AW for long runs/marathon

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by vtboyarc, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. vtboyarc, Mar 19, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016

    vtboyarc macrumors regular

    vtboyarc

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    #1
    Hi all! I'm sorry if this has been asked, I did search the forums but didn't find anything.

    I currently am training for a marathon (one of my New Years Goals). I have my iPhone on an armband while I run, however it is tedious to try and look at it to see my pace, distance, time etc. I was looking at different GPS running watches, but I was curious if anyone here has used an AW for running long distances, and if so, how reliable was it, does the battery last the duration of a long run while using an app such as Nike Running?
    Any thoughts/feedback on it would be appreciated!

    Edit: Is the Apple Workout app, which I see from videos on the Apple website has options for indoor and outdoor run, work well enough for pace and distance? And, does it use GPS from your phone, or can I use that app without needing my iPhone on me?
     
  2. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #2
    This morning, for http://www.sportrelief.com, I did 3 hours of HIIT, FBX, circuits. I used the UA Record app, since my favourite, Motifit, keeps crashing, and the standard Workout app doesn't have enough features. It worked fine, and now 8 hours later I still have 32% battery. Of course it depends how often you use the screen (I only looked about 5 times, there wasn't much standing still and it's hard to see when you're moving your arms!), and how fast you can run. Next month I'm doing the http://www.thekiltwalk.co.uk/, a 26 mile walk, which I expect to take about 8 hours, so I'll be able to give it a proper test then.
     
  3. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #4
    I have pushed mine past 4 hours workouts a few times. My longest is 4:45. I think it could support you for well over 5 hours, but 6 would probably be pushing it.

    The Apple Workout app totally sucks if you care about distance accuracy-- if pace and distance are important to you. Workout has a loosely coupled relationship with the phone and GPS. It can work totally independently of the phone by counting steps and using its determination of your stride length for distance. Or, it can work with the phone. It still does the same stride length and steps calculation, but it also sampling the phone's GPS for improved accuracy. It is just less inaccurate.

    I have used Runkeeper with the AW. Others have used Map My Run, Strava, Nike... probably most of the running apps. They work OK, but they are not hardened, trustworthy apps. Think of them as a vastly improved UI extension from the phone.

    My recommendation is to get a true running GPS watch. If you think about the event itself and all of the hours you will add up in training, a dedicated device is vastly superior to trying to shoehorn the AW into this. The AW with its Workout app is a poor tool for running. If you use something like Nike, it is better than Workout on the AW. But a Garmin 225 or 235 crushes the AW on its best day in a most unmerciful way.
     
  4. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #5
    If this is your first marathon, distance and pace is less important to learn than what food you eat, which shoes you wear, and how to avoid chafing.

    But since this isn't a running forum, I'll only add that I've heard the AW's battery life during workouts is helped by using a Bluetooth HR strap instead of its LED sensors. You won't need to think about it until you start running a couple hours at a shot anyway.
     
  5. vtboyarc, Mar 19, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016

    vtboyarc thread starter macrumors regular

    vtboyarc

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    #6
    Awesome, thanks for all the detail and advice - this is great! Much appreciate!
    --- Post Merged, Mar 19, 2016 ---
    Dang, I never even thought of chafing...argh I've got lots to learn.

    And awesome, thanks for the info!
     
  6. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    #7
    Get a stick of Body Glide for those long runs on humid days. It is magic.
     
  7. PatrickNSF macrumors 6502

    PatrickNSF

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #8
    I agree, especially if the training plan you're following calls for any speed or interval work. Despite a few existing firmware bugs, the Garmin Forerunner 230/235/630 are nice running watches and a pleasure to use. I "upgraded" a 2-year old 620 to the 235 to have the built-in HR. I get about 4 days of battery life running 40-60 miles per week during marathon training.

    If you decide to go the AW route, consider using iSmoothRun on the AW and iPhone. It's the best of the AW running apps that I've used before selling my AW. It's pretty easy to use the app to share your data with many of the running sites (eg, Strava, Garmin Connect, Nike+). Good luck on your marathon!
     
  8. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #9
    Nipple tape if you're a male. I wish someone had told me sooner.
     
  9. mfm77 macrumors member

    mfm77

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #10
    Petroleum jelly also works well. Ran my last two marathons with it, chafe-free.
     
  10. deany macrumors 68020

    deany

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Location:
    North Wales
    #11
    this is an excellent review for a sporty type like yourself:
    http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2016/02/apple-watch-review.html
     
  11. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #12
    I'm a high volume runner and have both an AW and a Garmin 225 and I switch between both of them regularly.

    The AW is an ok, but not great running watch. Garmin's are great running watches, but not great at anything else. If you regularly carry your phone, and don't expect to change that, and kind of want an AW anyhow, then go ahead. It will make a great partner for you. The learning curve is just a bit steeper than with a dedicated running watch because many of the decisions of what to use are left up to you with the AW. Since receiving my AW as a gift last Christmas, it has become my regular choice for most of my runs, but it has taken some effort to get it set up how I like it. I use the iSmoothRun app, and a Wahoo Tickr HR monitor paired to the phone. I carry my phone in a Flipbelt at the small of my back where it isn't really noticeable and it does not bounce.

    I like the interface of iSmoothRun, and the constant voice feedback giving me splits. The AW is a bit more comfortable to wear than the Garmin. The wrist-based HR monitor is near useless to me when running, but I do rely on it the rest of the day and overnight to track my resting HR which it does very well. Paired with the HR strap, I get AW battery drain of less than 10% an hour (I previously reported 10% but I now see it's less than that - closer to 5% in fact). I like that I can be in touch in case of family needs (my wife called me the other day in the middle of a run because she was out with the kids and the car wouldn't start). If I listened to music, your controls would be much more accessible as well. Negatives are that a touch screen is not ideal for a fitness watch. It works ok, but triggering, say, an interval timer would be difficult to do accurately.

    The 225 is what I wear when I'm racing or otherwise want the best reliability and precision. It's GPS accuracy is probably a bit better than the iPhones in part because of where we wear it on our body. It's much easier to trigger lap timers and other settings with physical buttons. There is no delay to see your stats because the screen is always on (although at night you have to turn on the backlight manually). The real-time pace is much more accurate. The built-in HR monitor is good but not as good as a chest strap. It's really bulky to wear as a daily watch - much thicker than the AW so it catches on things frequently. But, I can go for a run on a hot day and not have to carry my phone which is often really nice.

    You can't really go wrong either way, but as you can see both have upsides and downsides.
     
  12. millerj123 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    #13
    I just used the small round bandages. I kinda freaked the first time I looked down to see bloody rivers on my shirt. No cotton shirts. Ever. I've even had trouble with textured running shirts.
     
  13. TigerStephie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #14
    I ditched my gps watch when I got my AW. I am very happy with my decision. as a female I feel better running with my phone anyway and I wear running shorts and pants that have a pocket big enough for the phone. Currently I use Strava for most runs and Runmeter for speed work. Strava works better but it doesn't have the options for interval training or anything like that. I highly recommend if you are interested in an Apple Watch anyway. If this is the only reason you want an Apple Watch I wouldn't recommend.
     
  14. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #15
    Those probably work well. I'm just frugal lol.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 20, 2016 ---
    Does it leave stains on clothing? Good tip regardless. Easy to pack one of the travel jars just about anywhere.
     
  15. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #16
    No, and it is SUPER cheep (generic brand is identical). Plus it is great in cold weather on your nose/lips.
     
  16. mfm77 macrumors member

    mfm77

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #17
    Truth on both accounts. There's no need to spend more money on the stuff they sell at the marathon expos. Your local drug store is just fine!
     
  17. ekwipt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #18
    yeah if you don't sweat at all, the apple watch will be fine...:p

    Seriously at crossfire it's pretty much useless for me, the heart rate monitor is pretty **** also, plus there's no good apps for fitness Under Armour Record is just ok... good luck
     
  18. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #19
    You only need a stopwatch for Crossfit.

    Maybe a notepad, too, to have your WOD handy.
     
  19. mfm77 macrumors member

    mfm77

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #20
    I'm waiting for AW 2 and hoping for onboard GPS and better battery life. If those two pieces are added, I'm all in.
     
  20. ecdc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2013
    #21
    I'm also running my first marathon this year and really appreciate the feedback here and the links to other reviews. I'm less interested in pace and distance than I am basics of form, eating, gear, etc., and just finishing the marathon, so I think I'll stick w/ the AW. Nice to know it'll last at least for 4-5 hours in workout mode.

    Of course, any other advice is welcome!
     
  21. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #22
    As others have said, get a real running watch like a Garmin Forerunner 620 or 630. AW is too much of a jack-of-all-trades to be of any real use even for tracking casual runs much less marathon training. AW is only good for marathon training inside an Apple produced infomercial.
     
  22. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #23
    Convenient that you've ignored the reports to the contrary from others here who actually own and use both devices regularly.

    Discovered another feature in favor of the iPhone/AW today - when using iSmoothRun elevation is calculated directly using the iPhones barometer rather than estimated via map elevation.
     
  23. jsamuelson macrumors member

    jsamuelson

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #24
    I really, really wanted the AW to be my only running device, as it had HRM, I could pair BT headphones to it, great I thought. However - the activity app doesn't provide enough data, the third-party apps (only recently able to access the HRM) were flaky and also lacking (Strava/Runkeeper) and I found that below freezing my iPhone battery died completely leaving me without GPS.

    So - I bought a Garmin 235 which is amazingly good at one thing, and one thing only - tracking runs. Light, lots of data, syncs to Strava easily, has HRM on the wrist, and obviously GPS built-in. It's a great running watch.

    So my solution is that I wear both, my AW on my left wrist as always and my Garmin on the right. I still get the activity rings filled up, I get all my messages and mail on the run literally, can take calls from my wrist with my cold-fearing iPhone staying hidden away and warm, and the Forerunner does the actual tracking.
     
  24. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #25
    Try iSmoothRun! It's not flaky. Get a flipbelt or something similar and your iPhone will never get cold again. I used mine this winter down to about -5F with strong wind-chill. Yes, there are still times I use my 225 instead, but this is a great setup.
     

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