Review of the Apple watch to use for running
I used an apple watch for running for years before I switched to my Garmin watch. The apple watch series 7, for instance, is a smartwatch, that wasn’t only designed for running.
So is the Apple Watch any good for running? The answer is not quite easy. Are you an avid runner or are you looking for a tracking device for your daily workouts? Let me explain the pros and cons of the Apple Watch for running after 4+ years running with an Apple watch:
How accurate is Apple Watch GPS for running?
Of course, we love our paces and routes to be accurate. Obviously, tracking with the running watch has to be correct. The GPS of the apple watch (series 5 and up) is great.
Especially the most recent Apple Watch 7 series has an even better GPS. A big plus of the newer models is also the larger screens. The display has 20% more screen area than the Watch 6. And the bezel–the black strip that borders the screen–has been squeezed to a width of just 1.7mm.
If we talk about the heart rate it’s a different story. The HR of the apple watch is bad. There is no sugar coating. It’s just not accurate. When I used to run with an Apple Watch, that’s where I found the Apple Watch to suffer most.
The measurements are wildly inaccurate for me. The first mile was always off with a much higher heart rate than I actually experienced. While running with an Apple Watch you should run with a chest strap to get more accurate results.
The Apple Watch for running: The hard facts
If you can’t decide if you should buy the Apple Watch for running or rather have a Garmin GPS watch please check out my comparison of Apple vs. Garmin. From a runner’s perspective, if you already own an Apple Watch and you’re running here and there but not too seriously, the Apple Watch will do its purpose.
It’s also great if you do a little Yoga here, has a gym workout there and run a few times a week. Overall you can keep track of your activity level with the workout app on your iPhone. Growing the display for the series 7 apple watch has implications for other aspects of the design. It takes more battery power to light up that extra screen space, which may be one reason Apple couldn’t deliver any battery life improvement in the Series 7 over the Series 6.
A dying watch during your long run is literally the worst that can happen to you.
When I was debating if I should switch to Garmin I kept track of how many runners are actually using an Apple Watch for running and it wasn’t many.
Most runners, especially those who are training for marathons and other big goals, are running with a running watch such as the Forerunner 45, the Garmin vívoactive® 4, or the Garmin fēnix 6.
One of the main reasons to switch for me was the GPS accuracy and the long battery life of a Garmin running watch.
The new watchOS 9 update coming up this year
A lot of features that the new update for Apple Watch will bring this year are especially geared toward runners and serious athletes. Measuring your running power, arm swings and so much more will come. Also, you will be able to create custom workouts with their own distance and time intervals or pace yourself against your own routes.
These new additions to its already robust fitness features might make the Apple Watch the best sports watch ever. If only the rumored battery life improvements had materialized.
But what exactly is “running power” in Apple’s eyes? Running power is a relatively new concept that quantifies (in Watts) the amount of power a runner is outputting throughout a workout.
It’s a more comprehensive way of measuring how hard you’re working and makes it possible to fine-tune your training runs and nutrition. Running power is something that could formerly only be measured with a compatible smartwatch with a heart rate monitor strapped to one’s chest or a running pod clipped to one’s shorts.
What is the best running app for Apple Watch?
- Adidas running app
How do you use Apple Watch while running?
The usage of the Apple Watch during your run is simple and easy. Besides the problem, that rain is not great for the touch screen and gives you issues using it, the Apple Watch is easy to use. Here are the easy steps to use Apple Watch while running:
- Open the Workout app on your watch
- Scroll to Outdoor Run or Indoor Run if you are running on the treadmill
- Tap the More button (to set a calorie, distance, or time goal)
- Tap Start and then wait for the three-second countdown
- To skip the countdown, tap the screen
Do you need your phone when running with Apple Watch?
Is Apple Watch 7 any good for running?
Apple says the crystal on the new Series 7 has been redesigned, and that it’s 50% thicker at its thickest point than the crystal on the Series 6. Stuff happens during runs, especially during trail runs in the mountains with hard rocks in your path. So the thicker crystal is good insurance.
So let’s be clear, while the Apple Watch is far and away the best smartwatch, I’ve historically only considered it an entry-level fitness tracker and for running beginners.
It just didn’t offer nearly as many helpful, comprehensive metrics as the Garmins I’ve tested. I cursed myself each time I forgot to swap it out on the weekends, only to see it die within the first two hours of a hiking trip.
Not convinced to buy an Apple Watch for running? Check out which is the best Garmin running watch in 2023.
Last Updated on 16. January 2023 by Sabrina Wieser
Sabrina Wieser is a running expert based in New York City and the founder of Runningbrina - She is a USATF Level 3 and IAAF Level 5 Endurance Certified Coach and experienced marathon runner. She completed over 35 long-distance races and helped over 200 clients to cross their personal finish line. Her expertise in enhancing running performance through training and nutrition has been recognized by many within the running community and different media outlets such as Huffington Post, the Dr Oz Show and adidas running.
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