Deep Suspicion of Runtastic and Apple Watch

Today I put in a good seven miles having suffered a midweek migraine. I take medication to mitigate them but that only reduces symptoms. That is a welcome therapeutic outcome but it still does not allow me to run as I still do not feel as though I am anywhere near good running condition. That aside, today’s post is concerning my suspicions of modern fitness tracking technology. First of all, I am all but disinterested now in Apple Watch, in particular the optical heart rate monitor. My scouring online for information about this has demonstrated to me that optical monitors are pretty inaccurate and therefore unreliable. In addition to that I learned today that its distance tracking is based upon an accelerometer sensing arm movements – hardly accurate either. My mind was made up long ago to save up and buy a Garmin Vivoactive watch and this has only further convinced me to do so. GPS is obviously better, although the Garmin has no heart rate monitor at all so I am going to see if I can use it with my heart rate strap that arrived with my Garmin Edge cycling GPS. Stay tuned for more on that front.

I am also suspicious of Runtastic because I uploaded my most recent workout and the calorie burn is remarkable. I have always been led to believe that one hour of running will burn 500-600 calories, so to burn approximately double that on a time of 1:10 hours is ripe to say the least. I overestimate my calorie consumption on My Fitness Pal and have done for a while, mainly due to the cruel irony of exercise whereby the fitter one gets the harder one has to work to burn the same calorie count. I used to log walks as workouts to get the calorie burn from that to count against my eating but I have stopped doing that too in order to reduce my intake. I am hardly a heifer but I do want to get down to and maintain a racing weight. I am pretty tall and broad so I am never going to hit ten stones or anything like that, but I do want my body fat content in single digits.

I look forward with interest to what results a Garmin watch will yield, mainly because of the tangled web of calculations I have to make based upon compensating for what I am almost sure is over-estimation of the calorie count of my exercise. On the other hand, the positive side of this run is that I maintained yet another good distance at ten minute miles or better. That seems to be my standard, and I at least want to get under nine minutes, which is why accuracy in calculating fat burning is so important to me. Any weight I can shed will translate into seconds shaved off my times.

Map & Data 

  • 7.1 miles
  • 1:10:24
  • 9:55 minute miles
  • 1132 calories (I am very suspicious of this)
  • 354 feet climbed
  • 135 bpm average heart rate
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