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msackey

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I've hardly heard this discussed, but WatchOS is supposed to have a special mode for track workouts. I've only heard it mentioned by DC Rainmaker. Does anyone know if the feature would be available on the Series 4 watch? This is what Apple says:

Updates for Runners​

Apple Watch is already a powerful tool for runners, and watchOS 9 brings more data and features to help track how efficiently users run. New running form metrics, including Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, and Vertical Oscillation, can all be added as metrics on Workout Views. These metrics appear in the Fitness app summary and in the Health app, where users can see trends over time and learn from patterns.

A new Pacer experience lets users choose a distance and goal for the time in which they want to complete a run, and calculates the pace required to achieve the goal. During the workout, they can follow the pace alerts and metrics provided. Coming later this year, Race Route enables users to race against their best or last result on frequently completed routes, and receive in-session pacing guidance. A new Track running experience, coming later this year to the US, automatically detects that users are at a running track, and uses Apple Maps data along with GPS to provide the ultimate pace and distance metrics for runners.

Source: https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2022/09/watchOS-9-is-available-today/
 

Monkswhiskers

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So far the only running metrics added for me on my 5 is HR zones, none of the other stuff so who knows, it is US based at first then rolling out worldwide.
 

msackey

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For the Track mode, yes, that is US only and Apple says coming later this year. I don't know exactly when it'll be coming though. I am in the US and a feature like this could be a nice game changer.

DC Rainmaker explains that what this mode does it using satellite imagery, it recognizes outdoor tracks and therefore can "accurately" track such workouts. As you may know, using the GPS to track running on a track is very inaccurate especially because of the turns.
 

Monkswhiskers

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Hopefully this will be available from the 4 up as it is gps reliant.
I’d like think that the reason the other metrics are available on 6 and above are because of the extra computational power of the chip and not because they are ham stringing older models Garmin style.
 
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msackey

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So reviving this old thread…

With the next dot upgrade of WatchOS 9 to come next Monday, I have not heard a peep about the two things that I’m really looking forward to with WatchOS 9:
- track detection
- international roaming

Has anyone heard or have any insight as to when Apple might possibly implement these features? Or to backtrack a bit, are there currently any beta versions of WatchOS 9 in which track detection is actually working?
 

msackey

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Upping this as 9.2 is released. Have any fellow US runners tried it yet?
I've been dying to try this out but haven't had chance yet, both due to work and the weather being cold. But...hopefully I can try it out either this afternoon or some time in the next few days!
 
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msackey

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I find it hilarious that track mode would be a US only/US first feature. Are tracks somehow different in other parts of the world?
I think it has to do with the way it detects athletic tracks. It uses GPS data and actual information from maps to figure out details about the track (presumably, length, lanes, lane width, etc. since not all tracks in the US are Olympic-regulation size or there might be different size regulations used. For instance, I think some tracks are 400m while others are 1/4 mile (similar but not the same). So presumably this means that right now Apple only has map details for outdoor tracks in the US and not a complete dataset for tracks outside of the country.

So to answer your question: yes, per their method track detection, tracks are different in other parts of the world because they don't yet have appropriate data for it ;-)
 
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tobefirst ⚽️

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I think it has to do with the way it detects athletic tracks. It uses GPS data and actual information from maps to figure out details about the track (presumably, length, lanes, lane width, etc. since not all tracks in the US are Olympic-regulation size or there might be different size regulations used. For instance, I think some tracks are 400m while others are 1/4 mile (similar but not the same). So presumably this means that right now Apple only has map details for outdoor tracks in the US and not a complete dataset for tracks outside of the country.

So to answer your question: yes, per their method track detection, tracks are different in other parts of the world because they don't yet have appropriate data for it ;-)
Interesting. Okay, that sort of makes sense. Thanks! I guess I would have expected it to be more like a pool workout, where you tell it how long the track is and then, using the accelerometer, it figures out the rest.
 

NME42

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Sep 15, 2019
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The Verge has some minor info on track mode:


Would be interested how this works:

„If the watch isn’t able to detect the track for whatever reason, users can manually submit that information later in the Fitness app.“

A screenshot would be useful. And curious if this manual mode is also US only?
 
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msackey

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The Verge has some minor info on track mode:


Thanks for posting this! The article notes: "Automatic Track Detection can tell whenever you arrive at any standard 400-meter outdoor track"

Does that mean it will NOT detect "non-standard" 400m outdoor track such as 440 yard tracks (440 yards being 1/4 mile)? I suspect new schools use standard 400 m, but I bet there are many older schools in the US that continue to have 440 yard tracks. What will the app detect or indicate?
 

NME42

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Many questions. Little answers. ;-)

I am more than curious to learn more about Track Mode.
 
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NME42

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Has anyone else seen that there is a „lap track recognition alert“ (rougly translated from German) in the new „route racer“ mode?

Curious what that is.
 

msackey

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Looks like there is a new article on automatic detection of track workouts: https://support.apple.com/en-is/guide/watch-ultra/apd2fc7911cf/watchos

Noting the following below, I wonder how can you bother/manage to indicate a lane change when you are doing a fast workout with a group of people or groups of people that involve passing them?

Adjust your lane during a workout​

If you change lanes while you’re working out, swipe right on the watch face, tap Lane, then enter your new lane.
 
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