How to customize your Apple Watch workouts

While you can use any compatible fitness app to track activity on the Apple Watch, the native Workout app gives you a ton 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 want to achieve, or want to choose which stats you see on the screen during your activity.

The good news is that you can completely customize the Workout app to suit your needs. Here’s how to get started.

Set a training target

Starting an activity in the Workout app will be an “open goal” session by default, meaning you don’t have a specific goal you want to achieve. And since it’s the most flexible option, there’s a good reason it’s the default option. However, it is not the most useful if you want to train for a specific time, distance or calorie goal.

Set a goal for most activities:

  • Open the training app on your Apple Watch.
  • Scroll down to your desired activity.
  • Click the button with the three dots in the top right corner.
  • Choose between Calorie, Timeor Open goals.
  • Adjust to your desired goal.
  • Hit Get started

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

Running outside also gives you the opportunity to Pace warning† This feature lets you know when you are ahead or behind a certain pace after a mile. You can do this for your average pace as well as for the rolling pace. Your average pace refers to your pace for all the miles you’ve walked. Rolling refers to your pace at the time.

To enable this feature:

  • Open the training app on your Apple Watch.
  • Select Running outside
  • Click the button with the three dots in the top right corner.
  • Scroll down below the Open, Calorie, Timeand Distance goals.
  • Select Set alert
  • Choose your desired pace.
  • Select whether you want the tempo warning for Average or rolling
  • Choose between the Open, Calorie, Timeand Distance goals.
  • Hit Get started

Swap Activities

If you’re the type of person who does back-to-back workouts, you can save yourself some time on the go. Instead of having to end each activity before starting another, you can jump right in.

  • During a workout, swipe right.
  • Select the “+ New” button.
  • Select your next desired workout.
  • You can repeat these steps as many times as necessary.
  • Swipe right when you’re done for today.
  • Select End.
  • Scroll down through your training overview.
  • Hit Finished.

Highlight segments

While some activities automatically record split times, these are usually at fixed distances. Let’s use running as an example. The Workout app records your mile splits by default. However, you may want to mark your own segments. For example, if you are running fartleks – kind of unstructured speed training – you may want to note when you switched speed. Or maybe you’d rather know how you did running up a hill instead of a flat stretch. You may want to record laps on a circuit. This is not limited to running either. You may find this useful for other activities, such as cycling, HIIT, or even strength training.

Whatever the reason, here’s how to create segments:

  • During your workout, raise your wrist and double-tap the screen.
  • A summary of that segment should appear.
  • Repeat as often as necessary.
  • End workout as you normally would.
  • After training, you can view segment details in the fitness app on your iPhone.

Add workout types

When you first open the Workout app, you may be shocked to see that your favorite exercise isn’t there. Sure, you can click the “other” option, but Apple doesn’t display all possible workout types by default. So if you want to catch up on your barre class, a game of cricket or even a session of Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventure, you really can.

To view and add workout types:

  • Open the training app on your Apple Watch.
  • Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the list.
  • Press Add workout knob.
  • If you want to try Apple’s Fitness Plus audio workouts like Time to walk select Audio training† (You must be a Fitness Plus subscriber.)
  • Otherwise, scroll through the list and select the desired activity.

Please note that it is not possible to manually reorder the activities in the Workout app. Over time, Apple will automatically place your favorite activities at the top of the list.

Change and reorder stats

When you check your progress mid-workout, you may find that you’re not happy with the default stats chosen by Apple. That is good! You can swap out the default metrics for metrics that might better suit your needs. For example, maybe you’re hiking and would rather see your pace and current elevation than active calories and elevation gain.

To change the displayed statistics:

  • Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down and select the training app.
  • Select Training view
  • Scroll to the activity of your choice.
  • In the top right corner, tap edit
  • Press icon on the stats you want to replace.
  • Tap remove
  • In the do not add list, tap theicon for statistics you want to add.
  • When you’re done, tap Finished

To change the order of the statistics displayed:

  • Follow the first five steps mentioned above.
  • Select the three-bar icon next to the metric you want to reorder.
  • Drag the stat up or down in the list.
  • When you’re done, tap Finished

And there you have it. You should now be able to customize the native Workout app to be exactly how you want it. Have fun with sports!

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