Apple Watch with workout app openSource: iMore

2020 has forced all of us to rethink the way we do lots of things, including how we exercise. If you use an Apple Watch when you exercise, you're likely recording your workouts on it. As some users have noticed, there can sometimes be a bit of a disparity between measured pace depending on your workout. For instance, your Watch might record a much slower pace on a treadmill indoors compared to when you run outside, even if your pace and distance are very similar (or vice versa). If you've found your pace a bit off after switching up the way you work out, here are the steps you need to follow to recalibrate your Apple Watch.

How to check your Apple Watch location and motion settings

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap Privacy.
  3. Tap Location Services.

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  1. Scroll to the very bottom and tap System Services
  2. Make sure that Motion Calibration & Distance is switched on.

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How to calibrate your Apple Watch

  1. Wearing your Apple Watch, head out to an open area with good GPS service and clear skies. (You do not need your iPhone for this step for Apple Watch Series 2 or later, if you have Apple Watch Series 1, you should bring your iPhone with you)
  2. Open the Workout app
  3. Select either Outdoor Walk or Outdoor Run to begin a workout.
  4. Walk or run at your usual pace for 20 minutes.

apple-watch-pace-calibration-screens-3Source: iMore

As per Apple's own guidance, Apple Watch will use your session to calibrate the accelerometer to learn your stride length. An open space with GPS coverage will help the Watch to accurately measure how far you've traveled during your session.

How to reset your calibration data

If you're really not happy with how your Apple Watch is measuring your workouts, you can always start afresh by resetting your data.

  1. Open the Watch app.
  2. Select the My Watch tab in the bottom left-hand corner.

apple-watch-pace-calibration-screens-1Source: iMore

  1. Scroll down and select Privacy
  2. Tap Reset Fitness Calibration Data.

apple-watch-pace-calibration-screens-2Source: iMore

Whilst the idea of running outside to improve indoor accuracy sounds a little strange, giving your Watch a better idea of the kind of pace you run (or walk) over a certain time and distance should help to improve your indoor pace tracking and to help minimize the disparity between the two.


If you have any questions about Apple Watch calibration, let us know in the comments!