What do you think — is the Apple Watch good for running? How helpful is it for athletes participating in big events like the Marathon and Olympics? These questions confuse most athletes when buying a new smartwatch for their preparations.
Since 2015, we have seen many advancements in the technology and features of Apple watches. With every new model, there was a new bundle of features along with some innovative functions. Nowadays, it is now a tool that everyone needs in their everyday life.
A few years back, the best running watch was that of Garmin. However, since 2017, Apple has improved its run-tracking features, making it a top choice for running enthusiasts and athletes. Let’s have a deeper look at the run-tracking features of Apple smartwatches.
How Accurate Is Apple Watch For Running?
The accuracy of the Apple watch’s tracking features is what most people ask about. For a runner, what matters the most is the accuracy of his GPS and route-tracking device. The latest Apple watches come with exceptional run-tracking features and GPS accuracy.
Although run-tracking features are available in almost all Apple watches, Watch five and above are considered the most accurate. The higher you go on the Apple watch model list, the better accuracy you get. In addition, the latest models have more specific features.
Besides run-tracking, other features such as HR tracking and Blood-oxygen level monitoring are also necessary for runners. Apple Watch 6 and above are exceptional with such fitness tracking features. Moreover, these watches are also compatible with most fitness apps.
Are Running Watches Worth It?
Yes, running watches are worth their price as they can give you an overview of how your run has been so far. Some running watches are more than just a tool. They inform you about your run statistics and may suggest how to improve them.
Moreover, a running watch with inbuilt LTE technology is something exceptional. On the contrary, some running watches are just a waste of money. If a watch lacks a precise GPS to track your run, it’s not worth the price, even if it’s just a few bucks.
How To Use Apple Watch While Running
Most people worry about handling phones while running. Are you one of them? With an Apple watch on your wrist, you don’t need to worry about carrying your phone around. The latest Apple watches have a built-in GPS that doesn’t need a phone for tracking purposes.
For outdoor running, ensure that you keep your watch’s screen away from water in case of rainy weather. It is because a wet screen might not respond to your touch signals. Besides, here are some steps to follow when running with an Apple watch on your wrist.
Install a run-tracker app on your Apple watch.
Open the app on your watch and select “indoor” or “outdoor” per your plan.
You may also set daily goals such as calories burned or distance traveled.
Tap on “Start,” and that’s it.
Garmin Vs. Apple Watch For Runners – Which Is The Best?
Garmin watches remained a top choice for most runners throughout the world. They were specifically made for athletes. On the contrary, Apple smartwatches focus on lifestyle. An apple watch offers features that assist you in your daily life, not on the track.
Overall, both Garmin and Apple watches are great for running and other fitness activities. However, selecting the best out of these can be confusing. So, here is a short comparison of Garmin watches vs. Apple watches to see which is more suitable for runners.
In terms of GPS accuracy, Apple watches cannot beat Garmin. Garmin watches have a far more precise GPS than Apple watches, which use multiple satellites. Even Apple Watch Ultra and 8 Series cannot compete with the GPS accuracy of Garmin Watches.
A Garmin watch with topographic navigation is best for running in the wild. Though Apple watches also have Google maps for navigation purposes, it is not suitable for navigating on trails or wilderness.
Garmin watches are ahead of Apple watches in terms of long battery life. A Garmin Watch can last for several days on a single recharge. On the other hand, the maximum battery life of the Apple Watch Series 8 is 30 hours which reduces to 6 hours while using GPS.
These are the few most important features that determine whether the watch is suitable for running. Here we can see that Garmin dominated the Apple watches for being the most suitable watch for running.
Will Apple Watch Last For A Marathon?
Some people think Apple watches have weak batteries and may die quickly. That’s true if you are talking about the Apple Watch 3 series or earlier.
Nowadays, the latest Apple Watches have an excellent battery life of around 60 hours without using GPS.
In a nutshell, an Apple watch can last a marathon while giving you real-time tracking stats and health metrics. Though GPS connection consumes battery quickly, the latest Apple watches have robust batteries that can support GPS for several hours.
Best Apple Watch Apps For Running
A workout app compatible with the Apple Watch must track your fitness activities precisely. The best app in that aspect is the Apple Workout App. It’s Apple’s own application for fitness tracking. Besides, you may find several fitness tracking apps on Apple’s play store.
The best workout app for fitness enthusiasts and athletes is “Strava.” Strava is always there to show you real-time health metrics, even if you don’t have your iPhone. However, Strava can give more accurate results with your iPhone connected than Apple Workout App.
Unluckily, you must pay for its premium subscription to enjoy the exceptional fitness tracking features. The premium version also offers workout sessions for users. You may also use it for free if you are not serious about your running and workout data.
2. Nike Run Club
Next comes the Nike Run Club fitness tracking app for Apple smartwatches. It shows you real-time fitness metrics and offers voice workout guidance from expert fitness coaches.
The best part is that you don’t always need your phone to be connected.
Though this app tracks your steps with wrist movement, the treadmill running data is inaccurate. On the contrary, outdoor running tracking is exceptional, and the results are precise. Moreover, you have to switch the app from indoor to outdoor settings manually.
3. Work Outdoors
As the name shows, this app is meant for outdoor running. The GPS is exceptional and can provide real-time tracking without a phone.
This app is great for runners curious about their detailed running stats, such as average pace, time, distance, etc.
The best thing about this app is that it facilitates a runner to a full extent.
You can get offline maps and make workout plans without your phone. Once you connect to your phone, you can zoom over to the area and check the climate, terrain, and other details.
Reasons Why Apple Watch Might Not Be Suitable For Running
Professional athletes need fitness trackers with exceptional battery performance. Although Apple smartwatches are excellent fitness trackers in terms of features and technology, they lack battery timing. Moreover, the GPS also increases power consumption by a great margin.
Besides power consumption, some users also complain about bad GPS accuracy. Several factors, such as climate, location, or the device’s hardware, might be responsible for this. Apple watches are not too perfect with GPS accuracy like other watches.
What Type Of Watch Is Best For Running?
The perfect watch for running should have precise sensors and GPS for better tracking of your run. Plus, strong batteries are also necessary as most watches cannot last a marathon of several hours. In a nutshell, a watch with accurate stats is perfect for running.
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro is the best watch for running overall as it has some special features for athletes and runners. This watch uses multiple satellites for navigation purposes to provide accurate results. In addition, it has a robust battery, making it a perfect running option.
The right watch with a perfect app will give you everything to track your running performance and other fitness activities. Apple Watch Ultra is an excellent option for runners and athletes with the “Strava” or “Apple Workout App” for fitness tracking.
Besides Apple, several other watches offer precise fitness tracking. Garmin Forerunner 745 and Fenix 6 pro are the perfect alternatives for Apple watches. We hope you now have the answer to “is the Apple Watch good for running.”
I’m Shafey. An avid runner since 2012. I am one of few people who like doing cardio instead of muscle building. I love spending time on treadmills, tracks, pavements, or any surface rather than exercising with dumbles.
With all those years of experience and spending the whole night reading blogs and researching different concepts of running. Learned a lot about new tips and tricks. In those years tried different running shoes (from $ to $$$). I got a great knowledge that can be shared with others. I may not be a professional running coach but YES an experienced runner who can guide right to beginners.✌️✌️