Here is a collection of advanced running apps for the Apple Watch. Typically they are each good at one specific thing, in the first example, it’s Lubba who majors in structured workouts.
Garmin owners will scoff as they often get all these features pre-canned on their Forerunners and Fenixes. But, hey, you’ve got an Apple Watch so probably don’t care what Garmin owners think, although it can be a bit of a faff to go and research which is the best running app for your precise kind of running.
Must Read: Apple Watch 7 Review
Structured Workouts | Lubba – Complex structured run workouts for Apple Watch
Apparently, Lubba means ‘to run, really, really hard’…but in Swedish. Now you know.
Lubba lets you create complex structured workouts on its iOS app and then execute them on your Apple Watch. The workouts are stored for you to re-use and your results are synced to Apple Health. The iOS app also lets you view your performance in every completed interval.
Garmin owners might notice a similarity to the Garmin Workout Builder – a complement to Garmin if ever there was one!
I don’t think there is any ability to import structured workouts either individually or as part of a complete plan nor to calendarize them but that would be advanced running functionality and beyond the scope of what this kind of app is intended to do.
Lubba is good at focussing on one thing. The structured workouts. There’s no other gumf to distract and confuse you. Yet within that simplicity of approach, there are the obvious features you would expect (miles vs km, distance vs time) as well as nicer ones that enable you to end an interval early.
It’s been designed by a runner, for runners. Here are some screenshots of what to expect.
App Store: Get Lubba for $4.99
Maps | WorkOutDoors
Along a similar vein to iSmoothRun, you will find that WorkOutDoors has many highly advanced features. Its particular strengths include the ability to curate perfectly customised workout pages, the ability to schedule workouts and unrivalled post-workout stats and its mapping is also second-to-none.
- Cost: £3.99
- Standalone Watch mode? Yes
- Target: For those of you with precise in-workout, mapping and data display needs.
- Link: Download here
Track App | Dash Timer for Apple Watch
I’d prefer to call the Dash Timer app the Track App, or similar. These images don’t do the full feature set justice but let’s start with them to give you a flavour.
A great track tool is the built-in ‘Atheltic Stop Watch’ which is easily stopped/started with a tap to add to your display of laps/efforts.
Some of the beauty of the stopwatch is linked to how the haptics work to avoid accidental presses and also to allow precise timings of other people’s efforts by ending a lap after an extended screen press. It’s hard to explain…download it…it’s free and it’s designed for runners by a track runner.
Timed haptics includes the ability to let the watch tap you, say, every 20 seconds to ensure that you can check on your lap progress without initiating a lap event and without having to look at the screen…you’re running fast on the track, right? Can Garmin do that…nope, not yet.
There’s also a countdown feature to let you respond to starts from the blocks.
Finally, other standard features let you customise workout metrics and let you toggle specific metrics with a tap in the appropriate quadrant of the screen.
App Store: Download the Dash Timer for free.
Advanced Run Screens | Workouts++
There are a few things I like about Workouts++. Firstly there was the ‘Recorded Routes’ section of the iOS app which is actually a personalised full route map…#StravaStyle, like a personal heatmap. One of those things that’s nice to see for a few seconds before you move on.
then there is the ability to curate screen layouts. It just seems more interesting to me when I look at how this is achieved on the rectangular watch face of the Apple Watch compared to circular watch faces. The end results are OK, although the fonts do seem too small compared to the real estate that’s available. The colouration options are nice and not typically found elsewhere on SPORTS watches.
Finally, there were some interestingly styled heart rate charts that you can just about make out on the third image, above. but which look super nice.
App Store: Download Workouts++ (99c, 89p)
BLE Sensor Connectivity | Most Advanced Apple Watch Running App
iSmoothRun gives you advanced-level running features
I use iSmoothRun several times a week. It can record my runs and rides plus sync the completed data to virtually any other platform including dropbox, Strava, Final Surge and more. It has a reasonable amount of post-workout stats and the ability to follow structured workouts. I love how I can pair it to Stryd, a chest strap and to my bike’s power meter or smart trainer.
- Cost: £4.99 but worth it, IMO
- Standalone Watch mode? Yes
- Target: Former Garmin owners who would rather have a superior smart watch like the Apple Watch
- Link: Download here
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