Kind of disappointed in Pace rates in Activity app

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Apps' started by Robocheme, May 4, 2015.

  1. Robocheme macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2015
    I've been using a Garmin Forerunner 405 with a HRM strap for my runs for years. It gives excellent results in terms of distance and pace. How do I know this? I usually run around a standard 400M track.

    Since I got the watch last week, I've gone on two runs with my iPhone in my jacket pocket, the Watch on the left wrist and my 405 on my right wrist.

    The first run was around the track. The distance was about 10% low and the pace (min/mile) varied from 10-25% too high. I figured that this inaccuracy is due to the difference between using cell phone towers and satellites for determine distance.

    The second run was very disappointing. I started off at a 10-11 minute pace (I'm old) and the watch showed 19-20 minute pace. It would sometimes dip down into the 12 minute range, but then it would return to the higher levels. I thought that it could be due to the timer or the distance being off, but that wasn't the case. How could the timing be correct and the distance be only about 10% off, and the pace be so far off?

    Anyone else see their pace being way too high (slow)?
  2. BritinNC macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2006
    I certainly don't think it is right. I try to maintain a 15 minute pace when walking and if I watch the pace throughout the walk I will be consistently below the 15 minute mark. Then when I complete the workout it always shows an average pace higher than 15 minutes. I think the final one is accurate in general, but it bums me out that the interim pace values are too low as it is difficult to judge whether I need to speed up to get my below 15 minute average.
  3. menace3 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 13, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    The watch and phone are learning your pace. I'm on my 5th one and it's finally getting it right
  4. sdallnct2 macrumors regular

    May 3, 2015
    I'm disappointed with calories burned in "indoor walk". On non-run days I typically do 20-25 min walking w/hills on a treadmill + 15-30 min of weights.

    Twice now, my watch has reflected only 100 calories burned for a 25 min walk. Oddly, pace, distance and HR all seem within reason. Calories should be in the 225 range.

    I would switch to a 2nd workout "other" for doing weights. I think next time I'm going to experiment by starting in "other" and using that for the entire workout. Stretching, walking and weights.

    I've run outside and used the Nike+ GPS which has always worked well for me. And seeing my pace and distance at a glance is awesome. I wish there was a way to change songs with swiping to another screen.
  5. Alith macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    London, UK.
    Double tap the crown to flip between the last two apps. i.e. launch your workout and music apps and switch between them with a double tap.
  6. roddenshaw macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2006
    I'm hoping that Apple will support BT footpod stride sensors, or that a third party will do so. I find my Adidas stride sensor to be extremely accurate, and since the watch has BT there's no reason it couldn't work.
  7. sdallnct2 macrumors regular

    May 3, 2015
    Yesterday I did my entire non-running workout in "other". I got better results.

    My workout was 5 min of dynamic stretching (knee kicks, swings, a few squats that type thing) + 25 min walking at a brisk pace w/hills on a treadmill + 20 min weights w/30 sec between 5x5 sets.

    The Apple app in "other" for the entire 50 minutes gave me 340 calories. This is getting into a reasonable range. I would expect it to be closer to 400.

    After my 5 min stretching is showed 20 calories (which may be right) and after the 25 min walk (now total 30 min) it showed about 140 (which I think is way low). At the end of 50 min it gave me 250 "active" calories and 90 calories "resting". I don't know how it figures those two, but the total may very well be right.

    The HR was in range of when I would wear a chest strap. So it has to be the algorithms that are different than anything else I have used/seen.
  8. gameboy213 macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I am seeing Pace readings that are way off as well. Even on the watch using Runkeeper and Workout at the same time the Activities Workout app is way off and Runkeeper is correct. Odd.
  9. Alith macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    London, UK.
    I've been running with the Workout app for three weeks now whilst carrying a phone. The instant pace metric is still comically incorrect, despite many hours of calibration.

    I'm very disappointed with it. I don't understand why they cannot give us an option to use GPS constantly throughout a run and map it, similar to every other fitness phone app out there.
  10. DouginMN macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2013

    I'm currently using Endomondo, but would switch back to the Workout app if they added the ability to use the iPhone's GPS for distance/pace!!!
  11. Lictor macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2008
    The GPS is not that precise. I have used Runtastic and similar apps with walking and the rate and speed are all over the place. I usually walk around 6-6.5km/h, but Runtastic shows speed from 3km/h to 25km/h(!). I guess the problem is that I walk in my city and the building might be troublesome for the GPS. Also, stopping at green lights and the like might throw of the algorithm that attempts to smooth out the readings of the GPS.
    It's even worse when the GPS totally loses signal (like it seems to do all the time on my Android Moto E). If the algorithm is not very good, it can make you jump all over the place at incredible speed.


    Maybe they're reading from the GPS all the time... Raw signal from the GPS is not precise, the last digits are very unstable. Applications must implement their own algorithm to dampen the signal from the GPS (low pass filter for instance), otherwise the application will think you're making jumps several meters long all the time and this will translate to very unstable and unrealistic speed reading.
    It's easy to do that for a car on a motorway (they tend to move at constant speed in the same direction), it's harder to do for a runner, even harder for a walker (they move slower and change direction without notice) and even harder for a walker in urban environment (they stop at lights, dodge cars and pedestrians, stop to look around...).

    I guess that the companies that are in the business of using GPS for sport have good algorithms by now. Apple still needs to do a lot of tweaking it seems.

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