Apple adds Walking Power to Outdoor Ultra Runs

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Apple Walking Power

A post yesterday from dcrainmaker discusses the recent changes made to how running power is calculated in the Apple Watch, specifically in relation to ultra and trail runners.

TL;DR – Walking periods now have power calculated

This change is part of the most recent Apple WatchOS software, currently in public beta as 9.4. The changes encompass the inclusion of “walking” periods in the Outdoor Run profile for running power calculation, as well as minor improvements to Apple’s Track Mode. His article correctly highlights the significance of the running power change for trail runners, as the Apple Watch previously failed to measure running power on steep terrain, which could not be used for pacing or power-based training load/impact calculation. However, Apple now supports running power during walk segments, which brings it in line with Stryd and others.


The main thing that was ‘Ultra’ about the Apple Watch Ultra was the price tag. Admittedly the case was pretty sturdy too.

Crazy omissions, like the one dcrainmaker highlighted, were just plain wrong and stopped the Watch Ultra from being suitable for real Ultra athletes. I took particular umbrage to this as the product was misleadingly named and advertised.

Other material problems for Ultra athletes planning to use the Watch Ultra include the lack of out-of-the-box ability to follow a route and an insufficient battery life.

Apple was always going to fix the running/walking power algorithm but other omissions will be harder to fix to make this a true Ultra Watch.



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1 thought on “Apple adds Walking Power to Outdoor Ultra Runs

  1. Does this walk power align with metabolic power / effort?

    Stryd is poor in this respect and I think many ultra / trail runners would naturally expect run and walk power to be one in the same thing.

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