below Runkeeper app review, I’m going to cover each of those features. If you’re looking for a good app to measure running distance, could this be the one for you?
Let’s find out.
The specific features you have access to depend on whether you’re using the Runkeeper app free or paid version.
But we’re going to talk about the different plans later. For now, let’s go over the most popular items this fitness solution offers.
A fitness journey isn’t complete without concrete goals. Having something to work toward keeps you motivated and accountable.
The folks over at Runkeeper HQ seem to realize that. Setting, tracking, and completing goals, both general and personal, are key aspects of the jogging app.
The “Goals” tab is intuitive and simple to navigate. You’re presented with several goal types, and upon picking yours, you set a start and end date. The software then keeps track of your progress. And when you complete a goal, Runkeeper even throws you a party and tosses confetti around the screen.
Of course, you can’t tackle a goal without a plan. Don’t worry – this GPS run tracker has you covered. The solution has a whole section dedicated to structuring your workouts in accordance with your goal.
The Runkeeper training plans are divided into two main categories: “Running for exercise” and “Train for a race”.
If you’re a casual runner, the solution asks you a few questions about your fitness level and schedule. Then it generates a weekly workout regime and lets you schedule the dates for each session yourself.
If you’re training for a race, this jogging app goes a bit deeper. The supported distances for such an endeavor are:
- Half Marathon
- 5 Mile
- 10 Mile
Once you’ve picked your desired distance, you answer some questions – including the date of the marathon and how often you can work out. Then you get a personalized training plan based on your answers.
If you’re not a fan of boring solitary workouts, Runkeeper has your back.
As the solution’s website states, the Guided Workouts feature lets you “run with a coach in your ear”. You can choose from a wide array of pre-recorded workouts by coaches and professional athletes.
It’s a handy functionality that I’ve really enjoyed. Having a voice in your ear guiding and pushing you can be a gamechanger. And the coaches definitely seem to know their stuff. If you want more out of your app than just tracking, this might be worth looking into.
Longer workouts can get boring over time. I’ve found that if I regularly do lengthy cardio sessions, they tend to become monotonous at a certain point.
The Runkeeper challenges have been a great help with that. They mostly do two things.
One, they stir up your competitive spirit by letting you test yourself against other users. Even when I’m exhausted, knowing I’m doing this with thousands of others makes me put one foot in front of the other.
Two, they’re a fun way to break up your routine. At the time of writing this, I’m doing the Plog Jog challenge. Basically, I need to finish runs and pick up litter as I go. I’m getting fitter and doing my part in saving the planet all at the same time.
Auto-Pause is an essential feature in any good GPS running app – especially if you’re an urban jogger. I’ve lost count of how often my time got messed up because I stopped at too many intersections.
With that said, some Runkeeper reviews have voiced trouble with its auto-pause functionality acting up. Personally, I didn’t have an issue with it, but it’s something to keep in mind. If you find the app keeps pausing mid-run and interrupting your workout, it might be better to disable the feature.
The Runkeeper GPS run tracker app really goes a long way to make you feel like you have a workout buddy there with you. You can set up audio cues for different stats – speed, distance, pace, time, and even heart rate. You also get to choose who to take on your run with you. Available voices range from a standard female voice to Drill Instructor (for fans of tough love, I assume).
It’s a nice quality of life feature. The number of things you can get on-the-run updates on adds quite a bit of customizability to your experience. And it’s enjoyable. Nothing like the voice of My Conscience telling me I’m behind my usual time.
Shoe Mileage Tracker
As you know, many running shoes have “best by” mileage. Putting more miles on a shoe than it’s intended for may impact the quality of your runs or even hurt you.
Since the intended mileage is usually in the hundreds, remembering how much you’ve used a certain pair can get confusing. That’s why many apps that track your run also let you log the pair of shoes you’re wearing.
The free Runkeeper version lets you do exactly that. In addition to tracking how far you run, you can enter your different shoes (and even give them nicknames). Then, whenever you log a run, you choose the sneakers you’re wearing, and their distance gets updated.
It’s a well-functioning feature that I’ve found very helpful. You wouldn’t want to go on a long run or a race with a worn-out pair of shoes on.
Goal coach notifications(iOS)
For whatever reason, Android Runkeeper doesn’t support this one. But if you’re using Runkeeper’s premium version on iOS, you’ll get notifications to let you know how you’re doing on your goals. For example, if you’re after weight loss, you’ll get a reminder to log your new weight when you burn a certain number of calories. And if you’re chasing distance goals, you’ll get a weekly update on whether you’re keeping up or lagging behind.
Different Activity Types
Don’t let the “Run” in the name fool you. This jogging tracker app supports almost 30 different activity types, as well as an open “Other” option. The activity types are split into two categories: GPS mode and Stopwatch mode. The solution has a surprisingly comprehensive list of supported sports. It covers the basics – running, swimming, hiking, strength training, biking, etc. But it also offers options like Nordic Walking, Meditation, Cross-Country Skiing, and even Wheelchair.
Ease of Use and Interface
Now you know about the app’s main features. But this wouldn’t be a real Runkeeper review if I didn’t talk about how user-friendly it is.
Truth be told, it’s one of the simpler to use fitness apps out there. The activity screen is very intuitive and lets you switch between activities or connect a music player – all with a tap. The audio stats are also easily accessible and customizable through the “Start Activity” screen.
Even if you’re not following a specific plan, adding a target pace or a one-off goal takes moments. The Start screen itself is also quite straightforward, though you can easily change it up. For example, I’ve added a calorie counter to mine:
Once you’re done with a workout, the app asks you how this run “felt”, with several smiley (or frowny) faces to choose from. This is a deceptively simple way to reflect on your performance and track whether your workouts become easier over time.
How Do I Use a Runkeeper?
I’m testing the Runkeeper app for Android, and it’s really easy to jump into. Opening it puts you at the Start screen – you have your map and a basic set of settings. You can tweak your music and workout specifics from here.
When you’re ready to go, you tap Start, and...well, you start running.
The “On the run” screen is pretty standard for a GPS running tracker. I like the bottom icons. If you’re on the run, you can take a quick screenshot by tapping the camera icon on the left. And Settings on the right gives you control over what you see on the screen and how data is displayed.
To access more complex features and functionalities, just hit the three horizontal lines in the top-left corner. That’ll bring up the menu.
We already went through my reviews for the more interesting Runkeeper features. So, in this section, I’m just going to quickly cover each menu option:
- Start: Brings you to the Start section. This is what you tap when you’re heading out for a run.
- Me: Your profile section. Come here to track your total metrics, see achievements, etc.
- Guided Workouts: Pre-recorded workout sessions by high-level athletes or coaches.
- Goals: An overview of your current goals and targets you’ve set yourself
- Feed: A social media type feed. You can add friends, share your workouts, and Like and Comment on other people’s runs.
- Training: This is where different training plans are.
- Challenges: Here, you’ll find the challenges we talked about earlier.
- Races: Sends you over to raceroster.com to find and sign up for events near you.
- Settings: Pretty self-explanatory.
How To Use Runkeeper With Apple Watch?
Looking for a way to set up Runkeeper on an Apple Watch? I’ve got you covered.
There are two options, depending on whether you’re an iPhone user or you just have the watch.
Let’s start with the first one:
- First off, you need to download and set up the Runkeeper app on your iPhone
- Launch the Watch app on your phone. Go to My Watch and find Runkeeper.
- Tap Show App. Now Runkeeper will start installing on your watch.
- On your iPhone, turn on Location Services, Motion & Fitness, Health App and Notifications to give access to Runkeeper. Then enter your Date of Birth to finalize the process.
- Congratulations – you now have Runkeeper on your Apple watch.
You can sync it with your phone app, transfer data, and track your workouts.
If you just have an Apple Watch with no iPhone, you can still use the jogging app on it. Here’s how:
- Wake up your Apple Watch by clicking the crown.
- Find the App Store icon and tap it.
- Tap on the Search bar and enter Runkeeper.
- Click Get to install Runkeeper on your watch.
If you’re only using an Apple Watch and Runkeeper without an iPhone, you’ll be working with limited features. But it’s still pretty useful in its own right. The built-in GPS will map your runs. You can also still choose activity types and workouts.
The fitness solution offers two plans: free and premium (also known as Runkeeper Go). If you want a sneak peek, it also offers a 7-day free trial.
Here are the plans and the main differences between them:
This version includes the essentials with no added features. You get to track and log stats, and you get access to basic stats with no advanced reports.
Runkeeper Free vs Runkeeper Premium
For most runners out there, the Runkeeper app free plan should suffice. When we strip away the bells and whistles, this is a running distance tracker app we’re talking about. And the free version does that job wonderfully.
If you’re a more advanced runner trying to up your game, it might be worth shelling out for the premium. The app’s insights are really helpful. Some of the premium workouts are useful for overcoming plateaus, and workout comparisons add a competitive spark to your runs.
All in all, Runkeeper is widely believed to be the best run tracker out there.
And honestly, for my Runkeeper review, I’m inclined to agree.
It’s not a perfect app, of course. Some other tools offer a stronger sense of community support. And the solution’s best features lie behind a paywall.
But the positives still outweigh the negatives. Whatever your running level, this app will ease you in with helpful workouts and push you to be a better athlete. It works well, looks great, has useful quality of life features, and is easily customizable in every aspect.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive running app, I’d definitely recommend you give Runkeeper a go.
A reader who loves writing, a marketer who loves tech, a nerd who loves working out. Dilyan is FOMO personified. If he isn't reading or writing, he's probably either gaming, messing around with something on his PC, or off swimming/cycling somewhere. Oh, or playing Dungeons & Dragons.
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