How to use Precision Start for your workouts on Apple Watch Ultra

The new watchOS 9 from Apple has some unique features for Apple Watch Ultra users.

The ability of the action button on the Apple Watch Ultra to launch workouts is tailor-made for runners and other athletes.

One of these features is the ‘Precision Start’ in the new workout app.

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In this article, we look at what this feature is and how you can enable it to manage your workouts better.

Should you use the Precision Start feature for Your Workouts?

It is important to understand how the action button on the Ultra is integrated with the Workout module.

Launching a workout using the action button on your watch shows you the orange screen with the “Start Workout” and immediately sets off the time counter.

With a Precision Start, you can better control the starting point of the timer and better analytics on your routes, etc., for your workout.

How to Activate Precision Start on your Apple Watch Ultra

The new ‘Precision Start’ feature is included in the workout app settings on your Apple Watch Ultra.

  1. Open the Settings App on your Apple Watch Ultra.Settings App on Apple Watch Ultra
  2. Scroll down and tap on the Workout app.Workout app on Apple Watch Ultra
  3. Scroll down and enable ‘Precision Start.’Precision start for workouts on Apple Watch Ultra

This feature allows you to start the workout manually.

How to check if you are using the Precision Start feature?

Once you have enabled this feature and then press the Action button, you will see the timer set to zero and your heart rate.

Instead of the workout icon on the top left corner of your screen, you will see the location/compass icon.Precision Start feature on Workout App WatchOS 9

This indicates that you are using Precision Start as opposed to the default start process of a workout on the Apple Watch.

It doesn’t start counting with the first press of the action button. When you press the Action button again, the workout begins immediately. 

You can either launch the workout by pressing the action button OR access the workout screen by swiping left on the screen and then tapping on the “Start” button on your screen. Precision Start on watchOS 9

The precision dual-frequency GPS that employs L1 and L5 bands enables your Apple Watch Ultra to perform pace and route calculations in difficult environments. 

Final thoughts

The ability to start a workout via the action button, the precision start feature, and the dual-frequency GPS for route tracking make the Apple Watch Ultra a tailor-made watch for runners.

If you are new to running with the Apple Watch Ultra, you should look at the new running metrics that Apple has introduced with watchOS 9 and factor these metrics into your training.

We hope this short article was to the point and helped you answer your questions regarding the use of precision start on your Apple Watch ultra running watchOS 9.

Please let us know if you have any questions or want to share a tip or two with our readers using the comments below.

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


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