Running Equipment

Choosing the Best Running Stopwatches

There are a baffling number of stopwatches on the market for runners to choose from, from about £5 for the most basic - up to a few hundred pounds. So which should you choose?

It is important to know what it is that you'll want from the watch. Is it purely to time single reps - or would you like to know your lap times / mile times? Do you want to know how fast you are moving at any particular point, or even the altitude? Is it important for you to know how fast you pulse is beating? Would you like a stride strike rate function?

All of these things are possible - but generally the most important part of a runners stopwatch is the ability to take splits during a run or even a whole session and to be able to recall these later. We'll discuss the GPS and heart rate monitor aspects of watches in other section on the website.

When you choose the type of stopwatch functions available they include the following

Start / Stop simple functions to time a rep.

Lap Times - to find out what time you are running at intervals throughout a run or session. There can be anything from about 8 up to about 200 laps on watches, so decide how many you might need before starting.

Countdown watches. These can be set to repeat a beep at set intervals of time, may just be a single countdown or could even be a countdown beep where the stopwatch starts at the end of the last one.

Some watches have a function to set your pace - it is purely related to the cadence of your running so you can set it to a number of beat per minute - some athletes believe that there is an optimum cadence for them to perform at their best, often considered to be somewhere between 150 and 180 strides / minute.

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