Apple watch

How Apple Watch’s virtual trainer will help you run better

watchOS 9 brings a virtual pacer feature to the Apple Watch, allowing users to enter distance and time to find the ideal pace required for their run.

apple watch users who want to become seasoned runners may struggle to keep up with the pace at first, but watchOS 9 will shorten the learning curve with a virtual pacer feature. The Apple Watch has cemented its position as a competent fitness smartwatch competing with Garmin and Fitbit, and Apple has doubled down on that market with recent software releases. It added new hardware sensors to collect more fitness and health data, and added new software features to present the data to users. Running is a popular way to improve cardiovascular health, and Apple is trying to create features that speak directly to runners. With watchOS 9, the Apple Watch can pace the wearer’s runs so they don’t have to worry about the calculations themselves.

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watchOS 9 is the next Apple Watch software release that will bring a bunch of new upgrades to the Workout app. It was previewed in June at the company’s annual Global Developers Conference, which highlights the latest software changes and enhancements. At the heart of watchOS 9 is fitness, specifically designed for running. Apple has introduced new metrics to improve a runner’s performance, such as vertical oscillation and stride length. Thanks to the sensors of the Apple Watch, the device can measure and recognize the movements of the wearer. These metrics, in context, can give runners the tools they need to adjust their form. In addition to the new measures, Apple is also improving the training experience with a virtual stimulator.


Related: How to run with an Apple Watch and get the best results

The experience of the stimulator in watch OS 9 is intertwined with a routes feature that allows creating predefined running routes before starting a run. They can be created by running a frequently used route and giving it a name, after making the necessary changes. Once a course has been created, runners will have the option of racing against their best or last result on the selected course. Since running is largely an individual sport, breaking a previous personal best can be a tangible sign that a runner is progressing. By knowing they are ahead or behind their best performance on a selected route, an Apple Watch user has the best chance of breaking their personal best when the time comes.


Apple Watch is a running coach on your wrist


Apple Watch working with fitness app.

Along with preset and past routes, the Apple Watch can also help pace a runner based on a time and distance goal. Pace is an important part of running success, especially for long-distance races. To achieve an activity goal during a run, it’s ideal to maintain a steady, steady pace rather than speeding up and slowing down based on exhaustion. Seasoned runners are able to pace themselves based on factors such as speed, effort, and energy level, but it takes time. For starters, watchOS 9’s Workout app does all that work. After entering a desired time and distance result, the Apple Watch can automatically calculate the pace needed to achieve that goal. The watch can alert users if they are on target or behind, and show them exactly how far ahead they are, in miles and meters.


The feature, in essence, serves as a wrist-worn virtual trainer. This is because many people have target goals in mind for common distances, but don’t know how fast they need to run to achieve their goals. For example, an Apple Watch user might want to run a mile in under six minutes or a 5K in under 25 minutes. By entering these goals into the Apple Watch, the wearer can find out exactly what pace – per mile or per kilometer – is needed to hit that mark. Since average pace is a default metric displayed on training views, users can see how they are doing during a run. With the Rhythm Experience in watchOS 9, even beginners can learn to beat accurately using just their apple watch.


Next: How to set up Cardio Fitness on Apple Watch (and why you should)

Source: Apple

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