Tag Archives: apple watch

Always Choose the Scenic Route

Today I decided I should ‘man-up’ and actually ride to my evening track session rather than using it as an excuse to drive. 

To be fair, it is quite a long way from my office but given that it is National Bike to Work Week I thought I should give it a crack. 

So after a 4.5 mile ride to the office as I forgot my helmet and had to turn around at the half mile point to go back and get it, I spent a busy day at work. 

Come five pm I got changed and started the one hour ride you over the hills to Conestoga High School and the FastTracks track running session. 11 miles later I arrived with fifteen minutes to spare. I didn’t feel like I needed to run warm ups but instead did some stretches and ate an energy bar. 

The intervals tonight were:

  • 4x200m; first 100m at two mile pace, second at one mile pace, with 50m walk then 59m jog recovery. 
  • 2x400m; first 200 at two mile pace, second at one mile pace, with 100m walk then 100m jog recovery. 
  • 4x200m; first 100m at two mile pace, second at one mile pace, with 50m walk then 59m jog recovery. 

This only took thirty minutes and my intervals were very consistent. In fact, the two fastest runners from the group weren’t present so I found myself leading the pack and setting the pace. Also announcing and timing the intervals as the coach’s watch battery had died; Garmin, tut!

Intervals were:

  • 45 secs
  • 46 secs
  • 44 secs
  • 45 secs
  • 1m 32secs
  • 1m 32secs
  • 43 secs
  • 42 secs
  • 42 secs
  • 40 secs

Pretty good! Apple Watch worked perfectly this week as I think I’ve got used to the feel for the screen controls. 

Then, after a gentle one lap cool down, I jumped on my bike and rode the 12 miles home. Those last few hills really hurt and the temperature was rather on the ‘refreshing’ side of cool. 63F with a strong cold wind. 

Ah, well – at least I wasn’t sweating my pants off! 

I’m thoroughly knackered now and looking forward to a run tomorrow morning and a well-earned massage tomorrow night. 


Footnote: mapmyrun are experiencing syncing issues currently and have been for a couple of weeks. It is a little frustrating as I would have expected a fix by now.

Oh, and as for the title of this article, always take the scenic route through the historic park  especially around sunset; beautiful! 


Track Night Week #4

After a couple of afternoons where the temperature hit the low 80s, it dropped tonight to 63F and was perfect for running. Phew! I’m not ready for summer heat runs yet. 

It was FastTracks track night tonight which saw us doing 10 x 200s with 100m walk recovery. The same as last week. The first 100m was at 1 mile pace and the second at half mile pace. 

It sounds like it might be easy but come interval four and you will be feeling it. 

Generally I was finishing fifth in the Group 1 tonight which is about the normal position for me. I was pretty consistent with my times running between 38 and 41 seconds for the distance. 

I jogged a few extra laps too just to loosen up before and after. 

It was a good night and we had a reasonable crowd there. Thankfully the track was a lot quieter this week so we didn’t impact on others quite as much. 

I noticed our coach was filming some of the sprints so it will be interesting to see if we can get access to them. Seeing my running form would be interesting especially for the second 100s as I suspect I turn my legs over faster and shift forward on my feet. 

My apple watch worked well again tonight using the digital stopwatch. It takes a little getting used to so that you don’t hit the screen too hard and put it into a different mode, but other than that it did the job. 

Track Night with Apple Watch

I missed last weeks track event with FastTracks but I knew they were doing the same thing as week one, so I don’t feel like I missed out. 

This time I came along knowing there would be a different workout, a different coach AND having my new tech to play with. 

I started the session off by using Apple Watch to start a mapmyrun session to record my overall time and distance. I then turn the volume of my phone down to minimum to stop mapmyrun announcing all the half-mike waypoints. 

Then I put Apple Watch into stopwatch mode. This offers the ability to record multiple lap times from the same screen. After a warm up lap or three at a gentle jog we started the workout. 

Our target was: 200m consisting of 100m at 80% and 100m at 95%. Then walking 100m to recover… Then repeat ten times. Note that we were told to do the walk as 50m out and back.

The members of my set/group are really fast. The majority of them are older than me (some significantly) but they consistently hand my ass to me on a plate. I’m over the embarrassment of it by now and just hope that I can remain as fast when I get to their age! 

I ended up running mainly 38-40 second 200m periods. I was fairly consistent in my times but felt that we were probably running above the prescribed 95% level. The coach was running with us and didn’t rein us in. 

This was an interesting workout but it made traffic on the track quite chaotic and I felt sorry for all the other track users. We had three different groups running at different paces and going different directions on the track. This made it difficult for other track users. My apologies. 

Now for the tech. Well, I eventually got used to the stopwatch on the Apple Watch but it wasn’t easy. To press the lap button you have to use the screen. The physical buttons on the watch are set for other dedicated behaviours for the Watch OS. 

This means that before you can press the lap button you have to raise the watch to the appropriate position to get the screen to turn on, then try to find the lap button on the screen without knocking the stop button that is directly beside it. I also wear my watch on the ‘wrong’ wrist so this means the lap button is on the far side of the screen from my controlling hand. 

However, once I got used to this (and remembered that I was timing; stupid tired brain), it was easy to use. 

It has so good ways of presenting the data. I chose the digital face layout (hard press the screen) and it looked like this.   

When in use the lap button is in the same position as the ‘reset’ button above. You can scroll the lap list up and down to view the different results. It also has a graphical view but it doesn’t label it well so it has limited value.  

Then there is another mode that has it all in one.  

This shows the analog dials, the digital time, and the graph. 

At the end of the running I switched over to the mapmyrun app (double click the crown) and stopped the app. 

Everything appears to have worked fine.  

And if that wasn’t enough, I forgot my pedometer from work today so I had the Moves app running in the background of my phone to pickup my steps for the day (it is linked to my virgin pulse account).  

Completely teched out yet? Good, so am I. Dinner of meatless tofurky hotdogs and ice cream with strawberries. 

Day done. 

Further Adventures with Apple Watch

Today was another active day with a bike commute to work, plus a run/walk with my friend. 

The Apple watch worked well for my ride in, even sensing my button presses through my gloves (thin running silks). There seems to be something quirky going on with mapmyrun saving things when you finish up an exercise. I haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly what yet but sometimes it has problems to saving. I’ve not lost any data though… Yet. 

I had to cycle to the start for my run/walk which was four miles from my office. Then we did 6.2 miles and maintained the 1:30/3:00 run/recovery that we’ve been doing. Next time we will change the interval schedule. 

After this I had to cycle four miles home. Uphill. By this point I was very hungry and tired. It seemed like a long hill home. 

I’m enjoying the watch though and the other functions on it appear to work well. The battery life has also not been an issue, ending the day with about 40% remaining. I would point out that I don’t have many notifications setup on my phone preferring instead to pull messages when I am ready for them; this allows me better control over my work. 

Time to feed and shower. 

Apple Watch with MapMyRun

Today was my first run with my new Apple Watch. I chose to stick with using the mapmyrun app that I’ve used for many many years rather than switching to the workout app that Apple provide in the phone. 

I won’t cover all the unwrapping and setting up of the device as that is all over the Internet. Suffice to say that it was yet another awesome and seamless experience from Apple. The unpacking experience is delightful and setup a breeze. 

I got the line green sport version of the watch.  

I think it loves me… 

I setup mapmyrun with a playlist and selected my shoes so that it was all ready to go, then put my phone away. 

Once outside and ready to go I dialled up the mapmyrun app on the Apple Watch and hit the running button.  

The app started up first time and I could hear the countdown starting. I had decided to run long today now that my muscle aches have all cleared up since replacing my shoes. 

While I was out there I received a notification that I had passed the Move goal for the day. This is part of the general activity tracking in the watch. I also checked my pulse at one point: 167. It was the crest of a hill though. 

As I got home I had to scroll to the right most panel to find the pause/stop button. 

So, it worked well. My Apple Watch battery level is at 88% and my iPhone 6 is at 85%. I had music playing the whole way on my phone too. Muse kicked ass for me. 🙂

I did 16 miles at 8:00 pace and feel pretty good. I ran from my home through Evansburg State Park and almost all the way to the Perkiomen Trail. I turned around at the eight mile mark but the join was only another 3/4 of a mile away at that point. 

I’ll post more about the watch as I use it but it worked well for me yesterday and the battery was at 48% remaining at the end of the day. I don’t have many notifications set as I find them distracting so that’s probably why it lasted so well.