Running Equipment

Best Running GPS Watch Review

Unlike other users of GPS gadgets, runners are generally not too bothered about where they are exactly, so pinpointing a location on a map on a screen isn't vital - at least whilst out on a run. What we want our GPS watch to tell us is how far we have run and how fast we have been moving.

As such it is now perfectly possible to buy GPS watches which are wearable on your wrist and provide all the information you need. In fact some of them also include a heart rate monitor, so you can find out that piece of information as well. Some will even record your altitude for you, so when you download the information to a PC you'll be able to see how you performed on the hills.

At their introduction they generally had a separate GPS unit from the watch, which you wore on your hip or arm, which was bulky and cumbersome and meant another wireless piece of technology was required for the two items to "talk" to each others. With modern watches containing the GPS their reliability has improved. Also the batteries have become smaller, so easier to carry.

All in all running GPS watches are still a little pricey for the average man in the street, but if you can afford one it makes a very useful addition to your running hardware and we'd thoroughly recommend purchasing one.

The benefits of all this information are two-fold. Firstly, you can see how your are performing during a run, to help with pace judgement etc. Perhaps more importantly, you'll have a wealth of information you can review after your runs to see where you ran fast, how you performed in various sections of the run and even (with the HRM) how your pulse rate affected your performance.

Running GPS Watch Functions

This is a list of possible features that you can have on a GPS speed / distance running watch

  • Speed
  • Distance
  • Altitude
  • Stopwatch
  • Countdown Timer
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Downloadable to PC via USB
  • Pairing via Bluetooth with Mapping Devices for navigation

The major manufacturers of these watches are Garmin, Timex, Casio and Suunto. Probably the most well known are the Garmin Forerunner range of watches, the 205 and 305 of which have been hugely popular and as you'll see below they have recently updated these with the 405.

As GPS watches develop further we are sure they will come down further in both price and size and will add further functionality.

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