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Profile: Jason Jacobs CEO of RunKeeper

RunKeeper (fitness app with 30 million users and growing!) is always looking for ways to help you lead a more active lifestyle -- whether it be daily motivation with Breeze or tracking specific workouts with RunKeeper.
courtesy of Jason Jacobs

I had an opportunity to interview the CEO of RunKeeper, Jason Jacobs.

RunKeeper (fitness app with 30 million users and growing!) is always looking for ways to help you lead a more active lifestyle -- whether it be daily motivation with Breeze or tracking specific workouts with RunKeeper. Now with the latest update to Breeze, one click instantly shares information between the two apps, making each app even smarter.

1. What prompted you to found RunKeeper?

Our mission at RunKeeper is to help every body lead a more active and healthy lifestyle with our apps.I wanted to build the best way for people to get and stay fit. The idea of RunKeeper was first conceived in 2007 while I was training for the Chicago marathon. At that time, the options for fitness tracking were very limited and I realized there was a huge opportunity for simple, social and fun fitness tools. I founded RunKeeper in 2008 and since then, we have grown to be a community of more than 30 million users.

2. What is the mission behind RunKeeper?

Our mission at RunKeeper is to help every body lead a more active and healthy lifestyle with our apps -- whether it be through daily motivation with Breeze, or tracking specific workouts with RunKeeper.

3. What makes RunKeeper different than other programs?

We're committed to providing robust and comprehensive fitness tools that gives users a richer, more valuable experience. RunKeeper’s key differentiators include:

• Works for everyone – whether you’re a seasoned marathon runner or starting your first workout, RunKeeper’s features are easy to use and have something to offer at every stage of your fitness goals.
• Tailored, personalized experience – customize RunKeeper to your specific fitness objectives. Features like Goal Coach help you set a challenging, but achievable goal – such as race distance or target weight loss -- and suggests a training program that is challenging, yet achievable.
• Boosts motivation – Goal Coach also encourages users to reach their goals through motivational notifications. Additionally, RunKeeper’s dashboard tracks user’s improvements and progress over time and the app allows friends to send encouraging messages during a run.

RunKeeper’s second app, Breeze, serves as a nice complement to RunKeeper. The app requires no effort from the user – once the app is installed it will instantly pull the activity data from the past seven days. From there, Breeze automatically sets daily step goals based on past activity, tracks steps 24/7, and sends timely notifications that keep users updated on their progress throughout the day.

4. Can you describe a typical way to use RunKeeper?

Each user's experience can be unique to their fitness goals. On a basic level, RunKeeper tracks daily workouts and activities, from miles logged to the number of times the user goes to the gym.

Once the user selects an activity and route, RunKeeper will start recording the activity, including the distance, pace, and length of the workout. Users can see how current workouts compare to previous ones and get a thorough view of all their activities and progress. Notifications with status updates keep users motivated during their workout.

5. Does nutrition come into play with RunKeeper?

Yes and we want users to have access to the most comprehensive health and fitness tools available. We’ve partnered with nutrition tracking apps including MyFitnessPal, Lifesum, LoseIt!, WeightConnect, and MealLogger.

MyFitnessPal, for instance, allows users to track calories burned in addition to miles ran. It also looks at users’ weight across both apps and allots daily calories based on how much a user has exercised.

6. What is the greatest fitness mistake people make?

Setting unrealistic goals, or not setting them at all. On RunKeeper, goals are so effective that our users who complete their goals log 50% more miles and 30% more workouts per month than for those who have never set goals. An essential element of RunKeeper is to help users set, track, and reach their goals.

7. What would be your number one piece of advice for someone wanting to start to get in shape and get healthy?

Start moving! Every little bit counts and will help you work towards your goals. RunKeeper apps encourage and motivate users at every stage of their fitness goals and progress. For example, in just the first week of downloading Breeze, users were taking 28% more steps than the week of before. By week 6 of using the app, users took 35% more steps on top of that!