Your training is getting more intense and your runs are getting longer. You’re thinking it may be time to invest in a running watch. But with so many options available, where do you start?
If you only want to know how long you’ve been running or be able to set intervals (for instance when to run and when to walk), a Timex watch may do the trick. Prices range from $50-75 depending on the available features.
Pace and Distance
If you want to know how far you’ve run (without having to drive your route in your car), a GPS watch would be the way to go. Basic models start at $100 and go up to $400, with increasing features and data/metrics.
Soleus makes a great, basic GPS watch for $100. It will track distance, pace and give estimated calories burned. The basic model, however, doesn’t upload to an online site that tracks your workouts. For uploading capabilities, the Soleus 2.0 is available for $150.
The Forerunner 10 is Garmin’s most basic and simple running watch. It tracks pace, distance, estimated calories and uploads to Garmin Connect where you can track your workouts. It retails for $130. Unfortunately, there’s no heart rate capability and battery life is only 5 hours when synced to the GPS satellite.
Incorporating heart rate in a running watch is a bit more of an investment. The calories burned will be more accurate with a heart rate monitor, and you can also set training heart rate zones.
The Nike+ GPS watch retails for $170, and a heart rate monitor can be added on for $70. The Nike + GPS watch tracks distance, pace, calories burned and uploads to Nike+.
There are several models from Garmin that can be purchased with or without heart rate:
Garmin 210: ($200 without heart rate, $250 with heart rate). The 210 offers pace, distance, calories burned and uploads to Garmin Connect.
Garmin 220: ($250 without heart rate, $250 with heart rate). In addition to the features of the 210, the 220 uploads wirelessly to Garmin Connect and has a Live Tracking feature so family and friends can keep tabs on you on a long run or during a race. The 220 also vibrates at the end of each lap, making it easier to know when you hit your splits.
Garmin 620: ($400 without heart rate, $450 with heart rate). In addition to the features of the 220, the 620 estimates your VO2 max, has a recovery advisor and race predictor and also measures running dynamics. The 620 can also sync to Garmin over a wireless internet connection, while the 220 syncs via a smartphone’s bluetooth connection. Also, the 620 has a touch screen for easier use.
For the adventure racer, we also carry the Garmin Fenix.
These are only a handful of the features these watches offer. For more information or details, stop by the store and get the run down from anyone on staff.