New Apple Watch badges show how many 5Ks & 10Ks you’ve run

Apple Watch medals in iOS 16 have received a revamp to show how many times you’ve run a particular distance with the watch around your wrist.

Virtual medals are not everyone’s cup of tee. But some people like to refer to them as they find that sort of thing gives them incentive to keep active. Apple is well aware of this and the company has, for years, allowed Apple Watch owners to earn a selection of medals for various achievements. It is simptomatic of the gamified world we live in.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

There are medals that can be earned for working out a certain amount of time, running a particular distance, burning a particular number of calories and so on. In addition to these standard badges, the company occasionally allows users to earn limited time badges.

Examples of this are the recent National Parks challenge and International Yoga Day challenge. Each of these requires a user to successfully complete a certain task.

Apple National Parks badge
Apple National Parks badge

New badges available in iOS16

Users on Reddit have noticed that, as part of iOS16, the Apple Watch badges have received a bit of a revamp. If you look at the list of medals in the smartphone app, you’ll notice some new ones. The one that piqued many people’s interest is the 5K badge. It has a label at the bottom displaying how many times you’ve completed that particular distance.

Have a look at the example below.

Apple Watch 5K medal
Source: Reddit

This pertains to certain running distances such as 5K, 10K, half-marathons and more. It is worth noting that Apple rounds off these figures. So for example if you’ve run a 4.5km and 6km, both will increase your 5K run count. So it doesn’t require the exact distance in order for a workout to increase the count of a badge.

Sensibly, the company doesn’t double these distances across medals. So if something qualifies as a 10K, it will only qualify as a 10K. Meaning your 5K run total will remain the same – it will not increase by two points (by the logic that 5K + 5K = 10K).

The caveat is, only runs recorded in the Apple Fitness app count towards the total. So if you track activity in Strava, for example, this will not show up in these awards.

As mentioned, to get in on the new medals you will need to update to the latest version of iOS. This has become available to download and install as of a few days ago. watchOS 9 was also made available on that same day.

The above is not where the medal revamp ends. Other new badges show longest completed distances for running, hiking, swimming and cycling.

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

5 thoughts on “New Apple Watch badges show how many 5Ks & 10Ks you’ve run

  • So I ran 6.22 miles today and got a 5k count. Smh

  • It’s glitched like everything else apple pushes out. I don’t think the developers even use the products. I only get the 5K award about 75% of the time i run more than 3.1 miles. And the fastest 5K award is actually for one of my slowest times. I have about 300 faster 5Ks registered in the fitness app. I wish they’d fix the problems with the previous updates (like the announcing the pace of miles run – which doesnt work) when before putting out new glitched updates.

  • Too bad there’s not a 10 mile one too. Some people and races do that distance rather than a full half Marathon.

    • Yes did my first 15k yesterday but it didn’t show up as an award badge which is not a big deal but it’s something nice to see that you achieved that. I ran 10 miles which kind of surpasses the 15k and we’re technically close to a half marathon I would love if that gets recorded once I achieve it.


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