GPS running watches offer a lot of features and can really make a great impact on your workout. If, that is, you know how to use them. If you’re going to spend the money on a high quality watch, you’d better know how to check more than just the time. Here are several different ways you can use these watches to get more out of your run.
If you’re running for distance, a watch with GPS can keep track for you how far you’ve gone. No more measuring out a run or keeping track of mile markers. Using a GPS receiver directly in the watch (often in conjunction with a foot-mounted device, as well), a watch can instantly display how far you’ve gone.
Many runners run for speed. Normally, you’d calculate how far you ran and how long it took to determine your average speed. But that speed fluctuates depending on incline, how long you’ve been running, etc.
GPS watches can use the GPS information to keep track of how your speed varies across your run. Some can even calculate changes in elevation, and therefore give you reports on when you were running uphill, and how that impacted your speed.
Cardiovascular fitness is a huge reason that many of us who run do so. If this is part of your motivation, make sure to look for a watch that also monitors your heart rate. This can be useful in two different ways:
Firstly, heart rate monitoring is useful for beginning runners whose goal is to run a certain length of time each day, and to keep their heart rate in a certain zone. With instant feedback on how your heart is doing, you can make sure you’re working hard enough to improve heart strength, but not so hard to be putting yourself in danger.
With GPS running watches that monitor heart rate and also keep track of changes in elevation, you can see how your body responds to changes in your course. You can see how your heart rate changes on a certain incline, and then see how regular running changes that response as you build strength over time.