To Buy Or Not To Buy: The Benefits Of GPS Running Watches

Running is one of the most basic physical actions we can perform. Yet when you really get into running as a sport, exercise, hobby, or whatever if means to you, this seemingly simple action turns out to have a lot of intricacies. From the shoes you wear to the surface you run on to how you pace your run, there’s a lot to think about.

GPS running watches are something that, if you’re a serious runner, you’ve likely considered. In the past two or three years, the specificity of GPS technology has really improved quite a bit. With devices now able to track you as close as 3 meters, this has quickly become a valuable tool for runners.

GPS watches have a lot going for them. While some are fairly expensive, for the serious runner, it can be a smart investment. However, before you spend the money, you should make sure you know what you’re looking for.

Finding the watch that’s right for you just takes some looking around. Some have stronger GPS receivers that are uninterrupted even in areas where signals are generally harder to receive. If you’re a trail runner, this is important for you.

Other GPS running watches include a heart rate monitor. If you’re concerned not only with distance and time, but with heart rate zones, this is certainly a feature you’ll want to look out for.

Some watches come with foot-mounted monitors that communicate with the watch, helping to record everything from how far you’ve gone to how long your strides are. This is good for advanced runners who really take interest in details like that.

Mapping capabilities are another feature to consider. Most high quality running watches will map your route for you on the computer after you complete your run. Those with more sophisticated GPS functionality can even show when your path went up or down hill, and by how much.

And finally, size and appearance. Some GPS running watches have clearer screens or more comfortable bands than others. While features are important, you want to make sure you have a watch that is easy to wear, otherwise you won’t enjoy taking advantage of those features you paid for.