The best Apple Watch tips for runners

If you own an Apple Watch and are eager to optimize its performance during your running workouts, we’re here to guide you. Whether you’re gearing up for your first 5K or aiming to excel in your next half marathon, there are numerous ways to make the most of your Apple Watch and have it as your ultimate running companion.

We’ve compiled some of the best tips for running with your Apple Watch to ensure you unlock its full potential. These tips are applicable to various Apple Watch models, including the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra, and Apple Watch SE, as well as earlier versions that have been updated to at least watchOS 9. So, let’s explore how you can optimize your running experience with your Apple Watch!

apple watch tips for running

1. Make sure your Apple Watch is up to date with your personal information

For accurate data collection during your running workouts with the Apple Watch, it’s crucial to ensure the watch has up-to-date information about you. When you initially set up the Apple Watch, you may have provided personal details such as gender, weight, height, and age. Keeping this information current helps the watch calculate calories burned and distance traveled more precisely.

If you haven’t configured or updated this information for some time, it’s essential to do so to have an accurate profile. To make changes, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, navigate to the “My Watch” tab, select “Health,” and then choose the “Edit” option at the top.

Moreover, if you suspect that the GPS signal on your iPhone is not functioning correctly, you can recalibrate your Apple Watch settings. To achieve this, access the Apple Watch app once again, go to “My Watch,” then tap on “Privacy,” and finally, choose “Reset Physical Activity Calibration Data.” Ensure your Apple Watch is properly positioned on your wrist, and head out for a 20-minute run in a flat area with a strong GPS signal. During this run, record your activity using the “Outdoor Run” option on your watch. This recalibration will help improve the GPS accuracy during your future runs.

Personalized Apple Watch workouts

2. Create your own custom workouts

With the introduction of watchOS 9, Apple Watch gained the ability to create custom workouts, catering to specific training plans that involve intervals based on heart rate, time, or distance zones. Setting up these personalized workouts is straightforward:

For watchOS 9 users:

1. Open the Workout app on your Apple Watch.
2. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner.
3. Scroll down using the digital crown and select “Create Workout.”
4. Choose the “Custom” option and create your own workout.
5. Configure your warm-up, intervals, recoveries, and cool-down.

If you wish to set pace targets, you can add alerts to these custom workouts. To do this, within the personalized training section, scroll to the bottom and select the “Alert” option.

For watchOS 10 users:

1. Open the Workout app on your Apple Watch.
2. Look for the “Outdoor Race” option and click on the three ellipses.
3. Select “Create Training.”

A menu with various predefined custom training options will appear. If you prefer, you can also edit them in the same manner as described for watchOS 9. These custom workouts offer enhanced flexibility for tailoring your training routine to meet specific fitness goals.

3. Customize the data you want to display during training

During your training sessions, you can easily navigate through different data screens on your Apple Watch using the digital crown. To customize and modify the data displayed while running, follow these steps based on your watchOS version:

For watchOS 9 users:

1. Open the Workout app on your Apple Watch.
2. Select the “Outdoor Race” option and tap the three ellipses.
3. Choose the “Edit view” option.

Now, you have the freedom to change the data presented on each screen, and you can also enable or disable metric screens. Metrics such as cadence, stride length, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation can be added or removed according to your preferences.

For watchOS 10 users:

1. Open the Workout app on your Apple Watch.
2. Select the “Outdoor Race” option.
3. Scroll down and tap on the “Preferences” option.
4. Now, choose the “Outdoor Race training view” option.

By scrolling down, you will see the various Apple Watch screens displayed during training. Click on the pencil symbol to edit each screen to your liking, ensuring a personalized training experience that meets your specific needs.

run watchOS

4. Use heart rate zones

Many runners find it essential to train within specific heart rate zones, and with the Apple Watch, monitoring these zones becomes incredibly simple. You can either manually input your heart rate zones or have them automatically calculated using health data, allowing you to regulate the intensity of your training effectively.

During your run, accessing the heart rate zones is a breeze. Simply turn the digital crown downwards, and you will see the screen displaying your heart rate zones. The Apple Watch will clearly highlight the zone you are currently training in, along with your average heart rate.

If you prefer to set heart rate zones manually, follow these steps: Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch, navigate to Training, then select Heart Rate Zones. Tap Manual and proceed to set new upper and lower limits for your desired zones. With this functionality, you have greater control over your training intensity and can optimize your performance to achieve your fitness goals.

5. Activate automatic pause

Another valuable feature for our workouts is automatic pause. Sometimes, unexpected situations may arise, like stopping at a red light or tying our shoelaces, and we might forget to manually pause the workout on our Apple Watch. This can lead to inaccurate data and affect our final results.

To ensure a hassle-free experience, you can activate automatic pause by accessing the Settings app on your Apple Watch. Choose the Training option and turn on Auto Pause. Notably, this feature can be enabled for specific training sessions, not limited to running, but also for cycling, swimming, and other activities.

With these five helpful tips, you can maximize the benefits of your Apple Watch during your running training sessions. Now, there’s no excuse – it’s time to lace up your shoes and hit the road for a great run!