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Tempo app now tracks wheelchair workouts and Personal Bests for record runs

Setting new personal records for how fast I can complete distances like 1 mile and 5K is super motivational for me when running. Nike Run Club introduced me to this concept, but you have to run with the Nike app on the Apple Watch for it to work. Tempo is a run stats app that works with data from Apple’s Workout app, and the latest version now measures personal bests in a way that fulfills something I’ve long desired!

Nike Run Club is a wonderful app with great features like guided runs and its own social network, but Apple’s Workout app is my preference. I wrote about why in 2019:

NRC was more focused than Workout for the first few years, but recent versions of Apple’s app have introduced advanced run tracking features not included in Nike’s app.

For example, watchOS 5 introduced cadence, or steps per minute, as a new tracked detail during workouts. The same software update added customizable pace alerts based on the current mile or a rolling mile. Apple’s Workout app features workout start and stop reminders, too, in case you accidentally forget to manually log or finish a session.

Another difference: Both apps save run data to Apple’s Activity app on the iPhone when using the Apple Watch, but not in the same way. Workout saves location data in the Activity app. NRC captures location data for session routes and pacing, but the data is only viewable in the Nike Run Club app.

That’s when I first wrote about the need for an NRC-inspired feature that revealed personal record runs from data captured with Apple’s Workout app:

There’s a single missing feature included in Nike Run Club that I haven’t found a solution for outside of the NRC app however: personal records.

For instance, if you run your fastest mile anywhere within a 1.5 mile outdoor run using NRC, the app will automatically detect that you set a personal record for your fastest mile in that session. NRC will highlight your 1 mile pace independent of the total run session.

After careful consideration for how to best support this feature using data from Apple’s Workout app, Tempo developer Rahul Matta shipped a significant update to Tempo for Runners this week that fulfills my feature request:

Personal Bests has been one of the oldest on the list of most requested features for Tempo. While it seems fairly straightforward at a surface level, implementing it locally on the device (vs. taking all of our fitness data to a server) made this feature complex enough that I have had a few planning/design iterations for a couple of years now. So I am really excited to be finally releasing it.

Rahul Matta

This is awesome news for runners who track performance with Apple Watch. Personal records from run workouts is something Apple could have developed just like NRC. The fact that an independent developer beat them to the punch is frankly awesome.

If you want a great way to collect historical run data and analyze performance from Apple Watch runs, checkout Tempo for iPhone and Apple Watch. The app will process your existing run data so you don’t have to start from scratch, and it sure beats pen and paper as a run keeper journal.

Tempo also works with walking workout data, and the latest version is the first to introduce wheelchair workout support. Learn more about the latest version and how personal bests work in Tempo here.

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.