So far, my Apple Watch 7 hasn’t been my running watch. I’ve written countless articles about the Apple Watch’s lack of a physical button (I don’t know about you, but touchscreens and sweaty fingers don’t mix), comparing it to similarly priced likes. 255The metrics weren’t good on the Apple Watch.
However, Apple recently released the watchOS 9 update, with Some new and improved operating metrics. So I downloaded the update, and headed out on a 5 mile progression ride to test it out. Read on to find out what happened, and why these updates have, in my opinion, turned a “meh” watch into a decent watch.
Looking for the latest Apple Watch news? Here’s everything you need to know about the new Apple Watch UltraThe Apple Watch 8and the Apple Watch SE 2022In addition to Five new WatchOS 9 features to try first.
watchOS 9: Can the Apple Watch compete with Garmin now?
Let’s start by taking a look at what has changed. Once you install the watchOS 9 update, when you’re in running workout mode, you can swipe down on the watch bezel to see the new workout screens. The first shows you which heart rate zone you’re in, and it’s not much different from the heart rate colors at the top of the screen on some of Garmin’s best watches. Heart rate training allows you to train smarter – at a quick glance, you can see how hard you’re working.
As a runner, I try to follow the 80/20 method when it comes to my training. In simple terms – I do 80% of my weekly miles’ at an easy pace, 20% with a harder effort. The easiest way for me to measure this is by my heart rate. I try to keep the easy miles in the second or three zones to build my cardiovascular endurance .
The addition of heart rate zones on the Apple Watch shows that Apple is taking its first steps toward more serious exercise tracking. Zones can be added manually, or automatically calculated with health data and used to monitor exercise intensity. If you don’t want to watch it while you’re jogging, you can also see it in the Heart Rate section of the workout once it’s loaded.
Next, Apple Watch finally It gives you deeper workout metrics including stride length, ground contact time, vertical oscillation, and average power. All of these were available on a lot of best running hours For years, but once again show that Apple is making some serious moves in the training space.
None of these metrics are very useful while jogging, but it’s interesting to look back later. Your cadence, for example, is one of the easiest ways to check your running form — runners who over-run are more likely to get injured. They are more likely to run faster than runners with shorter, faster strides. If you’re a beginner, it’s not worth getting attached to too much, but if you’re training for a PR marathon, that’s good data.
Once you load Playback, click Show more The option next to your workout details in the iPhone Fitness app, where you’ll be able to see the data. At the bottom of the page, there is an option to rearrange the metrics.
Finally, I appreciate the opportunity to create my own Apple Watch workouts – something that’s been missing for years. If you’re destined for a quick session, keeping repetitions in my head or writing them down on my hand isn’t ideal—every runner will know how easy it is for a biro to sweat out of your hand in the middle of a run. In Workout Away mode, if you tap on the three dots in the corner, you can now create a custom workout on the watch. Again, Apple isn’t reinventing the wheel, but it does point out that the Apple Watch is more of a training companion than it used to be.
There’s also an option to choose a different type of running exercise, whether it’s time-based, distance-based, or racing yourself. I haven’t had a chance to test all of this yet, but I will in the next few weeks.
watchOS 9: Time to switch your running hours?
Are these watchOS 9 updates enough for me to finish my trusty Garmin Fenix 7 device? not yet. Even with the new Low Power mode, my Apple Watch 7’s battery life isn’t comparable to my Garmin’s, and if I’m going for a long distance or racing, I’d be worried about it giving up halfway.
It remains to be seen if the Apple Watch Ultra will be able to compete with the Fenix 7. But watchOS9’s improvements made a huge difference, and I’m impressed.