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Benefits of the Running Watch

Like any hobby or enthusiast, runners are especially passionate about the tools and equipment they use to prepare, train, and stay in top shape. One of the many tools a runner uses to keep track of their training and progress are watches and electronic gadgetry to help them gather and manage information for better performance.

The running watch has come a long way since the simple Timex G-Shock that kept lap time, had a few alarms, and sported Timex’s proprietary indigo back lighting. Today, running watches can keep track of hundreds of different data points and units of measure. Better yet, it can all be done in something the size of a digital wristwatch.

Running watches come in all shapes and sizes as well as functionality. At the basic entry level, you still have the simple watches with the stop watch timer, alarms, and lap time. Some of these basic versions now can also include some type of pedometer for measure distance through sensing steps through gravity. These generally require some calibration for the owner to dial in the pedometers settings with their particular stride length. Although not as accurate as say the GPS watches, pedometer style watches to have some unique qualities. Some have foot pads that keep track of strides, distance, and pace and transmit the data wirelessly to the watch on the wrist.

There’s also a variety of watches that incorporate heart rate monitoring. The most accurate being the ones that utilize the bands or strap that wrap around the chest area. There are heart rate monitor watches that don’t use the strap—generally you’re required to touch some sort of pad on the watch with your fingers—but they tend to not be as accurate. They even make special sports bras for a womens running watch that uses the heart rate monitor strap; making it much more comfortable to wear.

A GPS enabled watch is the perfect personal trainer which you can have with you 24/7 and in any condition. These gizmos can track everything from cadence, speed, calories burned, route, elevation, to name a few. Although some of them can be well over a couple hundred bones, the training data you can catalog with these may prove to be worth the price. The most notable GPS running watches are from Garmin with the Forerunner Series being the most popular.

Regardless of what your fitness goals or running needs are, chances are you can find a running watch to suite your needs no matter how much or little data you want to track.