Apple Watches and other smartwear are great for so many things, and running is one of them. If you’re new to using your Apple Watch for running (or if you just want to know how to use it better), this article is for you.
Below are nine tips to get the most out of your runs, including why each tip is useful and how exactly to use it. These watch tips are great for running watches, too, not just the Apple Watch. Read on to see how to get the most from your Apple Watch.
1. Update Personal Data
If you just got your Apple Watch, make sure that you input the right information relating to your weight, height, age, etc. If you’ve had it for a while, double-check that your personal data is still accurate.
While you might want to fudge on the weight number, giving your watch accurate information will help its accuracy. By knowing exactly who you are, this will make calories burned and distance more accurate.
To do this, go to the Watch app on your phone, select the My Watch tab, pick Health, and then press Edit to make changes.
2. Calibrate Apple Watch
Another thing you’ll want to do is calibrate your Apple Watch. If you’ve been using it for a while and didn’t realize that you had to calibrated it, you could always start afresh to make sure that it’s accurate.
Simply go to the Watch app on your phone, select My Watch, pick Privacy, and press Reset Fitness Calibration Data.
Then go for a jog in a nice open area where the reception is good. Select an outdoor walk or run in the Workout app and do that for 20 minutes. After the initial 20 minutes, the Apple Watch will continue to calibrate over time. But that first workout will get it started.
This is important because it allows for more accurate distance measurements when GPS isn’t available. If you suddenly find the GPS working, you’ll likely want your distance to still be accurate.
3. Ensure Band is Fairly Tight
While you don’t want to be cutting off circulation, you do want to have an accurate reading of your heart rate.
Obviously, make sure that you do whatever is comfortable for you, but you should be good if you can see that the sensor is touching your skin and will continue to do so even when your wrist gets hot and sweaty.
If you’re doing Heart Rate Training or if you just want to have accurate information about how many calories you’ve burned, the sensor needs to be directly on your skin. Then you can be sure that your watch is providing you with accurate heart rate data.
4. Use the Lock Button
Runners like to have the most accurate information possible. Using the lock button assures you that the watch won’t accidentally pause in the middle of your run or workout.
Since it’s a touch screen, just tapping the screen to look at it might do something you don’t want to do if the watch is unlocked. Better to be safe than sorry and lock that screen.
5. Turn on Power Saving Mode
Since you’re not going to be using it to read text messages during your run, turn your watch on power-saving mode. This will extend your battery life during activities. You’ll definitely want to do this if you plan to use your watch for long runs.
6. Turn Off Notifications
For a whole year, I always ran with my Garmin watch without my phone. My run was completely peaceful and quiet. Then I got an armband and brought my phone with me a couple times. The watch blew up with notifications, which got me off my groove running.
You don’t want this to happen to you during your run. So be sure to turn off notifications on your Apple Watch. This will prevent distractions while you’re in the pain cave. You’ll be able to catch up with your family and friends once you’ve finished your run.
7. Customize Screen to Highlight Data
The great thing about the Apple Watch is that you can customize the screen to include the data that you want to see.
There are a variety of different metrics you can choose from, including average pace, current pace, heart rate, and elevation gain. Pick what works best for you. As you run, you’ll get a better feeling for what data you want to see and can adjust it for personal preference.
To do this, you’ll pick up your phone and go to My Watch > Workout > Workout View > Outdoor (or Indoor) Run > Edit. You’ll be able to rearrange and/or add and delete different metrics. You can see a max of five at a time.
8. Use Goals on Apple Watch
What isn’t more motivating than setting a goal (and then reaching it)? Apple Watch allows you to do this seamlessly. Simply select Workout on your Apple Watch and then press the three dots next to the run you’re going to do.
You can set goals based on distance, time, or calories, which will improve your motivation to keep running in order to meet whatever goal you have set. Your Apple Watch will be that friend running beside you encouraging you to keep going!
9. Set Up Music For Your Run
Finally, if you love to listen to tunes, podcasts, or audiobooks during your run (especially important for long runs), you can use your Apple Watch to set up music. You can either sync from your phone or stream on your watch.
You’ll likely want to consider how much battery you need when deciding if you’re going to sync or stream music. If you’re going for a long run and have a limited amount of cellular data per month, it might be better to sync.
You can also use cellular data to share your location with friends and family through Find My Friends while you’re running. This is an added safety measure – and maybe you’ll get some encouraging messages from them, too.
Find My Friends might be especially useful during a race. Your family and friends know when to be there at the finish line to cheer you on.
The Apple Watch is a great device, and by incorporating these tips, you can use it to your greatest advantage while running.
Taking the time to set it up so that it’s configured to you will help with accuracy and taking the time to customize it will give you the information that you want.
Finally, making sure that you aren’t bothered by the notifications but are getting motivating goals that will encourage you to keep going is sure to help you make the most of your runs and avoid distractions.