Apple Watch in the Detroit Marathon

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by r0k, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #1
    Today I ran the Detroit international marathon which starts in Detroit, goes across the bridge to Canada then through the tunnel back to the USA then is basically flat for the next 18 miles. I started workout on my Apple watch and started my Garmin. I didn't bother with Runmeter because it was just above freezing and I'd had enough of digging my phone out in the cold to operate it with freezing fingers.

    The results were not good. My Apple Watch ran out of charge. I ran 4:04 in the marathon and the Apple watch ran out of charge after a mere 4 hours leaving the workout app running. This is the same Apple watch that has been giving me 12-16 hours a day. So I didn't get to compare workout's splits to Garmin's splits.

    Garmin wasn't flawless either. While the times in memory later proved to be accurate, the screen kept reporting I was running 9:20's when I was really running 8:20's so I ran too hard and tuckered out around mile 23. I mixed walking with jogging to finish the last 5K but I crossed the finish looking more or less like a runner. Perhaps it was the mile through the tunnel with no GPS and no cellular (for my iPhone to figure out where I was and tell my watch) that blew my Apple watch's mind so badly it discharged itself in a mere 4 hours. Perhaps the tunnel also caused my Garmin to report inaccurate pace on its screen.

    There were 27800 people down there at 5:45 in the morning, mostly for the half marathons (international half and us-only half which didn't require a passport). Sheer pandamonium. I only wish I could report on whether or not Apple watch worked. Well of course it didn't but I wish I knew WHY it didn't and more importantly I wish I knew how well it worked if only it had been functioning normally.

    I've spent 4 rather low-quality hours at the genius bar, on the phone with Apple support and sitting through wipes and reinstalls of iOS9 and agonizingly slow restores of my AW. I opened the case with Apple because of bluetooth instability issues that have increased as the marathon drew closer and got so bad I purchased a Garmin for my last couple of weeks of training. This turned out to be a prudent move given the only paces I have now are the chip times from the race and the times recorded in my Garmin. At this point my opinion based solely on anecdotal evidence from my own experience, is if you haven't "downgraded" to WatchOS 2 and iOS 9, DON'T DO IT. Perhaps there is a hardware problem with my phone but the Genius Bar guy ran diagnostics and there were no hardware problems. Guess what the Genius bar guy told me the most frequently crashing app was? Bluetooth. This affects everything from making calls with my car, making calls with my earpiece, getting data from the Automatic plug in my car (fuel economy monitoring over bluetooth) and using my Apple watch. There are often times I must reboot my phone to get audio working at all. And that includes corded headset, every bluetooth source and the internal speaker. I know. Wierd.

    I wish I had better news to report. After the last several days of iOS 9 and Watch OS 2 instability bordering on unusability, I have mixed feelings about my AW and iPhone 6 and my confidence in Apple is shaken. There is another thread here with a totally different experience from the Chicago marathon. If this is the case, perhaps the problems I'm having are really an isolated hardware problem with my phone, watch or both. My question then is why am I not walking around with a new phone and a new watch after asking for them multiple times after all this trouble? Oh yeah, because the Genius bar guy couldn't find anything in his diagnostics and (Apple's) bluetooth being the most frequently crashing app wasn't the smoking gun he needed to offer me a swap.

    I shouldn't have had to take 4+ hours out of my training regimen leading up to my race only to have the problems continue to escalate to the point that by race day I got null data. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Well that's not entirely true. Health logged thousands of steps and said I burned 3000 plus calories. Big whoop. I don't need no stinking calories! I need paces and splits. I can eat back the calories quickly enough but I can't go out and run another marathon (any time soon) to collect my data again. Thank God for Garmin!

    I'm tempted to post a poll asking for people to report stability issues but it's easy enough to put that in a reply. Are you having issues like I'm having with bluetooth? How about lacking availability when you need your phone or your watch or both?
     
  2. Vader2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    #2
    Congratulations on your finish. Did you have notifications enabled on your watch? Email, alerts, etc? Listening to music at all?
     
  3. BlueMoon63 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    #3
    Agreed and congrats on your time, that is fantastic. The longest I have run the workout app was 4 + hours walking and golfing 18 holes and I burned about 10% per hour. I wasn't running anything else on the watch though and the other times I golfed 18 holes with GolfShot running the app crapped out after 14 holes and I burned almost 15% per hour until it crashed.

    I struggled with my Apple Watch running doing sprints when it was 32 degrees but I will need to try a few more times to be sure.

    Until recently, the accuracy of the watch has surprised me after 6+ times calibrating.
     
  4. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #4
    I'm wondering if it was the cold weather... I've used the workout app for 4+ hours straight (of walking) and it still had about 50% battery left.

    Congrats on your marathon!
     
  5. gsmornot macrumors 68030

    gsmornot

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    #5
    How soon before your run did you update to Watch OS2? When I did my update and each update since I unpair and pair the watch again or I risk battery drain. Pairing the watch seems to take care of this so I have made it a habit. I have been off the charger now for 9 hours and earlier did a 2 hour cycling workout and have 61% battery remaining. Try again to just run the workout (no need to run just let it go) and see how long you get after pairing again.

    Congratulations on the marathon too. A 3 mile run is about it for me at the moment. I can ride the distance easily but run it, not so much.
     
  6. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #6
    I wonder if you have a separate battery issue? My longest workout with the watch so far was about 90 minutes, but I think that only had a 15% battery drop. Is this in line with your experience on shorter workouts?
     
  7. aschaeferusn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    #7
    I ran the Chicago Marathon a couple of weekends ago and my watch died just after halfway - 2:30 after start time. I figure I was listening to music for approximately 30 minutes prior to race start, and was wearing the watch since I took it off the charger at 100% before leaving for the race. Pretty sad, I've run 16-18mile training runs with watchOS 1 with no issue. I figure it's something related to os2.
     
  8. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #8
    I think Christy Turlington Burns ran slower than a 4 hour, and she supposedly used her AW. A lot has changed since reality replaced marketing.
     
  9. Obi Wan Kenobi, Oct 20, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015

    Obi Wan Kenobi macrumors 6502

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    Congratulations on your marathon time. It's a great achievement. For it to fail on you so close to the end is particularly disappointing.

    My AW had inaccurate pace info until os2. Now it's almost spot on. My longest run was 14.5 miles while prepping for a half. It took me 2 hours 15 or so. I only used about 25 to 30% of the battery.

    Edit: that was then. See my update below (post 21, at the time of this edit).
     
  10. prezasti macrumors 6502

    prezasti

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #10
    If the watch battery is anything like the iPhone battery, I'm going with cold as your culprit. I use Strava on my phone when I go mountain biking to track my progress. If I start with a full battery on a warm day, I usually finish a 25+ mile ride with over 70% battery remaining. When I would do the same ride in 40º or lower temperature, my phone would cut out/die in less than an hour, but would show over 50% battery when the phone warmed up and would turn on again.

    I'll be bummed if this is an issue with the watch too, because one of my main interests in the watch were for biking and use with my Strava app. I haven't tested it out yet, because I haven't found a watch band/case I trust for mountain biking.

    I know my iPhone also dies when sitting at cold football games or going on winter hikes. This makes me wonder how the watch will do in the cold just walking from business to business on a work day. Now that cold weather is here, I'm sure I will find out for myself very soon.
     
  11. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #11
    Yep - yesterday was a cold one here in Boston and my Watch struggled. After a day of walking in the city where my watch is typically at 50% it was instead at 20%. Have to keep an eye on this as it gets colder...
     
  12. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #12
    I am afraid that Apple's HR sensor is not as good as it should have been.
     
  13. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #13
    Do Fitbit, Microsoft Band, and other fitness trackers also have problems in the cold? If not, what is it about the Apple Watch that makes it have this problem?
     
  14. Bob190 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    #14
    All of the wrist-based HR monitors I have used/tried (there have been many), have struggled in the cold. I am sure there is a physiological reason (constriction of blood vessels?), but it is a known phenomenon.
     
  15. TBONE72 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    #15
    I ran the Twin Cities Marathon on Oct. 4 with my 42mm Sport. I ran a 4:16 (was coming off of a cold - not my best time) and my watch had 25-30% battery life left when I finished. I did track the run with the Workout app during the race. The weather was 40F at the start and got up into the mid-50s by the finish. I'm sorry to those of you who had their watch die during the marathon. What a bummer. And CONGRATS to all finishers! Any day when you finish a marathon is a good day!
     
  16. r0k thread starter macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #16
    Thanks! The weather in Detroit was even colder starting off at near 32 at the start and only passing the mid 40's at the time I finished. I was sweating profusely because I dressed for the cold and I wasn't willing to stop to adjust my clothing along the way. And it's a good thing too. In Detroit you go from freezing in the corral to warming up for the first 2 miles to freezing going over the bridge to warming up running to the tunnel to baking in the tunnel to warming up on the streets of Detroit to freezing around mile 20 on Belle Isle in the middle of the river. I think Detroit is easier to run if you are willing to underdress at the start or if the day's temperature is warmer but not too warm. This year was too darned cold as we had a cold snap that was more like mid November than mid October. Today we are back into the 50's in the morning and 70's in the afternoon. If only we could have run the thing today!

    Thanks! I received no notifications during my run. I got haptic taps for every mile through the finish and I would have saved my data if only I had the presence of mind to stop the workout after crossing the finish line. I was too busy stuffing my face with the snacks provided to finishers!

    I have run up to 16 miles with my AW and iPhone running Runkeeper and then Runmeter working just fine. Once cold weather hit and I started wearing long sleeves my AW started misbehaving and I could no longer run third party running apps like Runmeter and Runkeeper because they were incapable (or hadn't implemented) locking the screen. I reluctantly run the somewhat useless workout app because as of WOS2, it is capable of locking the screen using force-touch. I refer to workout as worthless (to runners) because it doesn't provide GPS data, cadence, or splits which can be exported as anything other than a screenshot.

    I have an advance replacement going with my iPhone due to nagging bluetooth issues. I'm hoping my AW starts to work correctly once the suspect iPhone is in Apple engineering's hands for analysis. I sincerely hope they don't give it to some other poor guy as a refurb as they will be in for a very frustrating experience if they use multiple bluetooth devices at the same time.
     
  17. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #17
    I do not know as I live in Florida and it will be another mpnth or so before it is cold. What I do know is the HR sensors on my Fitbit Surge and Charge HR are outstanding and even work when my Surge or Charge HR are loose. I can not tell you how many times I have been in the middle of a run and looking to see my HR was like 60 bpm or worst showing ----!

    I have tried wearing my AW higher up the wrist, tight and not so tight and for some reason it just stops getting my HR. This is not just this watch but all three I have owned. Still love my watch and I am wearing it today but not when I run or exercise.
     
  18. bbplayer5 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    #18

    Sounds like your battery isn't doing so well? I run 6.2ish miles a day in around 52 minutes or so, and my watch uses 10% battery at most during that entire time. OS2 ios 9.1beta 5.
     
  19. bbplayer5 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    #19

    The workout app uses your GPS to calibrate, why would it not use your GPS location while running? Mine has been working fine on 9.1 beta 5.

    Are you saying it isn't accurate?
     
  20. neilly93 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    #20
    Her time was sub-four hours - around 3.45 from memory.
     
  21. r0k thread starter macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #21
    I think the reason my watch died is I left heart rate on. I have switched off heart rate during workouts and for my next marathon, which will be all above ground, I will see if both come up with the same stats. Who knows. By then we might be on WatchOS 3.something and Apple will have figured out making you take a screenshot of your splits is not nearly as useful as the ability to export your data as a tcx, fit or even a csv file.

    Mine was doing extremely well back when it was warm out and I wasn't wearing long sleeves. At that time I was using runkeeper and later runmeter. In colder weather I was forced, more or less with a gun to my head, to use workout since workout is the only app that I know of that can lock the AW screen and require a force touch to make any changes, thus prevent unwanted "swipes" and other input by my sweaty shirt sleeves during a run. As I mentioned above workout is woefully inadequate to me as a runner as I need splits, etc during my run. Not a screenshot of my splits. Not a trip to low power mode with all my data wiped except my 60,000 steps. Steps? How can my coach make use of that?
    upload_2015-10-23_9-54-34.png
    I'm pasting in the first few miles of splits which includes running over the bridge to Canada...
    upload_2015-10-23_9-59-2.png
    Lastly, here is the leaderboard for people wearing their Garmins for the race. My time is inflated because I forgot to stop my watch at the end and I had to turn off stop detection for the watch to work in the tunnel...
    upload_2015-10-23_10-0-41.png

    IMHO a screenshot of split times (or no data at all!) from the workout page of the Activity app is useless in comparison to this level of data from a race. And another thing. I wiped my iPhone in an attempt to solve a nagging bluetooth problem so even my steps data is gone! Nobody owns my data but me. I ran this marathon, not some engineer in Cupertino and my data should have been presented to me in the format of my choosing and at the time of my choosing (like before I wiped my iPhone). Apple needs to up their game if they don't want professional or even recreational runners (like me) leaving our Apple Watches on our nightstands on race day.
     
  22. Obi Wan Kenobi macrumors 6502

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK
    #22
    GRRRRRR!

    Since my previous posts, I have updated to OS 2.0.1 and iOS 9.1 and my AW's assessment of distance (and therefore pace) is once again completely wrong.

    Today my iphone confirms I ran 9.11 miles. My AW thinks it was only 8.71.
    95% of the distance actually run is not good enough. It makes the pace data completely wrong, which makes the AW useless as a running watch.

    On OS2.0 it was spot on.

    GRRRRRRR!!!
     
  23. djinn macrumors 68000

    djinn

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    #23

    Have you tried recalibrating your watch?

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204516

    Just curious.
     
  24. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #24
    Ah, cool:
    An aside --

    I've wondered if a GPS-tracking app running on the iPhone will get all the GPS data and not let it go to calibrating the Watch.

    I say this because I've tried using two jogging apps simultaneously (Nike+ Run and Asics), and of the two, the only one that tracked my run was the app I started first. The second app sat in the background without gathering any data.

    If the GPS data were shared among apps and the W at the same time, there's no reason for them to get anything other than an identical result. But if the data stream can't be used by more than one service or app, it would explain the differing distances.

    I'll recalibrate my Watch and go for a few runs with my phone. Later, I'll take along my Garmin 410 for comparison's sake — if I get around to recharging it, anyway.
     
  25. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    #25
    Congratulations on a great run!! And I completely understand your frustration with the loss of data on your Apple Watch.

    I'm taking a temporary break from distance running so I have not had a chance to test out my Apple Watch on really long runs, but I have been extremely disappointed with my Apple Watch and running since moving to wOS 2. (And 2.1) When using the fitness app, my Watch lags greatly whenever I try to swipe between stats. It locks up for a minute or two at a time. And worst of all, it does not want to seem to read my heart rate anymore. And when it does (which is only about 40% of the time) it is often grossly wrong, as compared to my Garmin Fenix 2.

    I'm a huge Apple fan and own a ton of Apple products, but my confidence in Apple has been greatly shaken too. Apple used to make things "that just work". Now I seem to spend a big majority of my time "trying to get things to work". It seems that in today's fast-paced technological world, companies are routinely putting software out that is not ready. Garmin is no exception either. I struggled and struggled with loss of functionality on my Garmin Fenix 2 as they kept coming out with update after update. In their continued effort to fix bugs, they kept introducing more. It's like a dog chasing its tail.

    As much as I wanted the Apple Watch to be an outstanding running watch, it isn't and won't be anytime soon. Maybe in a few years, or maybe not at all if Apple continues down the path its been on lately. In the meantime, I will continue to support and use Garmin for my running needs. Additionally, when I'm in real running mode, the Garmin Fenix 2 battery can support my needs when I go for really long runs. Last April, I did a 14 hour run and the Garmin captured it all. And that is with heart rate and location capture every second. Granted, I was on the last drops of battery juice when I finished, but it made it all the way through. Given that my long runs are in the 8-14 hour range, the Garmin is the clear choice for me. Granted, the Apple Watch will never be designed to have battery life like that, but as it is right now, the Apple Watch doesn't even work properly for a 30-minute run, so it is nearly worthless to me on the fitness front.

    Congrats again on the marathon! I'm super stoked for you!!
     

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