1. OneFretAway's Avatar
    This thread has been extremely helpful, but I've got to say that it's making me rethink whether I want this product. I've just been getting back into running, and my Apple Watch was intended to be both a reward and a replacement for my old Garmin. I had doubts about whether I wanted to be tethered to a phone when I run, but was willing to give it a try based on the added functionality associated with the watch. In addition, most of the current generation of fitness watches are pretty lacking in aesthetic appeal.

    Candidly, this thread (and the very helpful Runner's world review linked earlier) has me seriously rethinking the purchase and perhaps leaning towards picking up a Polar M400 to meet my current needs while waiting to see what develops with the second generation watch. I'd be very interested to hear folks' candid take on whether they're happy with the purchase. Whichever route I take is going to be my go-to running companion for at least the next year or so. I think the Apple Watch has tons of potential, but if I'm honest with myself it doesn't seem at all competitive with GPS watches coming in at less than half the price.

    For what it's worth, my running right now is slow and low mileage. I've gone through ups and downs, completed a full marathon and several halfs, and basically started back at it in March after two years off. My fitness tracking needs are pretty basic. I got along fine with a Garmin 110 for years. I do like the more comprehensive stuff available on the health app, but I'm getting a strong sense that it's just not quite ready for prime time.
    05-21-2015 10:04 AM
  2. Suggs68's Avatar
    Ok, I did the comparison test this morning. My usual 5 mile route with both the Watch Exercise/outdoor run app running along with Endomondo running in the watch at the same time.
    Exercise app showed 4.9 miles, and the current pace was consistently off throughout he run anywhere from 30-50 seconds/mile.
    Endo showed 5.02 miles, which makes sense since I started it just before the exercise app and stopped it after so it picked up a few extra yards. Current pace felt very accurate throughout, and of course the average pace was accurate since the distance was correct.
    Guess the update didn't fix as much as we hoped it would. Back to using Endo as my primary run app.
    In response to the previous post, as a very serious distance runner (run 6-7 days/week with long miles) I'm VERY happy with the purchase. Since I always have my phone with me anyway that's not a burden. Yes a dedicated GPS watch like a Garmin or even the Microsoft Band will be a bit more runner focused with more fields and generally a super accurate GPS, I find the Watch as the best of both worlds. I'll be using it for my marathon training this summer and for all my races. Right now the ONLY thing I wish it had was HRM integration with 3rd party apps, but I'm sure that will change with an update soon.
    dianahk and OneFretAway like this.
    05-21-2015 10:28 AM
  3. bdtrader's Avatar
    This thread has been extremely helpful, but I've got to say that it's making me rethink whether I want this product. I've just been getting back into running, and my Apple Watch was intended to be both a reward and a replacement for my old Garmin. I had doubts about whether I wanted to be tethered to a phone when I run, but was willing to give it a try based on the added functionality associated with the watch. In addition, most of the current generation of fitness watches are pretty lacking in aesthetic appeal.

    Candidly, this thread (and the very helpful Runner's world review linked earlier) has me seriously rethinking the purchase and perhaps leaning towards picking up a Polar M400 to meet my current needs while waiting to see what develops with the second generation watch. I'd be very interested to hear folks' candid take on whether they're happy with the purchase. Whichever route I take is going to be my go-to running companion for at least the next year or so. I think the Apple Watch has tons of potential, but if I'm honest with myself it doesn't seem at all competitive with GPS watches coming in at less than half the price.

    For what it's worth, my running right now is slow and low mileage. I've gone through ups and downs, completed a full marathon and several halfs, and basically started back at it in March after two years off. My fitness tracking needs are pretty basic. I got along fine with a Garmin 110 for years. I do like the more comprehensive stuff available on the health app, but I'm getting a strong sense that it's just not quite ready for prime time.
    I am very pleased with the apple watch as a fitness watch. The HR recording is much more accurate than I expected (except the bug introduced in 1.0.1). I do a lot of cross training. Running, P90X, Outside cycling, Elliptical and Stairclimber and am really pleased with the AW tracking all of these items.

    That said, here is what I would like to see:

    1. HR reading by other apps (I used to use cyclemeter/runmeter). Possibly we will here more about this in June.
    2. Better back end summary reporting. Totals and averages by activity for the week/month/etc.
    3. More HR data/graphs for individual workouts with min/max HR reported
    4. More exercise types vs 'Other'.

    I am guessing most if not all of this will be available by the fall tied to the iOS 9 update along with watch OS updates.
    OneFretAway and impaler like this.
    05-21-2015 11:11 AM
  4. dianahk's Avatar
    My main gripe with the Workout app at this point (other than the lack of Average Pace) is the fact that metric preferences are saved per-activity, but not per-goal. I personally always want Elapsed, Distance and Pace as my metrics. So if I do a distance run and set Elapsed/Distance (goal metric)/Pace, then do a free run, I get Elapsed/Elapsed (goal metric)/Pace, and end up having to swap the time metric from Elapsed to Pace, then the primary metric from Pace to Distance.

    I suppose I'll just have to always do distance runs to avoid having to deal with this annoyance, even when I don't necessarily know how far I want to run that day.
    I am not sure I understand. For the run, I have the workout app show me elapse time, distance, and pace (would prefer average over current). Once complete is is saved and it includes active and resting calories, time, distance, average pace, and average heart rate. The workout app is not yet perfect, but it has promise.
    05-21-2015 01:09 PM
  5. Valana's Avatar
    I am not sure I understand. For the run, I have the workout app show me elapse time, distance, and pace (would prefer average over current). Once complete is is saved and it includes active and resting calories, time, distance, average pace, and average heart rate. The workout app is not yet perfect, but it has promise.
    What I'm saying is each type of run has a different goal metric that is hardcoded and cannot be changed. That's the progress ring you see in the middle of the screen during a workout. You can change that to indicate a numeric value instead of a ring. So for a distance run, that metric is distance and cannot be changed. For a free run, it's time, and it cannot be changed. Your time metric at the top of the screen can be changed between various time measurements. You might want it to show you Elapsed for a distance run, but Pace for a distance run. That preference, however, is shared between all types of run so if you alternate between different types of runs you have to keep changing those metrics.
    05-21-2015 02:14 PM
  6. impaler's Avatar
    I am very pleased with the apple watch as a fitness watch. The HR recording is much more accurate than I expected

    4. More exercise types vs 'Other'.
    I am like you - I'm not a professional runner, but want to see roughly what I ran. I want to put on the mileage, but the difference between 3.0 and 3.02 or even 3.05 doesn't bother me in the least. The point is that I'm out and being active. I think it's plenty accurate for all but the most demanding runners - and for them, I think a GPS-based, dedicated running watch is the right answer.

    I would like to see more workout types added - I bet they will add more as time goes. An amazing first-gen fitness tracker for me. And I do a combo of running and P90X.
    dianahk likes this.
    05-22-2015 12:41 AM
  7. Suggs68's Avatar
    Ok, this is interesting. Did the same 5 mile loop 3 days in a row since the 1.01 update. Wednesday the workout app showed it as 4.85, yesterday it was 4.9 and today it was 4.96. If it's using the phone's GPS it shouldn't have to calibrate or anything like that, but is there any good reason why it would get more accurate like that? Is it just random? I do wish there was a way to see the GPS signal in the workout app like u can swim Endo or RK. That would help understand where the issue is.
    05-22-2015 09:59 AM
  8. OneFretAway's Avatar
    If it's using the phone's GPS it shouldn't have to calibrate or anything like that, but is there any good reason why it would get more accurate like that? Is it just random?
    Interesting. I take it you were running with your phone each time? It's probably random, but you might want to consider a factory reset if your watch starts singing "Daisy" and saying things like "I'm sorry Dave. I can't do that."
    05-22-2015 10:15 AM
  9. Valana's Avatar
    Ok, this is interesting. Did the same 5 mile loop 3 days in a row since the 1.01 update. Wednesday the workout app showed it as 4.85, yesterday it was 4.9 and today it was 4.96. If it's using the phone's GPS it shouldn't have to calibrate or anything like that, but is there any good reason why it would get more accurate like that? Is it just random? I do wish there was a way to see the GPS signal in the workout app like u can swim Endo or RK. That would help understand where the issue is.
    From what I've been reading, when running and walking the Watch doesn't actually use your iPhone's GPS to measure distance, only to improve its calculations based on the accelerometer. This is different from, say, cycling, where the accelerometer isn't used to measure distance, only GPS.

    This could explain why your running distance estimates improved over time. I'm hoping that's what's happening, in which case perhaps 1.0.1 did fix running distance calculations after all. It would just take a few more calibrating runs for it to clear out the "wrong" calibration performed prior to the update.

    I'll be running again tomorrow and will keep an eye on my distance estimates to see if they improve.
    05-22-2015 11:00 AM
  10. Vortec 5.3's Avatar
    Ok, this is interesting. Did the same 5 mile loop 3 days in a row since the 1.01 update. Wednesday the workout app showed it as 4.85, yesterday it was 4.9 and today it was 4.96. If it's using the phone's GPS it shouldn't have to calibrate or anything like that, but is there any good reason why it would get more accurate like that? Is it just random? I do wish there was a way to see the GPS signal in the workout app like u can swim Endo or RK. That would help understand where the issue is.
    That's pretty dam accurate.
    05-22-2015 11:17 AM
  11. Suggs68's Avatar
    From what I've been reading, when running and walking the Watch doesn't actually use your iPhone's GPS to measure distance, only to improve its calculations based on the accelerometer. This is different from, say, cycling, where the accelerometer isn't used to measure distance, only GPS.

    This could explain why your running distance estimates improved over time. I'm hoping that's what's happening, in which case perhaps 1.0.1 did fix running distance calculations after all. It would just take a few more calibrating runs for it to clear out the "wrong" calibration performed prior to the update.

    I'll be running again tomorrow and will keep an eye on my distance estimates to see if they improve.
    Is that confirmed, that it's NOT using GPS for running, just for supporting the accelerometer? If that's the case, it would probably explain the issue, but I would want to have true GPS accuracy for runs, especially when I'm training for a marathon. This sounds like a rather silly functional decision especially since they tout the watch for runners (Turlington blog, etc). My pace can vary pretty widely depending on the type of run I'm doing, so a GPS would be necessary to be accurate.
    05-22-2015 01:35 PM
  12. PatrickNSF's Avatar
    So I've been using the workout app for my runs since getting the Watch the Tuesday after launch. I also have a Garmin 620. I always run with my phone.

    If I only wanted a watch for running I would definitely stick with Garmin at this point, and I'd wait until the 225 or inevitable 625 is released with integrated HRM. The display is better, the accuracy is better – it's just made perfectly for running.

    But I've been sticking with the Apple Watch because I like the other metrics and functionality – daily calorie burn, steps, call and message notification while running. But I've noticed my distance has been erratic this week, and I've run the exact same 6 mile route for 4 days. I'm also finding pausing and resuming at street lights to be less than ideal, especially with sweaty hands. And I can make visibility getter by turning up brightness and changing the font to bold, but the Garmin display is better for running.

    What I'm finding most frustrating is that for the three 17-mile bike rides I've taken since using the Watch, the mileage for those has been exactly the same for each ride. And some of the runs I've taken with the Watch seemed spot on in the first week or two, but now they're fairly erratic. I'm starting to think since I've put so much mileage in the Workout app that it's not using the Watch for GPS anymore, and just basing distance on steps/stride/etc. I have no way to know this for sure, but that's my guess.

    I'm going to try some of the third party apps in the next week or so and see if those fare any better. I'm not thrilled losing the HRM data, but the mileage inconsistency has been frustrating this week.
    Last edited by PatrickNSF; 05-22-2015 at 07:37 PM.
    05-22-2015 07:15 PM
  13. Valana's Avatar
    Is that confirmed, that it's NOT using GPS for running, just for supporting the accelerometer? If that's the case, it would probably explain the issue, but I would want to have true GPS accuracy for runs, especially when I'm training for a marathon. This sounds like a rather silly functional decision especially since they tout the watch for runners (Turlington blog, etc). My pace can vary pretty widely depending on the type of run I'm doing, so a GPS would be necessary to be accurate.
    Someone mentioned talking to an Apple support agent who told him that. I personally can't confirm, and I find it silly as well. But the fact that everyone I know or heard from who cycles outdoors has said the distances were always spot on without fail, added to the fact that everyone who has had issues with distance estimates has been a runner, then 1.0.1 specifically fixing running/walking distance estimates, all lead me to believe there is at least some truth to it. Now if my own workout estimates start drifting towards the correct distances after a few more runs I'll just accept that's how it works.

    Additionally, Apple's own support document for calibrating the Watch's accelerometer recommends carrying your iPhone in an armband rather than in a waistband also leads me to believe that there is much more going on with the calibration process than simply linking the iPhone's GPS to the Watch's accelerometer. My walks (I carry my iPhone in my pocket then, rather than in a belt pouch) have all been spot on, both prior to 1.0.1 and after. So I think it's all related.

    You'd think if the Watch relied purely on the iPhone's GPS its distance would match fitness apps while carrying the iPhone, but it's not the case.
    Last edited by Valana; 05-24-2015 at 12:15 AM.
    05-23-2015 12:22 AM
  14. Vortec 5.3's Avatar
    What about running with the phone in hand or in you're pocket? Would it be accurate then?
    05-23-2015 09:36 AM
  15. Suggs68's Avatar
    Well, after running 13 miles today with the Watch running app showing 12.7, I'm back to EndoMondo until Apple adds full GPS integration to the app. For a casual runner it's fine, but for anyone training for anything or just trying to track accurate metrics, it's basically useless. Endo was accurate to within .02 mile for very run where I used it because it relies on the phones GPS throughout the run. IMO Apple totally dropped the ball if they're trying to position the running app as a real training aid without complete GPS support.
    PatrickNSF and Valana like this.
    05-23-2015 12:01 PM
  16. PatrickNSF's Avatar
    Well, after running 13 miles today with the Watch running app showing 12.7, I'm back to EndoMondo until Apple adds full GPS integration to the app.
    I agree. I used Nike+ last night for a 6 mile run and it showed 6 miles right about where my Garmin and the Watch did in the first couple of weeks. Lat week, the Watch was stopping me two long blocks past that point.

    I don't know what Apple is doing with the Workout app, but it's clearly not using the phone's GPS for every run even when it has access to it. I'm planning to stick with Nike+ for the time being, despite not having HRM data.

    On a positive note, I was happy to see that data is still fed into the activity rings when using a third party running app. The only strange thing I noted was that the Watch attributed more calories to my run when not using the Workout app than it does when I use it. I assume it's because it's not getting constant HR data, though I assumed that would have lowered the calorie calculation rather than increased it.
    05-23-2015 01:05 PM
  17. Valana's Avatar
    Well, after running 13 miles today with the Watch running app showing 12.7, I'm back to EndoMondo until Apple adds full GPS integration to the app. For a casual runner it's fine, but for anyone training for anything or just trying to track accurate metrics, it's basically useless. Endo was accurate to within .02 mile for very run where I used it because it relies on the phones GPS throughout the run. IMO Apple totally dropped the ball if they're trying to position the running app as a real training aid without complete GPS support.
    Yeah, mine was worse this morning than before on the same course. Huge disappointment. I was hopeful until around mile 2 where it was kept oscillating tightly between -.03 and +.01, and then after mile 3 it drifted several times by big chunks at a time (an additional .05 miles within a minute, without ever self-correcting).
    05-24-2015 12:13 AM
  18. Valana's Avatar
    On a positive note, I was happy to see that data is still fed into the activity rings when using a third party running app. The only strange thing I noted was that the Watch attributed more calories to my run when not using the Workout app than it does when I use it. I assume it's because it's not getting constant HR data, though I assumed that would have lowered the calorie calculation rather than increased it.
    For me at least, Workout greatly undercounts active calories compared to other fitness apps. If Nike+ writes Workout (as a data category) to your Health app, it will also attach a Calories Burned value to it. It's likely that the Activity app feeds that Workout entry into its Exercise ring, and the corresponding Calories Burned value into its Move ring.
    05-24-2015 12:23 AM
  19. OneFretAway's Avatar
    Hey guys - thanks again for posting your experiences. I cancelled my pre-order and picked up a Polar M400 yesterday. There may yet be an Apple Watch in my future, but it will most likely be version 2 or later. Just too many compromises required at this point, especially being tethered to a phone. It's a subjective thing, but I much prefer running without it. Also worried about the display visibility in bright sun, battery life, responsiveness of the watch when I pause a run, and being able to rely on a single, combined app for health tracking and running. I'm going to take the difference in price and pick up a new pairs of Asics.

    I found this to be a hugely valuable discussion, and appreciated the insights (good and bad) about the watch. This is precisely the kind of feedback that will help it evolve. All the best.
    05-24-2015 12:28 AM
  20. PatrickNSF's Avatar
    If you're looking for a running watch, that's a good move...though personally I'd opt for something with a built-in HRM.

    I view the Apple Watch as a smart watch with some running features. But I think everything other than built-in GPS – and maybe screen visibility in full, midday sunlight – can be handled with software updates.
    05-24-2015 09:51 AM
  21. Suggs68's Avatar
    If you're looking for a running watch, that's a good move...though personally I'd opt for something with a built-in HRM.

    I view the Apple Watch as a smart watch with some running features. But I think everything other than built-in GPS and maybe screen visibility in full, midday sunlight can be handled with software updates.
    Agreed, and personally i don't have a problem with the screen visibility in sunlight. I actually find the dark screen and bright colored fonts easy to read.

    With Endo, it's a very capable runners watch as long as you don't mind having your phone with you, which I don't. The app has lots of tweakability. The only issue I have with it is that it takes a second or 2 for the screen to refresh when you raise your wrist, which isn't a problem with the stock running app, so hopefully that will be addressed with an update to either the app or API.
    05-24-2015 01:40 PM
  22. PatrickNSF's Avatar
    If I turn the screen brightness all the way up, and make the fonts bold, visibility is fine, though less so for some colors (especially blue). The Nike+ app is designed better for outside viewing than the Workout App.

    Unfortunately, I've run with the Nike+ app the past three days and it's crashed each time mid-run. The phone app keeps going, but the watch app loses communication with the phone and fails to display any metrics. Pretty frustrating.

    Just to be safe, I ran with my Garmin 620 this morning in addition to the Apple Watch and was reminded how effortless it is to run with that device. Perfect visibility, 4 data points on each screen, instant updates. I'm debating going back to it and just using the Apple Watch for non-running activity, at least until third party apps make some progress. Kind of surprised that I've come full circle on this, but...
    thegingerroot91 likes this.
    05-24-2015 03:52 PM
  23. Valana's Avatar
    Also worried about the display visibility in bright sun, battery life, responsiveness of the watch when I pause a run,
    For me personally, visibility in the sun has been great and I use the low brightness setting on the Sport model. I can't speak for the sapphire ones. Battery life has been a non-issue as well and I've removed the battery complication. The Watch easily lasts me through a 19-hour day with 30% to spare.
    05-25-2015 01:29 AM
  24. Tallrandal's Avatar
    I have not gotten my watch yet, but I have been doing research on what app I am going to use since the workout app seems very basic. I am just getting back into running and I want to map my run and get an average on my workout. Nothing to fancy, but good statistics. I have been looking at MapmyRun or Runkeeper. I also wanted something that integrates with MyFitnessPal. Any suggestions or thoughts?
    05-26-2015 09:23 AM
  25. PatrickNSF's Avatar
    I have been looking at MapmyRun or Runkeeper. I also wanted something that integrates with MyFitnessPal. Any suggestions or thoughts?
    Apparently, MyFitnessPal is still looking at how to do Apple Watch integration. When I used the standard Workout app to track my runs, those calories showed up in MFP, but none of my other active calories for the day did. But I was able to input those manually.

    I've been using Nike+ the past several days and those workout have not been showing up in MFP. Good luck.
    05-26-2015 09:36 AM
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