Thoughts on my First Run w/ Watch

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Kb522, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. Kb522 macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2011
    I just went for a run with my  Watch. I usually run with a Garmin Forerunner 620 and HRM chest strap. I usually connect it to my phone for Live Track, but did not do that this time as I didn't want anything to interfere with the iPhone's GPS. The only thing paired with my iPhone other than the  Watch was a pair of bluetooth headphones.

    Here are some thoughts on the  Watch:

    • Display was easy to read in bright sunlight.
    • Siri worked great. I asked her to "Launch Music" and it was easy to advance or replay songs.
    • I was able to read notifications as they came in.
    • The heart rate was pretty much spot on to my Garmin's reading.
    • The band was very comfortable, although did get sweaty. Not more than the average running watch.

    Not so Good:
    • The pace was consistently off by up to 1'30". Occasionally I would glance down and it would be the same, but usually not.
    • Distance (obviously) was also way off.

    Here are screen shots of my  Watch workout and the info from my Garmin.

    Any ideas as to how to make the  Watch more accurate? (Don't judge my pace! :D I've had a bad cold!)

    Attached Files:

  2. Alith, Apr 29, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015

    Alith macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    London, UK.
    Nice screenies. Apparently just using it numerous times, at different paces will calibrate it.

    My instant pace was also WAY off but I'm guessing it uses accelerometers for that and will see how accurate it gets over time once it's calibrated.

    I'll run tomorrow with my 620 and HRM strap and do a similar comparison. It will be my second run with the activity app.

    EDIT: Also, the thing I liked about the activity app was just how polished it looked and animated. It was very readable, with smooth transitions when you swipe the metrics. I liked the tap you get every mile and if you look at the watch at that time you see a separate announcement of the mile you just passed, which shrinks and slides back to the distance metric. Very slick!
  3. mr99 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2014
    My metrics were also way off this morning, running on a treadmill. Will this improve as I run more with it or how do we fix this issue?
  4. Sodner macrumors 68020


    Jan 12, 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA
    All I can add is what I heard and that is when the phone and watch are used together it will calibrate over time and become more accurate.

    So keep us posted on if it improves.
  5. ACE83 macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2015
    Buffalo, NY
  6. Kb522 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2011
    Let us know how it goes! I really love my 620, so I don't think  Watch will ever replace it. But it would be nice to have something quick to use in case I forgot to charge the 620, on vacations, etc. I also think I'll use it a lot for indoor workouts.
  7. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Disappointing (and odd) about the inaccurate pace and distance. I understand w/o the phone, but w/ the phone it should be a lot more accurate. Hopefully Apple will work on the GPS issue. I know the 620 has issues when it was released but now seem to be fixed.

    But good to hear the AW's HRM is pretty solid. I tried the Fitbit Charge HR earlier this year and it was too inaccurate.
  8. Kb522 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2011
    Looks like this is to make things more accurate for Indoor Runs. But hopefully the second time I run will be better! Hopefully it will help both.
  9. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    This was WITH the phone paired. Something is very wrong here, and I'm not sure it's the apple watch. It's taking the distance/pace directly off the iPhone's gps.
  10. damant macrumors 6502


    Feb 14, 2010
  11. PatrickNSF macrumors 6502


    Jan 24, 2011
    I went on my first run with the Watch and my Garmin 620 today also. I like the concept of having one watch that tracks runs and all other daily activity, but there were a few areas for improvement –

    • I didn't think the screen was all that great in direct sunlight. I could read it fine when there was some shade, but in very bright noon sunlight I found it difficult to read. The white text was better, but the blue text indicating the distance was hard to see. (I used the "set distance" function for this run.)

    • Pausing the Watch was difficult. I needed to pause a couple of times for street crossings, and it's so much easier with the Garmin than the Watch. If they allowed you to use the side button for this, it would make a big difference.

    • The pace readout was inconsistent and of limited utility for me. I generally have my Garmin set to show current lap pace (i.e., a mile), and that gives me a good idea if I need to speed up/slow down. The instant pace readouts of the Watch showed too much fluctuation. Not sure if there's a setting to adjust this.

    • Distance/GPS was great, however. I did a 7.5 mile run and they were off by 0.08.

    • The Watch HRM was great. I hate wearing the Garmin strap – and rarely do – but I wore it today and they were equivalent.

    • Calorie burn was lower with the Watch, but closer to a 100 calorie/mile estimate that I've used in the past than the Garmin was.

    • It was great seeing notifications pop up. I generally ignore email, but will often check phone calls and text in case it's my son or his school. It was great being able to keep the phone in my running belt.

    I'll keep going with both watches for the foreseeable future, but imagine once the software gets improved, or third party options can read the HRM, I'll likely save the Garmin for marathons or other long races.
  12. tivoboy macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2005
    take the phone

    there is an apple note that says take the phone with you on a couple runs, make sure it can see the sky (use GPS) and make sure motion and location update is turned on in the location settings (system settings)

    that should calibrate it better..
  13. Kb522 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2011

    I agree with you about pausing the watch. I run in an urban area, so frequently have to stop at crossings. It's nice that my Garmin will pause automatically. The Side Button could be very useful for things like this.

    I would also like to see a lap button. (Maybe there is one?? If so, I haven't found it.) I frequently run intervals or tempo runs and I like to be able to measure my splits.

    I noticed this, as well. It made me sad. :confused: But I wondered if it was because my pace was so off.  Watch consistently had me at least 1'30" slower than my Garmin

    Love this! I too need to be able to see who is texting in case it is my daughter.
  14. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    I'm starting to think that Apple's calorie count leaves off metabolic calories. This seems to be the case in all my activities and what I have seen of others.

    Also Live Track doesn't use your iPhone's GPS. It just uses the cell radio to send to the info from you 620. I use Live Track, Nike+ and Apple Workout at the same time. I did one run without Nike+ to 'calibrate' the Apple Workout app.
  15. almonde macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2006
    Houston, TX
    A lot of people on these forums are spreading cr@p about calibrating the watch, even when people are specifically stating they have their iPhone with them.

    If you have the GPS in the phone, why would the watch be inaccurate due to 'calibration'? This only applies when you run with the watch on its own. Everytime there is a thread on workout inaccuracy, people can't help themselves but pipe up with the 'calibration line'. It's incorrect and even Apple tried the same line on me so I said "if it has GPS from the phone why does it need calibrating?" To which the guy said he didn't know :mad:

    I agree with the statement above on pace, Apple's pace algorithm is junk. Seems like a proper runner never actually ran with this watch prior to launch.
  16. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    If you are using a GPS app on your iPhone (like using Nike+) then the :apple:Watch's Workout App doesn't have access to GPS data. ;)
  17. almonde macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Yes, but this wasn't the case for the OP, or many other people on here, again another confusion added to the conversation.
  18. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
  19. PatrickNSF macrumors 6502


    Jan 24, 2011
    +1 I program 1/4 mile walking warm up/cool down at both ends of my run to force me to do it (otherwise, I'll just blow it off). Not being able to lap those out skews the pace the Watch is reporting in the Workout app.

    Went for another run with the Watch today using the Workout app and again was a bit disappointed with the display. It's fine when I'm in the shade or indirect sunlight, but in full, midday sunlight the screen is hard to see. The white text in the Workout app is marginal, but the blue text that displays the distance when you're doing a distance-goal run is impossible to see in direct sunlight. The should allow you to change the color.

    With regard to visibility, I compared the screen (which is the Watch, not the Sport) with that of my iPhone 6+ and, frankly, they were both equally difficult to read. I think the difference for me is that I never view my iPhone while running, but it's inconvenient to play around with the viewing angle of the Watch to check your distance while running. It's possible some of the third party apps display better, but I haven't tried any yet.

    I've mentioned this in one of the iMore forums, but I'm starting to doubt that the Watch will be a practical substitute for my Garmin in anything other than causal runs when I'm not concerned with my pace (or seeing the Watch). I think marathon training will likely require sticking with the Garmin :(


    I'm glad you pointed that out. I've had the 620 since right after it was released – had the 610 previously – and it was plagued with problems with the initial firmware, and many subsequent updates. Mine often crashed during runs, lost satellites, etc.

    it works perfect for me now, but it was rough going there for a while.
  20. dakdag macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2008
    Force Touch to Pause

    Is it not easy to force touch on the screen to bring up the pause feature?
  21. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    When running, fatigued and watching for traffic it can be hard to just do a soft Tap right after doing a Force Touch.

    Really should be an auto pause option. My Garmin 620 has auto pause and so does Nike+ on my iPhone. Apple needs to add it to the Workout App.
  22. PatrickNSF macrumors 6502


    Jan 24, 2011
    I'd settle for auto pause, but should still prefer the side button have an option to pause a workout (but maybe only when a workout is active). On one of my runs I have the potential to make 6 stops depending on traffic lights, and sometimes the auto pause doesn't engage when it should. I generally have grown accustomed to just using the pause button.

    I hope they make some improvements to the software. It would be so nice to bearable to run and get an accurate HR without having to wear a strap.
  23. profets macrumors 601

    Mar 18, 2009
    Agreed. I've seen many threads about this, and have posted in several of them.

    Bike rides with the Watch + iPhone, I've gotten perfect distance and speeds both times.

    3 runs with the watch. First 2 were Watch + iPhone, plus another GPS running watch. Distance and pace was off on the Apple Watch (which you'd think it is using the iPhones GPS). Distance off and pace varied wildly. On the 3rd run I went Apple Watch without iPhone, plus the GPS running watch. I was curious how it would do. Surprisingly, it seemed perfect. Every time I checked it, the pace and distance were nearly spot on with the GPS watch. Maybe it'll get better with time.
  24. adamk77, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
  25. Kb522 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2011

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