Beginning Running with a Smartwatch

I just purchased a ‘smartwatch’ and retired my Garmin Forerunner 305 of the past 15+ years. Like the picture above illustrates, gone is the tuna fish can on my wrist and hello to a sleek design with Internet connectivity. Two weeks in and I’m learning about all the features my smartwatch brings to the table for running and fitness. It would be helpful to me (and I’m hoping for you, too) to write a series of articles on smart watch features currently capturing my attention - pace, heart rate, resting heart rate, heart rate variability, calories, taking your smart watch for a walk, fun: music and podcasts, apps - and so forth.

While all this data being generated by my smart smartwatch is intriguing, I should let you know that in a series of earlier posts I extolled the benefits of running by feel. <here> <here> and <here> What I’m hoping to find is a balance between running by feel and running by numbers. Also, I’m hoping to find the important numbers that can inform running.

While I have an Apple Watch, I’m hoping my posts will be general enough to cover other smartwatches out there. I’ll also include this disclaimer in my posts: *Disclaimer: This post does not replace medical advice of a licensed physician. This post is intended to analyze different smart watch features to see what, if any, patterns emerge.*

Coach On My Wrist

In a variety of ways I’m really getting ‘coached up’ by my smartwatch. This coaching comes in the form of feedback and information during my run on variables like pace, heart rate, and cadence. And after my run concludes, a workout summary of these variables is instantly ready for me. When I'm a little late getting out the door for my morning run, it holds me accountable by pinging, you've got a movement streak going, are you going to extend it? LOL Seriously, though, this feedback can help a runner stay accountable. In fact throughout the day, I receive feedback and, as the picture to the left shows, virtual bling about any fitness goals or milestones achieved. When I set up my watch it asked if I wanted to receive notifications. I figured - sure, why not - and so far so good. Receiving this information, I’m the type of runner that tweaks things. Sort of like: what would happen if I do it like this the next time?

Thanks for reading! Questions and comments welcome.


Experiment of One Coaching covers topics ranging from running, strength training, health & wellness, sports nutrition to travel. I usually post once or twice a month.