Comprehensive Guide to Runkeeper on Apple Watch

You can use Runkeeper with just the Apple Watch (Standalone Mode) or with the phone as well! Keep reading to learn how:


 Connecting your Apple Watch to Runkeeper

 Once your Apple Watch is paired to your phone, setting up Runkeeper is easy!

  1. Open up the Apple Watch app on your phone and head to the 'My Watch' tab
  2. Scroll down until you see Runkeeper in the list of apps
  3. Once you tap on the Runkeeper cell, just make sure the toggle is set to 'Show App on Apple Watch'

 *Note: Make sure your iPhone is operating on iOS10 or higher, and Watch OS3 or higher.

Setting Up Runkeeper for Apple Watch

We now have an onboarding process to help users get going and tracking with their Apple Watch! The setup includes several steps to ensure that Runkeeper has all of the necessary permissions to track activities properly. The different categories of the onboarding process include:

Location Services, Motion & Fitness, Notifications, Health App, and Date of Birth (date of birth is needed in order to calculate HR zones while tracking)



Tapping each of the below categories on the onboarding screen on your phone will bring you to the right place in your phone’s settings to enable these options. After completing each step, you will see a green checkmark to indicate that it is complete. Once you have all five checkmarks, tap done and you should be good to go!



Tracking an Activity

From the Watch (standalone, without the phone)

Starting an activity from the Watch will result in a standalone trip that uses only the Watch, and will save a map using your Watch’s GPS hardware capability (if you do not have a Series 2 or newer, you can still track but will not receive a map or distance/average pace). Even if you’re within Bluetooth range of your phone, Runkeeper on your phone will not track an activity if it was started from the Watch. 

When you open the app on your watch, you'll be greeted with the start screen (Play Button Icon) where you can begin your activity. If you want to select a new activity type, or further customize your trip, just swipe right on the watch face.

Note: Elevation data for standalone trips is now available for our Series 3 users as of version 10.0!

Standalone Watch Activity Settings


  • Activity Type
    On the menu screen, tap on Run (default activity type) and you'll be able to tap through the activity type options: you can select Run, Walk, Cycle, or Other.
  • Workout
    To select a workout, tap “Workout” and select the training plan or custom workout you want to track. All of your custom workouts created on the phone will sync to the Watch. If you are enrolled in a training plan, your watch will display the next incomplete workout from that plan. Note: My First 5K and Win the Long Run are not available when using the Apple Watch app in Standalone Mode.
  • Countdown timer
    Turning on the countdown timer will result in a 3-second countdown delay after you press “Start” before the app starts tracking. If you’d prefer for the app to track the moment you press the Start button, just toggle this off!

Viewing your stats while tracking

While tracking, you can swipe through several different screens to view your stats. The default screen will show duration, distance, current pace, and heart rate. Swipe left to view your current heart rate zone, and swipe left again to view your split times.

Note: You can choose between current pace and average pace in your settings before you start.


Completing An Activity

Once you've finished your activity, swipe right and press the pause button. If you decide to continue tracking, simply hit the resume button. However, if you are indeed done, tap the Finish button. You'll then see an Overview of your activity. Scroll down and click Save, and you'll be all set!



  • Interval feedback for selected workouts will be given in the form of a haptic vibration (we upped the strength so it should now be easier to feel!).
  • When you've finished your activity and save it on your Apple Watch it will not sync to our servers until you've opened the Runkeeper app on your iPhone.
  • Apple Watch Standalone trips do not produce elevation, pace, cadence, or split graphs on the website. This information is only available in the app.
  • If you're a Runkeeper Go user and using Live Tracking, this feature is not available in Standalone Mode on the Apple Watch. You'll want to start your Live Tracking trip from the phone app and be sure to take the phone with you.

Tracking with the Watch and phone

To use your Watch as a remote but still track the activity from your phone, start an activity from the phone. Select your settings for audio cues, workout, and activity type from the phone.

If your Watch is connected to your phone in Bluetooth range, the Watch will pick up the same trip and display it on your Watch. You can control the rest of the activity from your Watch (pausing, stopping, etc.).


Was this article helpful?
17 out of 33 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request
Powered by Zendesk