Run with your Apple Watch

Get the most from your run with Apple Watch. And find out how to save power on long runs. 

An Apple Watch that shows the start of a running workout. 

How to start a running workout

  1. Open the Workout app. 
  2. Scroll to Outdoor Run or Indoor Run. 
  3. Tap the More button the More icon to create a goal for your workout, or to complete a Pacer or Custom workout. You can tap the Edit icon  to modify workouts, or scroll down and tap Create Workout to make a new one.
  4. Tap Start.
  5. Wait for the three-second countdown. To skip the countdown, tap the screen.

If you're in the United States, your Apple Watch may recognise when you've arrived at a standard-shaped outdoor track with visible lane markings with Automatic Track Detection.1 When you start an Outdoor Run, you'll be prompted to select the lane in which you plan to run. Automatic Track Detection uses both GPS and Apple Maps data to try to give you the most accurate distance, pace and route map. You can also add an alert for each lap completed during a track run in the Alerts settings of the Workout app.

To see your progress, check your watch face. Pace alerts are available for Outdoor Run only.

If you have Apple Watch Ultra, you can set your running workout to the Action button. You can also turn on Precision Start in workout settings, which will show when you have a GPS signal and will skip the countdown automatically.

Find out how to use the Action button on your Apple Watch Ultra

How to pause your run

To pause your run, press both the Digital Crown and the side button at the same time. To resume, press both buttons again.

You can also set indoor and outdoor running workouts to automatically pause when you stop moving.

  • On your Apple Watch, open the Settings app, then tap Workout > Auto-Pause > Auto-Pause. 
  • On your iPhone, open the Watch app, tap the My Watch tab, then tap Workout > Auto-Pause > Auto-Pause. 

How to end your workout

Swipe right, then tap the End button the end workout icon. When your workout has finished, your Apple Watch will show you a summary of your workout. To see more, check your workout history in the Fitness app on your iPhone. 

How to track your progress

Customise the metrics that you'll see when you work out, and see your past workouts. 

Choose which metrics to track

  1. Open the Workout app.
  2. Tap the More button the More icon next to the workout you want to do.
  3. Tap the Edit button next to the goal or workout configuration.
  4. Tap Workout Views, then tap Edit Views.
  5. Tap Include to add the metric to your Workout View. You can also tap the Edit button next to a metric, then select a metric to edit.
  6. Change which metrics you want to include.

You can also tap Reorder, then touch and hold the Change Order button the accordion icon to change the order.

To see the metrics you included, turn the Digital Crown during your workout.

Running form metrics

There are a number of metrics to help you get the most out of your running workout.2

An Apple Watch that shows running form metrics during a run.

Vertical Oscillation: Tap to add an estimate of how much your body travels vertically as you run, measured in centimetres. This measurement, along with stride length, can give you a sense of how much energy you're using to drive upwards versus forwards. Apple Watch can log your vertical oscillation automatically during outdoor running workouts.

Running Stride Length: Tap to add an estimate of how much distance you cover from one step to the next while running, measured in metres. Along with cadence, stride length determines your overall running speed. Apple Watch can log your running stride length automatically during outdoor running workouts. For the best Stride Length estimates, run for approximately 200 metres to calibrate your Apple Watch.

Ground Contact Time: Tap to add an estimate of the time each foot spends touching the ground while running, measured in milliseconds. Apple Watch can log your ground contact time automatically during outdoor running workouts.

An Apple Watch that shows the Heart Rate Zone metric during a run.

Heart Rate Zones: Tap Include to add Heart Rate Zones to get a sense of your intensity level.

An Apple Watch that shows the Running Power workout metric during a run.

Running Power: Tap Include to show an estimate of the work you're doing while running, measured in watts. Running Power reflects the intensity of your run and can give a sense of your effort as your speed or incline changes. Apple Watch can log your Running Power automatically during outdoor running workouts. Running Power is only reported during running workouts and cannot capture any extra load, such as a weighted backpack.

An Apple Watch that shows the Elevation metric during a run.

Elevation: Tap Include to show your elevation while you're running.

An Apple Watch that shows the Activity Rings progress during a run.

Activity Rings: Tap Include to show the progress of your Activity Rings during your workout. 


A map of an Outdoor Run workout on an iPhone. 

View your route

  1. On your iPhone, open the Fitness app.
  2. Tap Show More next to Workouts.
  3. Tap the workout you want to view, then scroll down.
  4. Tap the map. The colours show your pace, with green being the fastest pace and red the slowest.

To see the route, you must have an Apple Watch Series 2 or later or have your iPhone with you during the workout. You must also turn on route tracking: On your iPhone, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, tap Apple Watch Workout, then tap While Using the App.

Race your last or best time with Race Route

After you've completed the same route two or more times with little to no deviation, you can select it and race against your last or best time with Race Route.

  1. Open the Workout app.
  2. Scroll to Outdoor Run.
  3. Tap the More button the More icon .
  4. Tap the Route you wish to race against, then select Last or Personal Best.
    An Apple Watch that shows an available route to race.

As you run, your Apple Watch will show you a comparison of your current and previous run. You can check your progress to see how far ahead or behind you are, as well as the distance remaining. You'll also receive an "Off Route" notification if you run off-course.

If you're near the starting point of a previous route, available routes will appear as a suggested workout. To view all routes, tap Suggested, then Route.

Get ready for a long-distance run

With Apple Watch, you can choose how to get ready for a long-distance run, such as a marathon. Check out your options below:

Get better results

1. Automatic Track Detection and Race Route are only available on Apple Watch Series 4 or later with watchOS 9.2 or later.

2. Vertical Oscillation, Running Stride Length and Ground Contact Time are only available on Apple Watch Series 6 or later with watchOS 9 or later.

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