In a second February 2016 update, Microsoft delivered requested functionality to the Microsoft Band 2, finally giving Guided Workouts the ability to track distance for Run and Bike activities. While this is an awesome feature addition, there are some caveats of which to be aware. And, while I appreciate the ability there are some reasons I avoid using it – for now.
To read about how it works and how to enable it, see: How GPS Works in Guided Workouts in Latest Microsoft Band Update
As most of you know, I’m an avid runner. And as such, I use the Microsoft Band to monitor and report on specific stats important to me including pace, distance, time, etc. I’m also a goal setter. Setting running goals each year allows me to keep my runs fresh and gives me something to work toward. One of my goals last year was to run 365 days (a full year). I missed that goal by 2 days – one due to an extremely bad travel day and the other due to the full-on flu. So, of course, that goal is still on the books. If I can make it to June 18th this year, I will have reached that goal of running 365 days in a row. And, mind you, these aren’t 400k runs. My daily minimum is 6 miles, but regularly run more than that because my weekly goal is 50 miles.
So, here’s where this makes distance in Guided Workouts a problem. When you use Guided Workouts for runs, these aren’t recorded as Runs (or not recorded as Bike activities for bikers) – instead they are recorded as just workouts. This creates a two-fold problem.
First, if you have any other service such as MapMyFitness, Strava, RunKeeper, etc. connected to your Microsoft Health dashboard, these do not show up there as a Run or Bike and don’t count toward your overall distance, time, pace, etc.
The other problem, is that if you’re using the Microsoft Health dashboard to show total activity stats per week, per month, per year, or per lifetime, you can forget about including Guided Workout totals for Run and Bike activities in the totals.
So, my best recommendation is to use Guided Workouts for training for Run and Bike, but don’t expect them to count for overall stats progress. It would be nice if Guided Workouts that contain Run and Bike activities could be automatically categorized to be included in overall activity stats, but maybe that’s something for a future update.
Once I hit my 365-day goal, I’ve already decided to run less and swap some of my regularly scheduled runs for biking. I mean, I turn 50 this year. What other 50-year old do you know that regularly runs 50 miles a week? Once I’m not watching the mile-o-meter anymore, the Guided Workouts for shorter Run distances will probably be more important to me.