At Runkeeper, we know the value of community. It’s why so many runners have that go-to running buddy, attend a weekly running club, or fit road races into their schedules. Even if you prefer to hit the road alone, support comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s a congratulatory tweet after hitting a PR, a tip on just how essential Body Glide is, or encouraging words from your roommate after an especially bad run, one thing is certain: running is better together.

This belief has led us to develop a big new feature for the Runkeeper app, which we’ve affectionately named Running Groups. Take a look.

We’ve heard you say time and again just how motivating it is to strive for specific goals with deadlines, so we’ve combined that with the magic of group encouragement. How does it work?

  1. Create a Running Group and select the challenge of your choosing: total distance over a week or month, or number of runs over a week. Decide how long you want it to go for. Pro tip: have fun with names and definitely use emojis. (See the screen below as an example.)
  2. Invite your friends—we think this is the perfect motivation for that one who’s been on the fence about running. Groups can include up to 25 people, and you can invite new people even after a group has started.
  3. Get running! Your group will get notified as you complete your runs towards the target, and the progress window will show just how close you are. There’s even a chat section for some friendly encouragement (or taunting). The ensuing notifications you’ll get are a big reason why a creative Running Group name makes for more fun.
  4. High five each other at the finish line. Done and done.

Running Groups are available on both iPhone and Android, because running community transcends mobile platforms. So download the latest version of Runkeeper, head to the Challenges section of the app, and create your Running Group. And be sure to share your feedback in the comments below; we’ll be continuously improving this feature so we want to know what matters to most to you all!

Need inspiration for your first Running Group? We’ve got six inspirations for you here.