My wife Sharon and I in 2017, decided it would be a good goal to set to start running for fitness, health, and camaraderie. Our running journey has only been going for a few years and our experience has been a positive one. We run our miles, we share them with the community on Strava, we set our goals and we hit our milestones. This year we set off to run the Tokyo Marathon on March and the Chicago Marathon in October after previously running New York Marathon in 2018 and the Melbourne Marathon in 2019.
As we have grown along the way we have looked to improve the way we run and the way we train and that has included research on how to get more detailed information and that quest has given us a bit of a challenge. Our first step in this journey was to get ourselves an Apple Watch which we have now had for over a year, running the workouts app on the watch itself and Strava on the phone. We upgraded our Strava membership to give us capacity to set weekly and annual goals for kilometers run and were content with that for 2019. We could check out heart rate through the Apple Activity app on the iPhone, but we started looking for more information.
Our Christmas present to each other this year was an upgraded Strava Summit membership with added analysis based on heart rate. It seemed a no-brainer as we believed that Strava would access the data from the Apple Watch and use it with our run data. You link Strava with Apple Health and this integration is the thing that allows for the data to talk to each other.
Except it doesn’t.
To use the data generating from the Apple Watch, Strava forces you to download the Strava Apple Watch app, and to use that to sync the data. All well and good, but the only data that is used by Strava is the heart rate and then doesn’t utilize the other things being measured by Workouts. You end up with a much-compromised solution. The choices with Strava either using the iPhone App, or the Apple Watch app were much less than desired.
And let’s not forget we have purchased annual membership of Strava, believing this would be a no-brainer to set up.
And then we found the HealthFit App. Since using it I have wondered whether we actually need the Strava Summit Membership. It takes the data from Apple Workouts/Activity and syncs it into usable data. The data we now have access to is awesome.
- Heart Rate – Average and Maximum rate for the session
- Cadence Ave and Maximum Strides per minute
- Stride Length Average and How many steps
- VO2 Max
- Pace and Splits
Healthfit is definitely the best thing we have discovered for use with the Apple Watch. And it talks to Strava and provides all the data that Strava Summit needs. Although it does require some simple changes.
Previously we would set off on a run using Apple Watch workouts and Strava on the iPhone. Strava on the iPhone provides half-kilometre splits and then Workouts provides the data we need. We would save our Strava run and access workouts for more detailed data, although rudimentary.
My process has changed slightly due to implementing HealthFit. I now set off on a run I still get Strava and Workouts tracking me with the only difference is at the end of the run.
When I complete a run, I now check Strava for the details of the run and then discard it. I save the Workouts on the Apple Watch and then jump back on the iPhone and check into my HealthFit app. It works seamlessly but does take a few seconds to sync to the completed workout but the data soon appears. You can then export that data into Strava, giving you the analysis you have paid for.
The best app for runners to use with the Apple Watch is HealthFit. Now we have access to better measures and analysis, our running and training will continue to improve.