23 Runs(179 miles) w/AW2:Some observations.

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Long Run Nick, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. Long Run Nick macrumors regular

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    Oct 4, 2016
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    #1
    Being a senior citizen metro sexual body metrics data running geek for over 40 years(85,579 miles and counting) I present some of my running experiences for interested forum members.
    All my runs I ran with my trusty Garmin235 on my left wrist and my AW2 on my right wrist.
    Overall impression:IMPRESSED
    Some noted differences, the AW seems to average about .04-.09 more distance on my runs- which are normally between 6-10 miles. Not a big deal.
    HR reads a little higher on the AW versus the 235- wrist monitoring as well as running sometimes with my HR strap.
    I never use actual pace-too erratic. With the 235 I use lap pace and average pace. On the NRC app the HR is all over the place- though the average at the end of the run is not off by too much (4-6 beats).
    Reading the HR on the NRC is too small for these old eyes to read. Solved that problem by turning off HR with NTC app and relying on my trusted Garmin.
    Battery drain- about 20% per hour running. Turning off the AW2 HR doesn't change battery drain by too much(17% vs20% avg.)
    I have the AW NRC app showing distance and elapsed running time. I really like the audio feedback telling me distance and overall run average pace which is pretty close to what my 235 reads.
    A 10.20 mile run- today registered on the 235 showed 10.25 miles on the NRC app. Average pace off 2 seconds from that recorded by my Garmin.Impressive.
    The workout app on my watch is sometimes a little quirky on my phone.. The Garmin feed shows my HR
    The same on the watch and Garmin Connect while the AW activity app can be quite a bit off.
    Those activity circles are probably the only reason I run with the AW as well as my Garmin. I think if I can learn to ignore them. Being as active as I am - even at 73- I have never worried about calories or steps, though I admit when the activity trackers hit the market some years ago I got carried away and wasn't content unless I averaged over 20,000 steps a day. I have outgrown that.
    Prior to downloading the NRC app I used the AW workout app. Pretty similar experience with it.
    An aside, I am a retired Regular Army Lieutenant Colonel ( Viet Nam Vet)and still work a couple days a week with folks who have substance abuse issues. They know I am a runaholic. I have gotten some of them to flush a lot of negative lifestyle habits and get active:run/walk/bike/swim. For some, it has worked.
    Geez, this got a lot longer than I anticipated. I have similar issues when I talk to folks.:)
    Thanks for letting me share. Nick
     
  2. cmbauer macrumors regular

    cmbauer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
    #2
    I love all the data. I use my AW for running 3 or 4 5ks a week nothing major. Then track my crossfit workouts. Are the calories 100 percent correct? Who cares Are the times and distance 100 percent accrutate? who cares

    I just use it to track my workouts and progress etc. And to fill the dang rings. I dont take any of the fitness devices as gospel. They are just a device to remind you to stay active to track what you do. Nothing is 100 percent accurate.
     
  3. consultant_on_journey macrumors regular

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    Sep 25, 2016
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #3
    Thank you very much for your experiences! Great to share it
     
  4. julesme macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Location:
    San Jose
    #4

    Thanks Nick, appreciate all the info. Quick question: on your 10.20 mile run, is your conclusion that the Garmin's distance is correct and the Apple Watch slightly off, or is it the other way around? How did you verify which one is correct?
     
  5. Resqu2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    #5
    I did one 5k race on a certified course and my watch shows exactly 5k also. I have ran the same course a bunch of times and it's always dead on it. I do have my phone with me each time though. The HR is the thing I'm not sure about while running, I know it's close on bike rides.
     
  6. Long Run Nick thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 4, 2016
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    #6
    I have run my courses with various GPS devices for years. Not just Garmin's. I am very confident that the Garmin's reading is very reliable- not perfect mind you- but close enough to perfect for me. That is part of a lyric from an old Alabama country song. A man can not be known just for his running.:)
    I will also tell you that cloud conditions, satellite locations and other factors make it almost impossible to get exact readings each time. If I have to jump,out of the way of a car or zig zag because of cars that changes the distance of my run.
    I often can get too wrapped up with all this data, I take a deep breath, laugh at myself and thanked the universe I am able to get out and move, no less Run. Nick
     
  7. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #7
    Agreed completely. Even running the exact same route with the same Garmin watch the next day, I've seen as much distance variation as Nick mentions. This is even with start/stop locations exactly the same thanks to a convenient post I use while stretching.
     
  8. chrixtopher macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2016
    #8
    Is your AW showing you elevation? Being in florida, i assume this it not much (or maybe not much interest) but it is a must for me.
     
  9. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #9
    The key is to apply some statistical analysis to determine accuracy and precision... I have hundreds of runs with my AW and multiple Garmins on the exact same route. The Garmi's measure between 5.01 to 5.11 miles. The mean is 5.07 with a standard deviation of 0.02 miles. This means that most of the distances are pretty freakin' close to 5.07, and the low and high are rare outliers.

    I had fewer observations, but my AWS0 measured between 4.9 and 5.15 miles with an mean of 5.06, and the standard deviation was 0.1 miles. I had the same level of precision with running apps on my iPhone (4.95 to 5.2 miles with a standard deviation of 0.1 miles).

    So, collect some data and calculate the mean, min, max, and standard deviation of the AWS2. Comparing distances on a single run really do not tell you how one device is doing compared to another. My experience with Apple GPS on a phone is that they are good, but not great. Statistically, Garmin is in the great category.
     
  10. Howyalikdemapls macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    #10
    Do you happen to run counter-clockwise? If your AW is always on your right wrist and always measures your distance as just a hair longer than your Garmin, maybe it's just because that arm traveled a little bit further than your left arm?
     
  11. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    US
    #11
    Actually, IMHO the real key is to figure out how much precision and/or accuracy you really need to achieve your goals. I think in today's world of easy data many people get wrapped up in it far beyond what's really needed to achieve their goals.

    As for stats, that's fine if it's your thing but overkill for most folks needs.

    My 235 has been decent, on par with my 920xt and better than the Fenix3 I returned. So far my AW2 is on par with the 235, I won't dispute your assessment of good vs great -- but I'll also suggest that it really doesn't matter much for most people's goals.

    Interestingly it looks like Jonathan Savage of Fellrnr has a pretty low opinion of the 235's accuracy. http://fellrnr.com/wiki/Garmin_235 Sure am glad I've been ignorant since it's been working fine for me. :)
     
  12. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    May 20, 2015
    #12
    So, what is your tolerance? Is 0.5 SD sufficient, 0.1, 0.02, lower?

    If you are running a race for speed, and pacing is important, then precision is very important-- the difference for qualifying for a hard race or just feeling like a chump that missed your goal by 10 seconds. So, in my experience, 0.05 is the worst I would want, and even that makes it tough to manage pacing for a half marathon.

    I have read Fellner's analysis numerous times, and something is off. I am curious about their statistical validity, but I haven't cared enough to ask in more detail about their protocols. Their measurements look like they only did a single run on a single day, but they also talk about collecting 1000s of data points and testing under a variety of conditions. So, I am not sure if their definition of a data point is a single, end-to-end segments, or just an individual GPS data element captured in that segment. For the former, it would take months to collect sufficient data to have a statistically valid measure of a single watch. It seems like it is more the latter, which would be problematic if true.
     
  13. deeddawg, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016

    deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #13
    Unanswerable question as asked. :) It references precision, not accuracy, so it's only covers half of the "equation".

    Fun aside, like most folks, I'm not a semi-elite competitive runner. Still, I've age-group medaled enough times, though usually in smaller races.

    If I'm truly concerned with pacing on a race course, I do elapsed time against the mile markers on the course simply because I have no expectation of achieving the ideal tangents on every corner. Even then that can be misleading due to the inconsistent elevation changes along the course since I'm not in a flat area. Beyond that I go by HR mixed with perceived effort depending on the race distance, pushing as hard as I expect I can maintain over the distance.

    I've achieved a full marathon goal, and I've missed a full marathon goal, same for other race distances. On no occasion in my many races would pace on my wrist have made a difference(*); any time I've missed a goal it happened while leaving everything I had on the race course.

    I suppose it depends on perspective. I ran and raced for years before buying a GPS running watch.

    So to the question you intended to ask; the accuracy I've had with Garmin 610, 920xt, and 235 have all be quite sufficient, as has (to date) what I've had from my AW2 Nike edition. The latter definitely is lacking in some areas at this point relative to the 235 for example, but that may change in time as other companies enable standalone gps use with their apps.
     
  14. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #14
    Think about it this way... the difference in precision between a Garmin and an AW could be more than 500' in a 10K. And it gets really long in a half marathon and marathon. Think how long it takes to run 500'-- that is about a third the way around a track. Would you want a device that could mislead you that far from the mark in your training and race day pace management?
     
  15. deeddawg, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016

    deeddawg macrumors 604

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    US
    #15
    Three thoughts:

    #1: When is the last time 500 feet made a substantive difference to you in a 10K? As in a real difference that affected your life in a real way, rather than some number on Strava or other running log?

    #2: How do you account for course distance inaccuracies (i.e. slightly long courses) as well as not running perfect tangents in the early miles due to crowds? 500' in 10K is nothing in relation to those two factors. When you run your perfect pace and hit your goal time 700 feet before the finish, what then?

    #2a: how do you account for non-flat courses? What's your watch strategy to account for a two mile uphill finish on a half marathon? How do you manage your watch pace against a half marathon with 1600ft in elevation gain & a matching loss?

    #3: Are you so dependent on a device that its accuracy actually affects whether you do or don't give it your all in a race?

    If you answer yes to #3, it might be worth putting the gadgets aside for a while and better develop your own sense of self and what level of effort you can truly sustain without relying on a watch to tell you.
     
  16. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #16
    My 10K PR is 40:07. 500' would have mattered to me a lot in that race. I ran that one without a watch, but if I had a watch with accurate distance and pace, I could have broken 40 minutes.

    Re #3, definitely in a half marathon and marathon. You do not give it your all in the early miles. You run to a planned pace so you can give it your all in the last few miles. Without solid pace management, you can be screwed at the end. And, the planned pace comes from your training and device accuracy in those runs.

    Re 2a and some other comments, those seem more pedantic and hypothetical. Knowing where you are and adjusting for what is ahead helps a crapton. Being off by tenths of a mile is material.
     
  17. avonord macrumors regular

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    Mar 8, 2007
    #17
    I think I've said it many times but I'll say it again... I want cadence. It's such a simple thing to implement. I don't know why Nike/Apple doesn't implement it.
     
  18. BlueMoon63 macrumors 68000

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    Mar 30, 2015
    #18
    Great reasons why someone really into running and needing stats would not consider the Apple Watch to be the right choice. Nice use of the word crapton in sentence. :)
     
  19. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    Location:
    Atlanta
    #19
    While it could be and may even be implemented you should probably consider getting a 'real' running watch also. For instance with a Garmin you can also get metrics like stride length, vertical oscillation, ground contact time, etc.
     
  20. deeddawg, Nov 4, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016

    deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #20
    So you're saying you *didn't* run at maximum sustainable effort in your PR race? :confused:

    How exactly would your watch have enabled you to run faster? Also, how do you know in advance exactly how much longer than the course distance your actual track will be due to other runners and not hitting optimal tangents, and how do you know in advance that the course is 100% exact in distance and not a little bit longer as is often the case? Those two variables often account for well over 100ft.

    The race is over only when you cross the finish line, not when you've personally run the specified distance. Your five-nines accurate watch saying you've covered 10,000 meters at your target pace is meaningless when the finish line is 30 meters ahead of you.

    Yes, early pacing on long distance runs is important. On an important race, a pace band with course-elevation adjusted target average paces, measured against the course mile markers and the elapsed time on a watch, together do a solid job of helping stay on target. On shorter races, lap-times with laps clicked off at each mile marker gives a solid course pace, which again can be adjusted for based on your run strategy.

    (also I'm curious, how would your life be materially different had you achieved a 39:57 PR instead of 40:07?)

    LOL, "pedantic" claims the person running variance analyses on gps watch precision...

    Hypothetical? No, I was referencing actual half marathons I've run.

    You're dodging real, pertinent questions. That's fine. I've made my point for anyone else reading and I don't care if you do or don't agree with me.

    To restate that point: for the majority of people, the gps accuracy & precision on the AW2 is fine. So far mine is on par with three of the four Garmin's I've owned, and better than the Garmin I returned.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 4, 2016 ---
    Data != actionable Information. VO, GCT, etc are pretty much useless for many folks since they honestly won't matter to their running goals. (cadence can be helpful though)

    Also note that *some* garmin units provide that information *if* you have the correct accessory. VO/GCT only come from the HRM-RUN chest strap and its kin.


    Yes, if someone needs substantial detailed information (though as above, some Garmins offer a lot of data points that are meaningless to most people), and/or if they need more advanced functionality such as intervals and alerts (pace/HR/etc), they need to look elsewhere than the AW2 at this point.

    The current AW2 software options are very much aimed at the more casual, non-competitive runner.

    Still, cadence would be a nice addition and it should be easily implemented. Similarly I'd like to see HR zones and a %HRR metric displayed. Again, something that can be implemented on the current hardware.
     
  21. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    Atlanta
    #21
    My post was in response to avonord wanting cadence data. The only choice they have is to get a running watch, which will also provide more comprehensive data. Whether you or I think this info is relevant or will matter is not important since that is what avonord wants and if they want it then it IS important to them.
     
  22. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #22
    I'm sorry, I thought this was a *discussion* forum.

    I didn't realize we were limited to solely answering individual questions in a transactional approach.
     
  23. chrixtopher macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2016
    #23
    "Plus, the data that we were able to see from one such app shows GPS readings from the Apple Watch just every 10 seconds—most watches record your geo-position every five to six seconds. It appears that the Apple Watch is recording your actual movements every few seconds, but Nike+ limits the precision available to external developers. (At press time, neither Nike nor Apple provided a definitive answer on the matter.) That results in some jagged maps and weird splits/paces in those other online logs. In any case, on the watch itself, you’ll see distance and pace updating in real time without any hiccups."
     
  24. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #24
    Interesting. I just looked at a TCX file from an AW2 NRC run and a TCX from my Garmin 235. The NRC TCX shows a data point every ten seconds, the FR235 TCX shows a data point every second (since I have it set to 1-second recording).

    Another point of difference where a data intensive very serious runner would be better served with a running specific watch over the seeming casual-runner oriented AW2.
     
  25. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #25
    What is PR?

    I don't know enough about running to know which side is right, but this is a very interesting discussion! Needless to say, for a total novice like myself, distance accuracy is the least of my concerns, but it's fascinating to read what advanced runners care about.
     

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