How to Use an Apple Watch for Running Interval Training

There are six key issues when using the Apple Watch for interval training on the track:

  1. How to start the Watch at the right time,
  2. How to capture lap times,
  3. How to easily see the elapsed time,
  4. How to disable notifications,
  5. How to pause the workout, and
  6. How to export the workout to Strava.

I initially tried using the Strava app, but there’s no option to capture lap times. I then looked at the built-in Workout app.

Although the Workout app has a 3-2-1 countdown when you start a new activity, if you tap the screen during the countdown it will immediately start the activity.

As for capturing lap times, you just have to double-tap the screen. In practice I never have a 100% success rate, but good enough to capture most laps. You can review the lap times later in the “Activity” iPhone app, under the “workouts” tab.

If you can’t see the display clearly while running, you can change the Workout View to only show a ‘single metric’, instead of the default ‘multiple metric’. In single metric mode you turn the Digital Crown to change the metric that’s shown. Open the Watch App then scroll down to the Workout App. Tap the Workout App and the first item is ‘Workout View’. Tap to toggle between Multiple and Single Metric.

In order to disable notifications from popping up during your workout, open the Watch App, tap on General, then tap on ‘Do Not Disturb’. Then you’ll see an option called ‘Workout Do Not Disturb’ that you can toggle on and off.

To pause the workout you need to press both the crown and side button at the same time.

That just leaves how to export the workouts to Strava. I found an iPhone app called “HealthFit” which displays your workouts, and has various export options, including Strava. I also use HealthFit to export my swim workouts ( the Strava Apple Watch app has no option for swimming).

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