How to customize your Apple Watch workouts

While you can use any compatible fitness app to track activities on your Apple Watch, the built-in Workout app gives you a wealth of options. That said, the default settings may not always be to your liking. This is especially true if you follow a training plan, have specific goals you would like to hit, or want to choose which measurements you see on screen during your activity.

The good news is that you can completely customize the Workout app to better suit your needs. How to get started.

To set a training goal

This is what the Time goal looks like for a hiking activity.
Image: Apple

Starting an activity in the Workout app will by default be an “open goal” session, which means you have no specific goal you want to achieve. And since it is the most flexible option, there is a good reason why it is standard. However, it is not the most useful if you want to train for a certain period, distance or calorie goal.

To set a goal for most activities:

  • open Work out app on your Apple Watch.
  • Scroll down to your desired activity.
  • Press the button with three dots in the upper right corner.
  • choose between Calories, timeor Open Goal.
  • Adjust to your desired goal.
  • Hit Start.

Certain activities have an additional option to set Distance Goal. These activities include outdoor and indoor running, outdoor and indoor walking, outdoor biking, outdoor and indoor swimming and hiking. The process is the same as above.

Outdoor running will also allow you to set one Tempo alarm. This feature notifies you when you are ahead or behind at a certain pace after a mile. You can do this for both your average pace and rolling pace. Your average pace refers to your pace for all the miles you have run. Scrolling refers to your pace at the current moment.

To enable this feature:

  • open Work out app on your Apple Watch.
  • choose Outdoor running.
  • Press the button with three dots in the upper right corner.
  • Scroll down below Open, Calorie, Timeand Distance Goal.
  • choose Set alarm.
  • Select your desired tempo.
  • Choose whether you want a tempo alarm for Average or Scrolling.
  • choose between Open, Calorie, Timeand Distance Goal.
  • Hit Start.

Change activities

If you swipe right during a workout, you will see the option to start another activity right away.
Image: Apple

If you are the type who trains back to back, you can save yourself some time while on the go. Instead of having to finish each activity before starting another, you can jump directly into it.

  • During a workout, swipe to the right.
  • choose “+ New” button.
  • Choose your next desired workout.
  • You can repeat these steps as many times as necessary.
  • When you are done for the day, swipe right.
  • choose End.
  • Scroll down through your workout summary.
  • Hit Done.

Selection of segments

Did you know that you can mark your own segments?
Image: Apple

While some activities automatically detect splits, these are usually at set distances. Let’s use running as an example. By default, the Workout app detects your milestones. However, you are welcome to mark your own segments. For example, if you run speedlex – a form of unstructured speed training – you may want to take note of when you switched speeds up. Or maybe you’d rather know how you managed to run up a hill versus a flat stretch. Maybe you want to note laps on a track. This is also not limited to running. You may find this useful for other activities such as cycling, HIIT or even strength training.

Whatever the reason, you create segments here:

  • During your workout, lift your wrist and double-click on the screen.
  • An overview of that segment should appear.
  • Repeat as many times as necessary.
  • Finish training as you usually.
  • After the workout you can see the segment details in Fitness app on your iPhone.

Addition of training types

When you open the Workout app for the first time, you may be horrified to see that your favorite exercise is not there. Of course, you can press “other”, but Apple does not actually show all the possible workout types by default. So if you want to track your barre class, a game of cricket or even a session with Nintendo Ring Fit Adventureyou actually can.

To view and add workout types:

  • open Work out app on your Apple Watch.
  • Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the list.
  • Press Add training button.
  • If you want to try Apple’s Fitness Plus sound training – e.g. Time to go choose Sound training. (You must be a Fitness Plus subscriber.)
  • Otherwise, scroll down the list and select your desired activity.

Keep in mind that there is no way to manually rearrange the activities in the Workout app. Over time, Apple will automatically place your favorite activities at the top of the list.

Changing and rearranging metrics

You can select up to five metrics to display on your wrist
Screenshot: Victoria Song / The Verge

When you check your progress in the middle of training, you may notice that you do not like the standard measurements chosen by Apple. It is okay! You can replace the standard measurements with those that may better suit your needs. For example, you might be hiking and would rather see your pace and current altitude rather than active calories and altitude rise.

To change the displayed metrics:

  • open Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down and select Work out app.
  • choose Training show.
  • Scroll to the desired activity.
  • Tap in the upper right corner Edit.
  • Press “-” icon on the metrics you want to replace.
  • Press Remove.
  • In it Do not include list, press “+” icon for metrics you would like to add.
  • Press when done done.

To rearrange the order of the displayed metrics:

  • Follow the first five steps above.
  • Select the three-bar icon next to the metric you want to rearrange.
  • Drag the metric up or down the list.
  • Press when done done.

And there you have it. You should now be able to customize the native Workout app so that it is just to your liking. Good training!

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