How to Set Goals in Runkeeper and Why They Help Lose Weight

Creating Runkeeper Goals
10 Oct

Last Updated on May 21, 2023 by Michael Brockbank

I’ve been using Runkeeper off and on for quite a few years. In the beginning, the app played a huge role in helping me lose the first 30 or so pounds. So, how do we use Runkeeper to set some goals for losing weight?

Runkeeper is an app that helps you get more physically active, which results in losing weight, should you follow a proper diet. It centers mostly around movement activities, such as walking or riding a bicycle.

Given how many activities Runkeeper manages, there’s something for everyone.

Why Use Runkeeper to Set Goals?

I am a big fan of creating goals and challenges. I can’t count the number of spreadsheets I have saved on my computer and Google docs for various forms of fitness data.

But you don’t need to go to such lengths to lose weight. In fact, Runkeeper records enough of your data to let you plan all kinds of goals.

Great for Beginners

Runkeeper was among my first apps when I began my journey to lose weight after tipping the scales at over 300 pounds. If I remember right, I was introduced to it by a few folks on (which is now

Essentially, it tracks your movement using your phone’s GPS signal. All you have to do is turn on the app, set what activity you’re going to do, and go.

When it comes to setting goals, Runkeeper tracks things like:

  • Achieve Cumulative Distance
  • Finish a Race
  • Lose Weight
  • Achieve a Distance

Then, you decide which activity you want. Each goal has its own set of activities, so, even a beginner can start walking, running, cycling, or swimming.

Each time you do a specific activity, the data is instantly recorded to your goal. For example, if you set a cycling goal to “Achieve Cumulative Distance” for the month and go on a 4-mile ride, Runkeeper will automatically add it to your goal.

Runkeeper Cycling Goals

It’s an easy-to-use app that lets you keep an eye on your progress.

Gamifying Health and Fitness for Motivation

I am a huge supporter of finding ways to gamify just about anything. That’s because if you make it fun, you’re more likely to keep doing it. In this case, I use the goals and data to gamify activities.

Because of how I create the goals, they work towards breaking personal records, which is another thing I do to make fitness fun.

When you work towards your goals with certain activities, you can look at the “Reports” section and see your Personal Records. Then, you can make it a game to break those records.

Runkeeper will track Personal Records for:

  • All Cardio
  • Running
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Snowboarding
  • Other activity
  • Strength Training

You can also monitor your weight and sleep, but the app doesn’t have Personal Records for those activities.

Seeing Your Progress Over Time

Ah, charts and graphs…something else I kind of geek out over. Nonetheless, viewing progress over time can be very inspiring. Once you create goals in Runkeeper, these graphs will be available directly on your dashboard.

Well, when using the browser version of the app the show. In the mobile version, you have to pull up the correct screen.

When using the mobile app, go to the menu on the top left and tap “Goals.” I’ll go more into how it appears in a moment.

Integrates with MyFitnessPal (Then to Fitbit)

Another tool I’ve used to lose more than 80 pounds is MyFitnessPal. It’s an app that lets you track your food intake and exercise. After all, keeping yourself in a caloric deficit is how you lose weight.

I know this is kind of over-simplifying weight loss. Seriously, you’re not going to have the same experience surviving on a 2,000-calorie diet of cookies versus a 2,000-calorie diet of fruits, nuts, and veggies.

Still, a caloric deficit is all most people need to drop fat as long as decent foods are in the mix.

Runkeeper connects to MyFitnessPal to share data such as sending calories burned through activities. So, if you have goals set in MyFitnessPal, Runkeeper will adjust your calories for the day.

Then, MyFitnessPal sends that data to Fitbit to track calories and time.

Data from MyFitnessPal to Fitbit

The idea of integrating all of these fitness apps is to give you as much data as possible so you can create some incredible goals. You can easily build an intricate web of fitness with all the apps you can integrate today.

For instance, I have goals set in Fitbit to burn 3500 calories in a day. If I work on my Runkeeper goals to ride a certain number of miles, those calories are shared across all my apps, which includes Fitbit.

This means you can use Runkeeper to monitor calorie burn without having to wear a heart rate tracker, like a Fitbit or Apple watch.

However, like most other apps and games that “monitor” calorie burn, Runkeeper isn’t as accurate as Fitbit.

That’s because the phone can only do so much. The heart rate and motion ability of the Fitbit are more accurate as it is constantly taking your pulse while monitoring movement. Runkeeper cannot do that.

Still, it’ll give you a good idea about how effective your activities are for losing weight.

How to Set Up Your Goals in Runkeeper in a Browser

You can use Runkeeper with or without the app. Though, I highly suggest using the mobile app as it is much easier than trying to enter your routes in Runkeeper manually.

Before we get started, it’s best if you have a realistic goal in mind. For example, don’t set a goal to walk 50 miles in a month if you’ve never really walked before.

You want to challenge yourself, but not to the point of causing injury or setting yourself up for failure. When I walked the 5k, I busted up both of my feet.

Just make sure your goals are logical for your needs and realistic to your abilities.

Let’s start with the browser version.

1. Log Into Runkeeper

Create a free account with Runkeeper and log in. Afterward, you should be looking at your account’s dashboard.

2. Click the “Add New Goal” Button

On the top right, click the “Add new goal” button.

Add New Runkeeper Goals

A new popup screen will appear.

3. Select the Achievement for the Goal

As I mentioned earlier, Runkeeper has four primary achievements for the goals. For this tutorial, I’m going to select, “Achieve Cumulative Distance.”

Select Achievement

4. Choose Your Activity

Now, each achievement will have varying activities and other settings at this point. Select the one you wish to work on for this specific goal.

Choose Runkeeper Activity

For this example, I’m going with Cycling.

5. Fill in the Details for the Goal

As I said, each achievement is going to vary quite a bit in the details. In my case, I simply need to enter in the number of miles, a start date, and an end date.

Fill in the details for your goals in Runkeeper.

Goal Details

In this tutorial, I’ve entered 56 miles with a start date of October 1, 2022, and end date of October 31, 2022.

Click the next button when you’re done.

6. Click the Done Button

When your goal is set up, Runkeeper will show your achievement so you can make sure everything is correct. If it is, simply click the “Done” button. If not, click the “Back” link on the bottom left to make changes.

Save Runkeeper Goals

Your goal is now saved in Runkeeper and will show up on the desktop of your account. Well, at least in the browser version.

How to Set Up Your Goals in Runkeeper from the Mobile App

Setting goals in the mobile app is a bit different than on the Runkeeper website. However, it’s not all that difficult to set up.

1. Open the Runkeeper App

You should have the Runkeeper app already installed. The icon is light blue with a white outline of a person running.

The first screen you should see is the app looking for a GPS signal before you start your activity.

2. Open the App Menu

On the top left, tap the hash marks to open the apps menu. It looks like three, horizontal lines.

3. Tap the Goals Option in Runkeeper

On this list of options, there is one labeled, “Goals.” Tap that option to open the goal setup.

Any goals you set in the web browser will be shown in this section.

4. Tap the Settings Function

On the top right of the app, you’ll see three, vertical dots. It’s similar to the settings function in Chrome and many other browsers and apps.

Tap the three-dot settings option.

5. Tap “Add a Goal”

You’ll see four options in this drop-down. Tap the “Add a Goal” option, which should be the first in the list.

6. Select a Type for Goals in Runkeeper

You’ll see a list of goal types, much like I demonstrated above in the browser version. However, the app also has a Weekly Requency type. This is if you want to set a frequency goal for activities.

For instance, you can set a frequency to run 3 times per week.

7. Enter the Goals Details

Enter the details of the goal you wish to set. These activities are different depending on the type you selected prior.

Once you’re done, tap the “Set Goal” button and you’re good to go. Just click the big “X” on the top right of the confirmation message and Runkeeper will take you back to the Start screen.

What Kind of Goals Do I Use to Push Myself in Runkeeper?

As I said earlier, I try to find ways to gamify everything. And one of the things I like to do is push to break my personal records. Since Runkeeper stores this kind of data, it’s easy to set up goals to do just that.

For instance, my record for the distance I’ve ridden on a bicycle is 49.8 miles, which I set back in 2014. Yeah…I’ve been slacking for a while.

Anyway, what I’ll do is create a goal of riding 50 miles before the end of the month. Depending on my progress, this could potentially help me break a lot of records in one massive achievement.

My point is that I’m always pushing to go beyond my own limits. Because when it comes to most things in life, you’re only truly competing with yourself.

It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing or how successful someone else is compared to you. What matters is how you perceive yourself and what you plan on doing to continuously improve.

I’m always trying to write that one extra word each week, get that one more article published, or ride that one more mile for the month. And all of this is based on previous experience and setting milestones for myself.

When it comes to short or long-term goals, I simply focus on going beyond what I’ve done in the past.

Do You Plan to Create Goals in Runkeeper?

Setting goals and challenges for yourself can help motivate you to do more, whether you’re using Runkeeper or some other fitness app. The hard part is making sure you’re taking action.

Anyone can set a goal. What sets success and failure apart is actually putting in the effort to achieve it.

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