Couch to 5K
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How accurate do people find the RunKeeper App at measuring distance?

I set off today for my first run after graduation and decided I would try the Runkeeper App. I programmed it to basically tell me what to do as per the W9R3 run as I wanted to do 30mins of running.

I have, for the most part used the treadmill but today was a gorgeous sunny day so I set off outside. By 25mins I was quite out of puff so for the first time ever I finished the run early and power walked the rest of the way home.

I nearly died when I looked at the app which said I had gone 6.77km in 34min.

I usually only manage 5k on the treadmil in 45 minutes. I was not convinced!

I decided to use a couple of other online mapping programs and they said my route was just under 5k - about 4.7km.

4.7km seems much more like it to me but that is way off what RunKeeper said. I have been using that as it allows you to log treadmill runs, but I think I might look for something else if it is so way off.

I was using my ipod which has gps.

All ideas welcome.


8 Replies

It may not be RunKeeper, it may well be the accuracy of the GPS in your phone. Have you tried other software on your phone, or RunKeeper on different phones for the same route?


I haven't astilla, but I have an iphone 4s so could try and do the same route again using the app on there and see what it says.

I did download ismoothrun so could try the route on that as well (that will only work on my phone) and see what the deal is.

It's scary being out in the big wide running world :) If I wasn't so keen to track stats, I would stick to running week 9 with Laura on the app so I could have my own music.


I use Runkeeper with an Android phone and find it to be quite accurate.


I'm using runkeeper on an iphone 4 and it seems accurate enough, perhaps it depends on how good your GPS signal is? Mine always says 'good' as I leave the house :)


The iOS does seem to go weird from time to time. I have found to only start your run on the ap when you have a good signal (not poor, or even fair). If you get an obviously wrong reading, power down the phone/ipod completely and re-start - that seems to fix it.


Yes, I have occasional blips. Sometimes it is bloomin' obvious, but it is downright upsetting when it is plausible and then you realise it wasn't real :-(


I've found Runkeeper to be far too inaccurate for my slightly obsessive taste. I use it alongside a Garmin so it's easy to spot when it's wrong. I now use (and really love) iSmoothRun which is spot on every time. It also allows you to set a target pace and if you want it will also give you regular updates on your pace, distance etc during your run. it is a paid app, £2.99 currently, but worth every penny.


As astilla says, the inaccuracy is more likely to be the result of your hardware. I have never known such a major overexaggeration of a distance, but my regular 5k run can measure up to 200metres variation, both with Runkeeper and Endomondo on the same android phone. I don't know how Runkeeper samples for current pace, but the results are laughably inaccurate and give me many miles of happy running. The dedicated GPS systems (Garmin, Nike+ etc) are the only way to guarantee a more accurate track, in my opinion.


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