How to use Strava on your Apple Watch without an iPhone nearby, and seamlessly track all your exercise data

  • You can use the Strava app on your Apple Watch without your iPhone, but you’ll need to have a Series 2 or 3 Apple Watch.
  • The Strava Apple Watch app can track you as you exercise, and display real-time information on the distance you’ve traveled, your pace, and your heart rate.
  • Once you sync your Apple Watch with your iPhone again, your Strava activity will be synced with your iPhone.
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Strava is one of the most popular fitness apps currently on the market, and it’s not hard to see why. Strava is built for runners and cyclists to track all their exercise data, which makes it a useful tool for both professional and amateur athletes. 

And with Strava’s seamless integration with both the iPhone and Apple Watch, it’s the perfect way to track workouts. 

While an iPhone is needed for full access to Strava’s features — such as recording and routing plans, heat maps, and other analytics — the Apple Watch app will allow you to complete runs, cycling journeys, hikes, and outdoor walks while tracking your heart rate and distance, all without your iPhone. 

Later, you can use Bluetooth to sync your watch’s recorded workout to your iPhone for full Strava data. 

To use the Strava app on your Apple Watch, you’ll need to be running watchOS 4.0 or later on your watch, and iOS 10 or later on your iPhone. You’ll also need a Series 2 or 3 Apple Watch if you want to leave your phone behind.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Apple Watch Series 5 (From $399 at Apple)

iPhone 11 (From $699.99 at Apple)

Strava App (Free to download, in-app purchases available)

How to use Strava on your Apple Watch

1. On your iPhone, open the Watch app. 

2. On the “My Watch” screen, scroll down until you reach the “Available Apps” section. 

3. Tap “Install” next to Strava. 

Can you use Strava on Apple Watch 1
Under “Available Apps,” tap “Install” next to Strava.
Jennifer Still/Business Insider

4. Once installed and synced, the app should appear on your Apple Watch’s menu screen. 

5. Open the Strava app on your watch. Then, on your phone, follow the prompts to authorize Strava on your Apple Watch. 

Can you use Strava on Apple Watch 2
The Strava app on your watch will direct you back to your phone to finish set-up.
Jennifer Still/Business Insider

When you want to begin an activity using Strava on your Apple Watch, tap the app on your Watch’s screen to open it and select your activity. The first time you use Strava on your watch, make sure you accept the location, Health, and notification permissions. 

You can now exercise freely, without having your iPhone nearby. Your data will automatically sync to the iPhone when you’re back in range of your device. 

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