apple watch ultra on top of a book

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

I’m not an athlete. Removed from it, I grew up because the stereotypical chubby geek obsessive about computer systems over sports activities. That modified a number of years again after I determined to take cost of my well being and health. Quick ahead to in the present day, and I’m coaching for a 250K race throughout Jordan. During the last six months, my fixed companion in coaching for this race has been the Apple Watch Ultra. Right here’s why I picked Apple’s smartwatch over every little thing else available on the market.

I do know what you’re about to say. Why the heck would I take advantage of an Apple Watch over a number of the best fitness watches like these by Garmin or, say, a Coros for a grueling two-hundred-and-fifty-kilometer race? Critically, these health watches can go as much as a month or extra on a single cost, provide a wealth of health knowledge, and have the sporty appears to go along with that.

Nonetheless, that little anecdote about my private health journey is essential to understanding my selection of wearable and the way it’s serving to me practice for a borderline ludicrous problem. Let’s dive in.

So, what’s a 250K race all about?

delhi half marathon 2022 photo

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First, a bit background data on what I’m coaching for. Having stepped up from operating 10K races to half marathons, marathons, after which a number of long-distance path runs, I’d lengthy been searching for the following massive health problem. In the meantime, one other nice ardour of mine is journey. Extra particularly, touring off the overwhelmed path. Cooped up at dwelling for the previous couple of years because of the COVID disaster, I began researching fascinating marathons in equally fascinating areas.

It was right here that I chanced upon Racing The Planet. The annual five-continent-spanning race promised unbelievable vistas and a possibility of a lifetime to run wild in a number of the most desolate areas on the planet. My curiosity was piqued. There was only one hiccup. It was a 250K race. I used to be match, however I used to be on no account prepared for the grueling problem of operating a distance of 250km.

The objective is to compete, not limp throughout the end line.

Coaching for such a race takes time, and I opted to provide myself a 12 months to arrange. My objective wasn’t to limp throughout the end line. It was to run your entire stretch via. With that determined, I signed up for the Jordan leg of the race. The 250K race throughout the desert landscapes of Wadi Rum, scheduled for November 2023, could be akin to operating a full marathon day by day, 5 days in a row. To additional add to the problem, the race is solely self-supported, which suggests I’d have to hold meals, water, and necessities like clothes whereas operating the race. My coaching routine for the race would clearly should deal with power and cardiovascular health, and extra particularly — endurance.

Coaching with an Apple Watch Extremely

Apple Watch Ultra on a training chart

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Dwelling in a reasonably flat city atmosphere, it’s arduous for me to simulate the coaching wanted to run in a desert. I consulted with a operating coach and devised a plan to compensate for the extra stress of off-road operating by coaching to go longer distances. My cardio coaching routine is structured round making ready for a 75K path run that ought to give me sufficient headroom to run 50K every day, come race day.

For this, my coaching plan entails a number of variations on long-distance operating, splits, fast-paced tempo runs, and extra. To make it simpler to maintain monitor of the precise sort of train I’ve acquired lined up, I’ve added a separate exercise calendar with entries for distance, time, or variety of splits. The calendar entry on the Apple Watch Extremely’s giant show retains me in control on the day’s exercise. I’ve additionally created customized exercises for drills, tempo runs, and pacing to maintain me in the proper coronary heart charge zone, all of that are essential to stop damage.

I’ve acquired customized exercises able to go alongside the massive calendar entry that jogs my memory of my day by day exercise plan.

Moreover, I attempt to get in two to 3 hours of power coaching and HIIT classes each week to construct up the endurance wanted to run lengthy distances with a 15kg backpack. To additional check out the center charge monitoring, essential to making sure I keep inside particular coronary heart charge zones, I pit it in opposition to a devoted chest strap monitor, and the outcomes got here inside spitting distance of one another. You’ll be able to head on over to our Apple Watch Ultra review for extra on the wearable’s capabilities and credentials.

Suffice it to say that it’s a competent health wearable. Nonetheless, greater than the health monitoring, which most upper-end trackers get proper, it’s the general package deal supplied by the Apple Watch Extremely that has made me keep it up. There’s power in knowledge, however I don’t wish to pore over CSV information and excel sheets all day. The Apple Watch’s companion app offers me a clear have a look at all of the metrics that matter.

Be it the correct coronary heart charge measurements, zone-based breakdowns, and even the period of time it took for my coronary heart charge to stabilize submit a exercise, it’s all there with an easy-to-understand graphic that lets me act upon it. Lately, Apple added Working Energy metrics to the checklist that helps me quantify my operating capabilities higher. I’ve additionally discovered accessing knowledge like floor contact time and stride size useful in optimizing my tempo for longer-distance operating.

Nonetheless, that also doesn’t reply the query — why the Apple Watch? Wouldn’t the common Apple Watch Series 8 give me the very same knowledge for much lesser cash?

Is it value going Extremely over the common Collection 8?

A stack of Apple Watches includes a Series 7, Series 8, SE 2022, and Ultra model

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

To this point, every little thing I’ve talked about could be executed on any half-competent health watch or the common Apple Watch. Nonetheless, the satan is within the particulars. For instance, let’s take the motion button positioned on the left-hand facet of the Apple Watch Extremely.

On paper, there’s not a lot distinction between tapping a digital button on the display screen and reaching for the Extremely’s action button. The short entry shortcut is way from distinctive within the health watch world. Nonetheless, in my day by day use, I discover the cognitive distinction between swiping via screens and the tactile method of on the point of go along with my hand on the motion key sufficient of a motivator to get me within the zone. With time, the tactile response and one-tap entry to my exercise of selection have grow to be second nature. I take advantage of it to effortlessly mark laps whereas in the course of a run with out having to look down on the show.

I referred to as out the Apple Watch Extremely’s siren as a gimmick, nevertheless it has already helped me discover assist in an emergency.

The opposite main {hardware} differentiator is the built-in siren. Look, I used to be first in line to name out the Apple Watch Ultra’s siren as a gimmick. The chime-like sound couldn’t presumably be of use in a difficult scenario. Nonetheless, it’s saved my bacon no less than as soon as, and that’s sufficient to justify its existence in my books.

An Apple Watch Ultra on a user's wrists displays the countdown for Siren.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Apple claims that the 86-decibel siren on the Watch Extremely could be heard as much as 600 ft away. Whereas I wouldn’t belief these figures, it was actually audible 100 ft away after I managed a tumble down the facet of a brief cliff throughout a path run. A swollen ankle and the daze surrounding the autumn meant that I wasn’t fairly as much as the duty of screaming out for assist. Nonetheless, the siren was sufficient to attract the eye of passing race marshals, who have been in a position to get me out. It’s not a characteristic I ever hoped to check, however beneath reasonably tough circumstances, it completely did turn out to be useful. Simply don’t rely on it to be a rescue beacon off the facet of a steep mountain cliff, although.

There’s additionally one thing to be stated in regards to the heavy-duty building of the watch. I’m the sort of man who buys the case for a cellphone earlier than choosing up the cellphone itself. My older Fitbit Ionic was shrouded in a Supcase that made it seem like it was able to enter a fight zone. With the Apple Watch Extremely, I haven’t felt the necessity to encase the watch in a protecting shell or display screen protector simply but. Certain, the sooner talked about fall left a barely seen dent on the chamfered edge across the show, however the watch continues to look pristine from a distance.

It isn’t a scratch on Garmin however the two-day battery life is greater than usable.

Lastly, there’s considerably higher battery life to contemplate. A part of the explanation I’ve at all times regarded previous the common Apple Watch is due to the abysmal 18 hours of battery life on the spec sheet. Realistically, with GPS-based exercises, that’s going to be quite a bit lesser. With the Apple Watch Extremely, I can comfortably exit for an hour or two of operating and return with sufficient juice left over for a day or extra of common use. I’ve even run a number of marathons with it, and there’s normally sufficient cost left over to let me go about my day. Not a scratch on Garmins, however completely workable.

Learn extra: Apple Watch Ultra vs Series 8 — which should you buy?

I’m athletic, however I’m not an athlete

apple watch ultra placed on shoes

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

With the health features lined, there’s another reason I’ve caught with the Apple Watch Extremely as my wearable of selection. And it’s an enormous one. I’m firmly of the opinion that you’ll want to discover the proper instrument for the proper job. I may be a health fanatic, however I’m undoubtedly not an athlete.

My wearable of selection must do much more than rely steps to earn a everlasting place on my wrist.

In my seek for the right health wearable, I’ve tried every little thing from fundamental health trackers to the best Wear OS watches. Nonetheless, these watches lacked a stickiness issue. As a fan of mechanical watches, a smartwatch must go above and past in its person expertise and capabilities to be a everlasting all-day instrument for me. Even when the best smartwatches and health trackers provide nice metrics, I don’t spend most of my day on the health club. In reality, I not often spend greater than 8-9 hours every week in health coaching.

Furthermore, the shortcomings of these wearables vary from restricted performance to brief battery life, restricted app assist, or simply too slender a deal with health. The Apple Watch Extremely, however, is a particularly competent smartwatch first and a simply as highly effective health wearable.

In my private use case, the person expertise between the Apple Watch Extremely and most different smartwatches has been night time and day. The high-quality UX, persistently dependable notifications, and connectivity throughout the Apple ecosystem preserve on a regular basis frustrations to a minimal. It makes funds in supported international locations, handles my favourite music streaming companies, retains monitor of my drugs schedule higher than my physician, and integrates superbly with each health monitoring service I take advantage of. This, whereas providing a sturdy ecosystem of watch faces, straps, and equipment that go well with my model. None of this might be shocking to a long-time Apple Watch person, however for a first-time convert like me, this ease of use was a revelation. Merely put, it suits into my on a regular basis life a lot better than one of the best Apple Watch alternatives.

I anticipated my delight with the Apple Watch to finish after the honeymoon interval, nevertheless it has shortly grow to be a go-to important.

I’d go a step additional and say that the Apple Watch Extremely has shortly grow to be a must have important for me by giving me fascinating use instances. This contains the hyper-intuitive triple faucet to sign an upcoming route change in Google Maps or the best way I can change music playback with ease in Spotify, all introduced in a approach that sparks pleasure and makes me wish to return and check out the characteristic once more. And that’s earlier than you get to the third-party ecosystem.

Not like Put on OS watches, which normally require me to select alternate options to my favourite companies, the Apple Watch app ecosystem is flourishing. Native assist for long-time favorites like MyFitnessPal and Zero for intermittent fasting has been a godsend. I observe 18 hours of intermittent fasting religiously, and the devoted watch face complication lets me shortly peek at how a lot time is left every time I really feel a starvation pang. In the meantime, Apple’s integration for medicines ensures that I’ve essential neurological medicines on time every single day. In reality, it even logs them for me to return and preserve a verify on days I may need missed out. I’d have killed for this degree of integration on Put on OS wearables.

The Apple Watch Extremely isn’t excellent, nevertheless it’s excellent for me

apple watch ultra kept sideways on a table

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

For all its positives, there’s no denying that the Apple Watch Ultra isn’t the right match for each person. For one, it requires you to lock your self into the Apple ecosystem. That’s a no go for a lot of.

There’s additionally the design. I can’t actually say that I’m an enormous fan of the overall design language right here, and the protruding panel on the proper facet is unquestionably a little bit of an eye fixed sore. Nonetheless, so far as utility-driven watches go, the Apple Watch Extremely ain’t half dangerous. I’ve even taken a shine to the intense yellow diving-oriented band on mine.

Apple Watch ExtremelyApple Watch Ultra

Apple Watch Extremely

Louder speaker • Giant battery • In depth options

The rugged smartwatch for the iOS crowd

The Apple Watch Extremely has a big sapphire glass show, with a further programmable Motion button on the facet. It additionally features a bigger and louder speaker for emergencies, LTE connectivity, and a big battery. The Extremely comes with a number of options for athletes, too. Rock climbers, scuba divers, hikers, and folks who’re searching for a smartwatch that may assist them monitor intense exercises and in addition preserve them secure will discover quite a bit to like in regards to the Extremely.

In the event you swear by Garmin’s battery life and knowledge visibility, the Apple Watch Extremely won’t sway you. Nonetheless, In my day-to-day use, I’ve come to depend on the watch’s reliability to work arduous and play tougher. Exterior the health club, I like the conveniences like turn-by-turn navigation, controlling music streaming companies from my wrist, viewing my notes from Google Preserve, and holding a tab on my day by day medicines. On the monitor, it balances unbelievable health monitoring, a suitably rugged construct, and multi-day battery life.

The Apple Watch Extremely strikes that much-needed steadiness between on a regular basis usability and excellence in health.

By turning into a necessary a part of my day by day routine, the Apple Watch Extremely has grow to be indispensable to me. Many watches can get me the metrics I want, however few strike the much-needed steadiness between on a regular basis usability and excellence within the health club. The primary Put on OS watch to strike that steadiness will catch my consideration once more, however till then, the Apple Watch Utra stays on my wrist.

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