While there are several brands that generally dominate the running watch market, there is no single such watch that is right for everyone. Even between the major manufacturers who specialize in GPS running watches (Garmin, Polar, Suunto, and Timex, to name a few), there are many different models to choose from.
Accessories might make the difference in the watch you ultimately choose. Besides looking at the various features presented by different watches, you’ll want to keep an eye out for what sorts of accessories they come with.
In terms of charging and syncing with your computer, GPS running watches have different ways of syncing with your computer, as well as charging. From USB connection charging docs to wireless transmitters, see what’s compatible with your computer before purchasing the watch itself.
Shoe pods are a really popular accessory for running watches that utilize GPS technology. With a second device that attaches to your shoe (and connects wirelessly to the watch), you can measure not just distance and pace, but stride length as well. Useful for advanced runners.
For runners looking for heart rate monitoring, many of these watches come with a wireless belt style monitor, which instantly transmits information straight to the watch’s display screen for easy reading.
Are you a runner, but also a biker? Many wrist-mounted GPS displays feature adapters or add on pods (like foot pods, but for your bike) to help measure your cycling cadence. And to track your speed and distance while biking without having to look at your wrist, you can find a handle bar attachment to mount the watch securely for easy viewing. This is great for those training for a duathlon.
What about triathlons? While not an accessory per se, you’ll find that many of the top GPS running watches are also water proof up to a certain depth, making it easy to monitor your entire training process.
Just like with girls running shoes, which come in a million different types and styles, there is no single watch that is right for everyone: and that ability to choose is a good thing. With different features and accessories available, the best way to select the GPS watch that’s right for you is to look at what you want and what the watch has to offer.