With the summer well underway, it’s the season for getting in shape. If you need some extra motivation or support while you’re on the move, Runkeeper can help with a suite of training and stat-tracking features that make the whole process of running a lot more engaging.
Runkeeper is one of numerous apps that use GPS to track, record, and enhance the exercise experience. Created in 2008, Runkeeper was acquired by the athletics company ASICS in 2016. Over the years, Runkeeper has consistently been one of the most popular and powerful apps in its particular niche.
Runkeeper’s interface is simple. When you start your workout, just press play and it will start tracking your location and movement via GPS. You can pause at anytime, if you need a break, and then once you’re done press stop to close out the run. The app records a lot of stats, including a map of the route you ran. These can all be easily named, edited, and shared within the app.
The GPS feature is quite reliable, but Runkeeper does allow you to connect with Garmin or Apple Watch, if you’d prefer. All around, the core tracking feature is easy to work with and gives you a lot of stats.
In addition to this core functionality, Runkeeper makes the process of getting started and staying motivated easier through several added features. One of these is how the app keeps you updated on your progress as you run. You can set it to give you updates at certain time or distance intervals, or when you hit a particular pace.
These are done through voices, that range from the generic “Kat” to more amusing and unique characters such as the Drill Instructor and Your Conscience. This feature is very well fleshed out, highly customizable, and gives just the right amount of humor and encouragement.
Runkeeper is free. But the premium Runkeeper Go adds another layer of utility and value by unlocking in app training courses. These are all conducted by professional runners and trainers. They range from beginner crash-courses to more nuanced and advanced options such as how to whittle down your 10k time, for instance. These courses set different daily goals and routines and the app will track your progress as you go through them
The app has had a rocky time over the last few years, with some concerns regarding privacy for instance, which should certainly be noted. That aside, it is still a solid app all around and worth looking into if you’re looking for some motivation to get into running.