A few days ago, I went for a run using the Apple Watch Workout app, and found it lacking. It doesn’t really measure distance or pace very well, even when paired to the iPhone. Today, I went for a run using the Runmeter app on both my phone and the watch.
My goal is not to run without my phone, but rather to keep the phone in a waist belt throughout my run. Then to use the watch to monitor my progress, and also to choose podcasts, books and music to listen to while I run.
First, I opened Runmeter on the phone, and selected a route. I did not start the workout, but put the phone in my belt.
On the watch, in the settings app, I changed it so that the watch would go to the last used app, rather than to the watch face each time I looked at it during my run.
Then I opened the Runmeter app on the watch. It looks like this.
I had some trouble with that start button. But by accident, I force pressed the screen, and its much easier to start that way!
When I pressed start, I got some audio feedback in my bluetooth headphones, and I started the run!
During the run
During the run, there were several informative screens. Whichever one I left the watch on, it stuck and was there when I raised my wrist again. I like the Cadence screen particularly
Very pretty! I’m a little sad that I will never, ever, in my lifetime get into the orange or red of the pace dial. Oh, well.
When I finished the run, I force touched again and clicked ‘Stop’ to end the run. After that I switched to the phone to save the run data.
I have only one complaint about the Runmeter experience on the watch. When you raise your wrist, the app appears with the data from the last time you looked. Then half a second or so later, it updates to the new information. I doubt there is any way to fix this with WatchKit in its current state, but it is annoying.
I’m sold on using Runmeter in this way with the Apple Watch. Its already a very good experience, especially paired with Overcast, my favorite podcast app. I’m looking forward to using it this weekend when I run the Twin Lights Half Marathon, in Gloucester, MA.
One more thing…
Many pundits have lambasted third party watch apps. John Gruber said they “suck”. Its true that the Runmeter watch app doesn’t load quickly. But in this use case, which I discovered after less than a week with the watch, I only need to load it once.
Without the Runmeter app (or a similar one), the watch would not be a useful running companion. With it, it is.