What is RunKeeper?
RunKeeper is the personal trainer for your pocket. Track your running, walking or biking activities with our mobile app (iPhone and Android), or log in to the website to get further insight into how you're doing against yourself or your friends.
We got a kick out of this note we recently received from RunKeeper user Emily, so we thought we’d share. Enjoy!
I admit it. I loved you for over 500 miles, ran in the Boston marathon with you, and then took a much needed break. Then for the last 6 weeks, I’ve been seeing someone else (Nike + Running App). I thought it would be good for us to date around, but I have seen the error of my ways. I am coming back and want to apologize for ever leaving you. You are the only one for me.
Tim and Dave Belin after finishing the Frank Shorter 5K in April
By Dave Belin
Most of my life I’ve been a recreational runner. I run for exercise but don’t typically run much more than three or four miles at a time. I am motivated by goals, however, and four years ago I decided to run the Bolder Boulder, one of the premiere 10K races in the country, with close to 50,000 participants. Though I increased the mileage gradually, I ended up with a wicked case of plantar fasciitis (an inflammation of the connective tissue) in my left heel while still training, and never ended up running the race.
The injury lingered, and it appeared my running days were more or less over.
Or so I thought. This fall, my son Tim ran the most laps in his school’s jog-a-thon fundraiser, and he was awarded a free entry into the 2013 Bolder Boulder. I wanted to run the race with him, but could I get back into running shape without the heel pain returning? Would we be able to find the time and dedication to train for the race? What was the best way to prepare for a 10K?
In early February, I turned to the crowdsourced media of choice (Twitter) to get the information I needed to start the journey. Per a friend’s suggestion, I found RunKeeper, and the free sub-55-minute 10K training plan that is part of the app. It gradually builds distance and endurance, and incorporates intervals, which I had never really done before. For the sub-55 minute 10K plan, it gives you suggested pace ranges for the various runs and intervals. It also shows maps of the runs, along with pace and elevation data. Frequently Tim and I would pore over the data and analyze the results of the workouts, especially the pace and splits.
My wife and I, like many parents, try to spend quality time with our kids doing fun things together and have a couple of routines and rituals that we have incorporated into our schedule over the years: weekly ice cream nights and movie nights, big Sunday morning breakfasts; we ski and hike together, too.
The miles Tim and I spent together running became another one of these opportunities for father-son bonding. Frequently the conversations were about our goal of finishing the race in 55 minutes. We talked about pacing, training, commitment, putting in the work necessary to achieve a goal, and setting yourself up for success. We talked about how running is hard, but that if it was easy, everyone would do it. We talked about trying your best.
I have subsequently realized that many of these conversations are exactly what a father should be talking to his son about. It’s sort of clichéd, but many of these lessons are ones that extend beyond running and into life. As a father, I hope that Tim will remember these lessons as he gets older, whether it is in school, work, relationships or life. It turns out that, at least for me, the goal of running the Bolder Boulder has a larger goal embedded within it of spending quality time with my son.
As the days grew longer, so did the runs. The more lengthy the runs, the more valuable the RunKeeper app was, particularly for the interval workouts. I was able to focus on the running while RunKeeper would ding and tell us the details of the next interval (distance and pace). Tim and I normally studied the specifics of the workout in advance, so we started to pick up the pace as soon as we heard the familiar chime, almost like dogs in a Pavlovian experiment. And fortunately, the heel pain has not been much of an obstacle, thanks to some research on improving my form (and new Newton running shoes).
As the big day approached, Tim and I were both nervous and excited. With 50,000 racers, the Bolder Boulder is a really big deal in Boulder. We were looking forward to the crowds, the cheering, the people, the bands, the sprinklers the belly dancers, and the big finish in Folsom Field, the 53,000 seat University of Colorado football stadium.
The 5:30 a.m. alarm buzzer on race day came a little early. And soon enough, the starting gun for our wave sounded.
Tim and Dave Belin at the start of the Bolder Boulder
Following the mantra “You can’t win the race in the first mile, but you can lose it in the first mile,” we began the race at a strong-but-not-too-fast pace. Feeling the adrenaline pumping, we cruised along with the speed of the other racers.
As we neared mile four, Tim started getting a cramp—something I was familiar with from early in our training. His breath was getting shallower and he was obviously in pain.
“Let’s slow it down,” I offered, and started to ease up the pace.
“No,” he insisted, grimacing as we continued up and over the hill next to Casey Middle School, the high point on the course. I knew from checking RunKeeper that we were ahead of our 55-minute goal, but it was at this point that I realized Tim’s determination would certainly put us way ahead of schedule.
I was secretly confident that we could actually finish in 53 minutes, not the 55 minutes we had set as our goal. Heading into Folsom Field, Tim started sprinting ahead of me, the excitement and cheering of the big crowd propelling his legs. I was able to reel him in, however, and we crossed the finish line together at 51:46. The 8:20 pace we logged was even faster than our 5K qualifying time of 8:24.
Sam, Dave, and Tim Belin at the finish of the 2013 Bolder Boulder
I am really proud of Tim and the commitment he made to the training and the hard work it took to crush our goal. He finished ninth out of 310 9-year-old boys (though three 9-year-old girls beat him, too). After the finish, my other son Sam decided that he wanted to participate in next year’s race.
This experience has reminded me, as a father, about the importance of actively seeking out situations to spend quality father-son time together. Last week, Sam and I went to our first yoga class together. I wasn’t sure if he would like it, but afterwards he said contentedly, “I’m so relaxed!” As the boys grow, I know that we will continue to look for new challenges, new opportunities and new goals to achieve together, not only because it helps establish strong family bonds and traditions, but also because it’s just flat out fun.
When he isn’t skiing or biking, DaveBelin enjoys running, which he has done on and off since high school. He lives in Colorado with his wife and two sons
As we get ready for our next Android app update, we’d love your help testing the beta build we have ready. This 3.5 release offers a great new look for your historical activities!
• The brand-new summary screen displays your activity map and all your stats in a single view • This page also showcases any notes, photos, and friends you’ve added to workouts
We’d love for to give this all a whirl and let us know how it works. As usual, please provide us as much information as you can (via the comments section below) about any bugs you’re seeing, and the steps you take to reproduce it. If you are a developer, feel free to use developer tools to generate bug reports and send them over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now for the fun part! To install the beta:
1) Go to application settings and allow installation from unknown sources
2) Click the button below from your Android browser to get the new APK.
In October of last year I had one of the most embarrassing moments of my life and I entered a runners’ nightmare. It’s a pretty funny story really—it was 9am, I can hand on heart say I was totally sober, not even hungover, and in very sensible boots. I lost my footing, one foot shot out in front of me, my left foot, crumpled beneath me. It’s happened to you right? (Please say yes!).
As it was the morning rush hour, I got right back up again in the illusion that nobody saw my hilarious fall from uprightness. Sadly that illusion was shattered almost immediately by a lovely man stopping to see if I was ok. I hurriedly expressed my thanks and went to carry on.
I work with nurses, so I figured I’d sprained my ankle and would get them to take a look, so I took a step forward and suddenly the pain was a whole lot worse. Then it went away. Trouble is so did my ability to stand, and see, as I fainted spectacularly back to the wet pavement from which I’d just got up. Put yourself in my very sore feet for just a moment. I’m pink just remembering it.
After weeks on crutches and physio, I’m cleared to run again. I’ve got fallen arches and my left foot still aches a whole lot, but generally it’s getting stronger each time I run on it. I’ve barely run since October and on the first day that I went out it was like I was back at square one again. I’ve lost all that stamina I’d built up.
Running seems to be like no other sport—if you stop it goes away pretty quickly if you aren’t in shape (like I’m not!). I’ve been trying to lose weight for the past 18 months—I’ve lost close to 50lbs—but I have a considerable way to go to be in that hallowed “healthy” weight range. So forcing my body to move out there is a big job, and one that I relish, one that I really adore, one that challenges me in ways that no other thing I’ve ever done.
I’m running a 5k fun run in Manchester in July (The Color Runif anyone can overlook the misspelling for us in the U.K.) so I’m trying to get myself up to some level of ability before that point. I have tried following the much-praised couch to 5k plan before now and have always gotten fed up of it pretty quickly. It may be effective, but its a little monotonous for me, so when I was having a look through RunKeeper on my phone I noticed their training plans too. I thought I would give thebeginner 5k plan by Mike Deibler a shot. I did my first run on the Bank Holiday Monday, it was really hot, humid but I warmed up and then I plugged through the 2.4km walk / jog. I ran laps of the cricket field near my home and I ended the workout feeling pretty happy. I know I’m slow, but I’m starting out.
Where did you start out and where are you now? Please give me hope that it gets easier!
From the beginning, the RunKeeper community has been a close-knit one where friends (both old and new) provide motivation to help each other reach their fitness goals. You can see progress, chime in with praise or encouragement, and get pumped up by seeing all of the fun activities, milestones, and races of your RunKeeper friends. But until recently, none of this social functionality was on your phone!
The social feed
We launched the mobile leaderboard recently, which was met with rave reviews, but this is only one aspect of the social experience that the RunKeeper community has been clamoring for. We are thrilled to announce today that we’ve added a social feed in the mobile app as well! Now you can see your activities, photos, goal milestones, and other highs you’ve hit along the way, as well as those of your RunKeeper friends—right from your phone!
We’re excited to see how the social feed in the app enhances your RunKeeper experience. It is also foundational—you can expect more functionality to come that enhances the social experience in the app and further connects you to the RunKeeper community in powerful ways.
We’ve also crafted this latest iPhone update to bring you important context about your personal fitness journey, which we see as another powerful motivator. When you press the stop button after an activity, aren’t you just itching to know how it compares to your others? We’ve taken the guesswork out of this process by ranking your runs for you!
You RunKeeper Elite users will see how a particular workout stacks up against all others of a similar distance, and how your pace is trending over time. You can even compare two runs against each other for an extra level of insight! (Non-Elite users will see just how close a run is to a personal record, but you can upgrade to Elite here if you’d like these extra goodies.)
We’re so excited to see how this new update helps you better reach your fitness goals! Be sure to download it and let us know what you think.
Meaghan, our favorite self-proclaimed on-again, off-again runner is back it again with another great post. Read below for some laughs and her take on some very popular motivational running quotes. (You can read other blog posts by Meaghan here.)
Personal trainers fall into two major categories. Some personal trainers yell and push hard, some trainers hold hands and encourage. I do better with the latter. And the same goes for inspirational quotes. In my world, go hard or go home is an invitation to sit down. (Maybe I have some sort of authority figure complex?)
Go ahead, peer into the brain of someone who’s never considered herself an athlete. These are my true, inner responses when I see motivationalfitness quotes.
MotivationalQuote: “You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face.” – Gatorade My Immediate Inner Monologue: Seriously? I have a choice? Thank you. I choose option A. It sounds a little easier.
MotivationalQuote: “Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.” – Doug Larson My Immediate Inner Monologue: So what you’re saying is, I’m too smart to run.
MotivationalQuote: “A run begins the moment you forget you are running.” – Adidas My Immediate Inner Monologue: True. If only that moment lasted more than a moment and happened before minute 21 of my 22 minute run.
MotivationalQuote: “Sweat cleanses from the inside. It comes from places a shower will never reach.”— Dr. George Sheehan My Immediate Inner Monologue: Kind of gross. I mean I get the gist of what you’re putting out there, but typically where showers reach is good enough for me.
MotivationalQuote: “The most important day in any running program is rest. Rest days give your muscles time to recover so you can run again. Your muscles build in strength as you rest.” – Hal Higdon My Immediate Inner Monologue: Not helpful for someone who loves rest days. Rest days are my specialty. I’m the queen of rest days.
MotivationalQuote: “Believe that you can and you are halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt My Immediate Inner Monologue: Really? Because last time I checked I was only halfway down the block. And I believed really hard this time.
MotivationalQuote: “Unless you puke, faint, or die, keep going.” – Jillian Michaels My Immediate Inner Monologue: None of those four options sound appealing.
Motivational Quote:“Think of your workouts as important meetings you’ve scheduled with yourself. Bosses don’t cancel.” – uncredited My Immediate Inner Monologue: Disagree. Cool bosses do cancel. They cancel and decide to take you to happy hour on their tab.
This past wednesday marked National Running Day, and we had hoped you would all do something great to celebrate! Many RunKeepers sent in pictures to show that you didn’t disappoint! Check out some of our favorites below.
Let’s face it, most of us runners are kind of selfish. We need that alone time; time to step away from the daily grind, clear our heads and find our inner voice.
That’s all good and fine, but what about connecting with others? The solitude can certainly take a toll. Sure, running groups have their time and place, but man, running AND chatting doesn’t do it for me. I’m already out of breath; adding a conversation in mid-run is just too much. Can’t we just save the dialogue for the coffee shop or, perhaps, bar afterwards?
That’s why I’m super excited to tell you about a running event that combines the best of both worlds. The peace and quiet with togetherness. A running elixir for both introverts and extroverts.
This magical event was the Reach the Beach Relay. A 24-hour, 200 mile running escapade through the backroads of central Massachusetts with a team of 12 awesome people. You start out at Wachusett Ski Area (60 miles west of Boston), wind your way through the state parks of Massachusetts, even darting through the ginormous state of Rhode Island, before eventually hitting the southern coast of Westport at Horseneck Beach.
With a total of 36 legs per team, each teammate is assigned three running legs. In my case, I was our team’s #4 man, which meant I ran Leg 4, Leg 16 and Leg 28. My “legs” came out to a total of 20 miles, while others varied from 12 miles all the way to 22 miles.
Hear me out below on why this is such a stellar event and why your next event should be a relay, and not an individual race:
Running for yourself is so 2000. Running for a team, now we’re talking. Most races, at least for me, I’m the cheer-ee. At RTB, 33 times out of 36, I was the cheer-er. Swallow your pride, get off your high horse and pass that baton. Actually, it was a wrist band.
Feeling Like a Kid - Van Painting and Slumber Party
Each team rents two vans. Okay, that’s an adult thing. But, what you do with those vans is pure kid. Like coloring it up with all kinds of goofy sayings.
Yeah, remember slumber parties? Sleeping bags and hot chocolate? All this happens on a Friday night in a van down by the river located in a random church parking lot.
Road Trip for the Fitness Fanatics
Who doesn’t love a good road trip? Spontaneity and freedom. Yet, on many road trips, exercise is an afterthought. RTB has all the makings of a good roadie, plus fitness, minus drinking (don’t worry, the booze comes post-race).
You don’t really know where you’re going. Something is bound to go wrong. It’s actually supposed to go wrong. You’re in the car most of the time. But, when you are not in the car, when we weren’t being road trip bums, we were getting our run on.
Being in close proximity to others is good for bonding, right? When you’re stuck in a van with someone for 30 hours straight, it builds trust. You smell. You starve. You fart. You snore. You complain about your next run. It’s like being back in your college dorm, but instead of complaining about your next class, you’re complaining about your next leg.
Running in the Dark
Creepy. For the most part, everyone on the team has at least one run in the dark. My second run, Leg 16, was my night run at around 11:30 pm. To brave the darkness, I had to put on a headlamp, another light on my back, a reflective vest and a huge leap of faith. No joke, you can’t see more than 3 feet in front of you. One small note: the headlamp is gross. You’re borrowing it from a teammate who ran a few legs before you, which means it’s still sweaty, and gross, and disgusting, and now sweating on your forehead, rather than theirs.
People’s take on night running was literally and figuratively night and day. Some of the runners claimed they loved it, while others, like me, hated it and couldn’t wait to be done. Luckily, my night run was my shortest leg, 3.5 miles. Since I couldn’t see in front of me, and potholes were everywhere, I kept stressing that I was going to roll an ankle and seriously hurt myself. However, now that I’ve made it out un-sprained, I would say that running in the dark can be liberating. It really is you and the open road.
Eating At All Times
When you’re not running, you are eating, which I am perfectly ok with. Oh, you want a bar post-run? Well, we brought a hearty selection of Cliff Bars, Nutri-Grain Bars, protein bars, fruit bars and probably ten other gooey bars. Trail mix, count it. We dominated this deli in West Boylston, right after everyone completed their first leg. As you can tell from the photo, I was quite happy with my Reuben selection:
Taking it even further, after my second leg, Brad Callow, RunKeeper’s greatest intern EVER, had a bacon mac n’ cheese dish waiting for me at that leg’s finish line. I think my first bite went down before I’d even pressed stop on the RunKeeper activity. But, it definitely looked better than it tasted. Major letdown!
Good music on a road trip is probably more important than good music on a run. You can only talk to your teammates about their last leg or preparing for their next leg so much. To fill that dead or awkward time, jams are the only solution. What were some highlight tunes you might ask?
Well, the two showstoppers were Will.i.am and Britney Spears’ song, “Scream and Shout.” As the duo so eloquently puts it, each teammate was expected to BRING THE ACTION!, which we adopted as our team motto.
The second gem, brought to you by moi, was an oldie and even better goodie. You’ll probably never guess; that’s why I’m here to tell you.
“I Got A Man” by rapper Positive K. Just as Mr. K refuses to accept rejection from the female vocalist, Tuckie Team 2 refused to let darkness, hunger, jello-like legs, intense stench and cabin fever stand in the way of the beach. Fun fact, this song is in Die Hard 2. Just saying.
The Ultimate Reward
Most races end at a finish line, but not a beach. Reach the Beach ends at both. Boom!
What’s more, everyone from our team ran the last hundred yards of the race with our last runner, Christina. Best of all, tasty beer and burritos were waiting for us, compliments of Narragansett and Boloco. Talk about a long beer run?
Anti-climatically, instead of sitting on the beach, because it was so cold, we sprawled out in the parking lot, sipping margaritas and summer ales. Yes, runners throw a mean tailgate.
All in all, I had a fantastic time, meeting new people and basically making memories. Isn’t that what life is all about? Experiences over PERSONAL records.
Now, it’s your turn. I’d love to hear if you’ve ever participated in any sort of team relay. Was it fun and how did it compare to Reach the Beach? Would you rather do an individual race instead? As always, let us know in the comments below.
The importance of lifting weights and adding cross training to any runner’s regimen has been stated time and time again. I didn’t realize just how important it actually was until I was beginning mile 24 of the Chicago Marathon in 2011. Everything was falling apart as I hit “the wall” and if you’ve ever run the Chicago Marathon before, at mile 26.1 you’re blindsided by a wildly steep hill. I was lucky to have survived that hill in the shape that I was in. I relied on pure grit the last 2.2 miles of that race to finish with a time of 3:28. It was as I was forcing down three sips of the “finisher’s beer” that I decided I needed to find a better way to train.
I walked into my first CrossFit gym having only seen what was on TV: big guys lifting heavy weights. I was intimidated to say the least. I couldn’t do an unassisted pull up and my squat depth needed work thanks to a little flexibility issue (hello, runners). Workouts were tough and soreness was plentiful. I stuck with it because coming from a runner’s world to CrossFit, I had what most didn’t: lungs and the ability to mentally breakthrough pain barriers. The metabolic-conditioning workouts were tough but became an obsession. The squats became easier as my legs became stronger. The length of my runs was decreasing just as my mile-split times were.
LESS IS MORE
Just eight weeks after the Chicago Marathon, I crept toward the 3:20 pacer at the Las Vegas Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon. I was uneasy because all I had known before Chicago were the slow, long-distance training runs. The previous eight weeks, I didn’t run any double-digit mile runs and had focused on my strength training with CrossFit. I was uneasy as I toed the starting line preparing for another 26.2 miles. For the next 3 hours and 19 minutes, I ran strong. I never hit the wall, never cramped and never had a negative thought creep into my mind as I PR’d by more than eight minutes. I was sold.
I still run. I lift more, however. I have completed a full Ironman in Louisville, KY in 2012 and I just finished my fifth marathon at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon this past April using CrossFit as my primary training program. I now coach and train runners to become strong ATHLETES. Power and speed are critical components to success in the endurance world.By taking baby steps and incorporating weights to your workouts, you are ensuring yourself that you will be able to finish that 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon…. FASTER AND STRONGER.
Ryan is a CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance Trainer at Koda CrossFit in Oklahoma City, OK. You can read more about this on his blog.
A few months ago, my mom went into her local running store, Runner’s Alley, to buy a new pair of sneakers. This isn’t remarkable—my mom is a dedicated walker and RunKeeper user. But before leaving the store, she signed up for the beginner 5k run club—and with that, went from being a lifelong walker…. to a runner. That night, our phone call went something like this.
Mom: I signed up for Run Club! It’s twice a week, plus one extra day of running homework!
Mom: Yes! Andrew Huebner (Runner’s Alley’s in-house speed demon – this year’s Boston time: 2:27:41) was there and he said it would be fun!
Me: You did WHAT?!!!!” (there were expletives….)
That’s right, after nearly 30 years together, my mom still surprises me. For some background (and my very objective opinion): my mom is the best. She’s infinitely kind, positive, and patient. She’s also adventurous! When she was 17, she moved 5000 miles away from her family in Istanbul, Turkey, to come to college in New Hampshire. And when I moved across the country to San Francisco at 22 for love and “to work for a high velocity startup”—regardless of the fact that I didn’t actually have job lined up in the Bay when I moved—my mom was my number one champion.
So as soon as I heard about my mom’s new foray into running, immediately I thought we have to run together. We both signed up for the Runner’s Alley/Redhook Memorial Day 5k. And then we started training. As she ramped up with her run club, I ramped up my CrossFit, and added in some longer runs. At the end of each day, we’d check each other’s RunKeeper, and praise each other for hard work.
The weekend before the race, we went to New York City together for my birthday, where we did nothing but walk, run, and eat. We racked up as many miles as we did courses—12 miles one day, 16 miles the next, and managed to squeeze in a tasting menu at Hearth, breakfast at Eataly, lunch at Prune, dinner at Balthazar, and even some on the road traveling eats at IKEA.
Her run club homework required two 30 minute long runs—with no breaks, something that I hadn’t actually done before either. (I’m an unapologetic walk-break gal.) But we geared up, ran on the Hudson, and made it through together.
That’s us, red, sweaty, and pretty darn pleased with ourselves!
Also, we got to run here:
And in no time, it was race weekend—and we were ready for it. I’ve never actually been less nervous for a race—I could not have been happier to be there.
For three miles, my mom was awesome. We ran nearly a minute faster pace than any of her training runs, and she kept it up the entire way.
Here we are at the end of the race:
What’s next for us? Hopefully she’ll consider a 10k with me soon, but in the meantime, we’re both working on our 1-mile streak through July 4th!
While this was a first for us, we were in good company – many of my RunKeeper teammates race with family! Content Manager Erin runs the Turkey Trot every year with her dad, Director of Engineering Johnny does the Walk for Hunger with his wife’s family. Interaction Designer Allycia runs races with her dad, and ski races! And there are a whole bunch of us who bike, camp, kayak, canoe, hike, golf, and play tennis with family.
What about you? Have you ever run a race with a family member? Let us know here in the comments!