Running watches…so many to chose from….many brands, large face, small face, GPS, non-GPS, links to computer, links to your phone, stores splits, links to certain programs, has a heart rate monitor….aaah
Just figure out what you need. For instance I need a running watch with a GPS that will show me my average speed, gives me mile splits, synchronizes to my computer, is comfortable, easy to use and rechargeable, with a minimum life over 5 hours. But again, that’s what I need. Let’s go over some simple things that you may or may not need:
- Charging – do you want to replace your battery every couple of weeks?
- GPS – this will track where you go and how far and usually will also give you your pace
- Synchronization – some watches just store the last few runs on the watch itself. Others can link to your computer and still other right to your phone. Once the information is on your device, you have a history by date and you can track your progress.
- Heart Rate Monitor – if you want to track your effort via heart rate, there are many out there. Some include a band around your chest.
- Splits – be able to time each interval during a track workout by hand clicking your start/stop times like a specific stopwatch
- Programmable – watches will allow you to link to the correct time zone and even switch from km to miles and vice versa
- Pacing – you can program your watch to virtually race you during a run, tracking your progress against a computer figure on the watch
- Apps – you can download an app to your phone that does everything a watch does – however, most phones are just bigger so harder to carry, even if you put it around your arm or clip on your waist
These are just some of the main features. Some watches can track swims and bicycling so are for triathlons. They can get wet at deeper depths and track transition times.
Either way, don’t spend money for extra bells and whistles if you won’t use them. Figure out what you need and focus on that. You are spending your money so don’t fall for whatever everyone else has. If you need high-level capability, then go for it!
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