Can You Run With Just an Apple Watch? (Leaving the iPhone at Home)

Apple watches are a popular way for people to monitor their run time, calories burned, and blood oxygen levels during exercise. Monitoring your exercise and how your body reacts is a fantastic way to improve your running routine.

You can run with just an Apple Watch because it has all of the exercise features you need without using your iPhone. You can track your run time, monitor your heart rate, and see how far and fast you ran only using an Apple Watch. You’re even able to make phone calls without carrying your iPhone on your run.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about running with just an Apple Watch.

Can you use an Apple Watch without an iPhone when running?

You can use your Apple Watch without an iPhone while running, and it’s a good idea to leave your phone behind during your run to minimize distractions so no one can interrupt your workout. 

Your Apple Watch is fully capable of giving you a hands-free running experience without disconnecting you from the outside world. In addition, you do not need to bring your iPhone with you on your run, allowing you to focus more on your exercise routine.

When running, you want as much range of motion as possible to ensure you get the most out of your workout. 

You can still make phone calls using your Apple Watch even if you leave your iPhone behind. Plus, making calls using your Apple Watch without having your iPhone with you allows you to talk to people hands-free when necessary.

Is Apple Watch GPS for running accurately?

Your Apple Watch has a built-in GPS so that you can navigate throughout your run without any trouble.

This GPS works great for running because it tracks your distance, speed, and altitude during your run. You do not need to bring your iPhone along if you want to use your Apple Watch GPS.

You may need to calibrate your Apple Watch for accurate GPS locating during the run.  Calibrating your Apple Watch will give you an accurate representation of your GPS coordinates and whether you are going on an incline or descending.

If you don’t calibrate your Apple watch, you may be frustrated by your GPS location while running.

Tips for running with an Apple Watch

Running with your Apple watch and leaving your iPhone behind is a fantastic way to get the most out of your exercise by minimizing distractions.

For best results running with your Apple Watch, you should:

  • Calibrate your watch
  • Keep your watch band tight
  • Adjust your metrics
  • Set goals for yourself
  • Use auto pause
  • Monitor your battery 

When you run, you need to focus as much as possible on your path to ensure that you don’t run into any obstacles. You also need to focus on your body, so you don’t overwork yourself.

Calibrate your watch

Before you start your run, you’ll need to use your iPhone to calibrate your Apple Watch. This will ensure you have an accurate GPS location throughout your run.

You must enter the watch tab on your iPhone to calibrate your Apple watch and reset fitness calibration data.

Keep your watch band tight

No matter how your wear your Apple Watch throughout the day, you’ll want it to be fairly snug for accurate readings during your run. If you don’t tighten your watch band before your run, you risk losing your watch while you swing your arms.

You may need to purchase a new watch band that you trust to stay on your wrist throughout your exercise. Fabric watch bands don’t work as well as nylon for running because you will work up a sweat. 

Adjust your metrics

Your Apple Watch may have difficulty distinguishing what type of exercise you’re doing without adjusting your metrics.

If you select the workout you are performing before you run, you ensure that your Apple watch tracks your workout accurately.

When you select your running workout on your Apple Watch metrics, you ensure that you accurately track how many calories you’re burning and the type of workout you perform. 

Set goals for yourself

The best part about using an Apple Watch running is seeing how far you’ve traveled, how high your heart rate is, and how long you run.

With all this tracking information readily available, you should set goals to push yourself to improve.

For instance, you could set a distance goal for a 30-minute run or set a goal to run five miles. 

Use auto pause

Another way to ensure that you’re running is accurate is to enable the auto pause feature on your Apple Watch.

This way, you don’t have to manually pause every time you hit a stop light or street sign. Instead, your Apple Watch will detect that you’ve stopped and positive workout until you start running again. 

Monitor your battery

People typically wear their Apple Watches throughout the day to monitor their activity levels.

Some people are so used to wearing their Apple Watches everywhere that it’s not uncommon for the battery to die unexpectedly. You should ensure that your Apple Watch is well-charged before you start your run to avoid having it shut off while you’re in the middle of your exercise. 

Your best bet is to determine how frequently your Apple Watch needs to be charged and develop a routine to charge it at regular intervals.

Best running apps for Apple Watch

To make the most out of running with your Apple Watch, you should install the best applications to monitor your run. 

The best running apps for your Apple Watch are

  • Runkeeper
  • Map My Run
  • Nike Run Club
  • iSmoothRun

The more monitoring tools you have for your workout session, the easier time you’ll have to push your goals.


RunKeeper is the most popular running app across Android and iOS watches.

Runkeeper is completely free and can help you monitor your run. For instance, if you feel like you need some guidance throughout your workout, this application will provide prompts throughout your exercise to help you push your limits.

Runkeeper also keeps accurate information about your location using your smartwatch, so all the information is accurate. This application monitors your distance traveled, calories burned, time running, pace running, and average pace throughout the run.

Map My Run

Under Armour has a plethora of fitness-tracking applications you can use with each other to ensure you have an accurate workout and diet tracking.

The Under Armour MapMyRun app will allow you to monitor your heart rate, distance traveled, and calories burned. This information can also be shared with any Under Armour applications you have if you.

Another popular application people use by Under Armour is MyFitnessPal, which you can pair with MapMyRun. Connecting a network of applications is a great way to monitor your exercise and diet goals so that you achieve everything you desire.

Nike Run Club

One of the best ways to keep up with your exercise routine is to connect with other people interested and the workouts you perform.

The Nike Run Club app allows you to connect with other people in the running community. Connecting with other runners allows you to become more immersed in the activity and hold yourself accountable.


Whether you’re an avid outdoorsy person or enjoy running indoors, iSmoothRun can help monitor your activity levels.

This would be your best application if you enjoy multiple cardio activities like running, biking, and hiking. This application features fantastic stride sensors to track your running power accurately.