What Running Watch Should I Buy? A Guide on What to Look for in a Running Watch

Running watches are great complements to a runner’s workout, especially with the features and benefits that they bring into a runner’s game. However, with all the different brands and models that have littered the runners market, you might ask yourself, “What running watch should I buy?”

These innovative watches come packed with features that all aim to complement your workout by storing and analyzing data for you. This data is often as important as the workout itself as it can help point out your weaknesses and opportunities, which allow you to come up with a plan or two to address them.

Other than the obvious feature and benefit, running watches also serve as a great way for runners to monitor their overall performance while making them look cool and snazzy, as some watches can be used in semi-formal occasions and such. These watches do come at a hefty price of course and certain factors should be looked at before you can answer the question, “What running watch should I buy?”

Advantages of Wearing a Running Watch

Running watches were developed with the sole purpose of gathering and providing information that is relevant to anybody who has a penchant for running and, as technology develops, more and more features become packed into a small, yet smart, contraption. Here are some of the advantages of wearing a running watch during a workout:

  • Tracks Your Performance Improvement

As previously stated, running watches gather, store and analyze data for your use. This includes how well you did on a certain section of your usual route, which includes an output of your speed, heart rate and other external factors, like the weather and wind speed. All these get wrapped up and digested by algorithms within the watch and translated into graphs and line charts.

  • Makes Workouts Understandable

With regards the graphs and line charts, running watches allow you to read your data better either by syncing with their website or by displaying it over a mobile app on your phone. This makes data more digestible and quantifiable.

  • Monitors Your Speed

A more obvious advantage is that running watches help track your speed over different terrains using GPS technology. Routes are often divided into splits which help compartmentalize your workouts and lets you analyze your speed performance piecemeal.

  • Prevents Over or Undertraining

A great benefit of wearing running watches while running is that it tells you if you are not running up to your set standard or if you are overreaching and going beyond your goal. Both of these instances can be harmful to your body as inconsistencies in a workout does not help you in any way.

  • Keeps Your Vitals In Check

Running watches often have heart rate and pulse monitors that let you know which heart rate zone works out best for you. This also allows your running watch to monitor your blood pressure and pulse, although there is some contention as to the accuracy of wrist-based blood pressure checks.

  • Measures Your Distance and Maps It

Working out with a GPS running watch lets you measure your distance and map it as well. This is especially important if you like running over unchartered terrain or if you like exploring the woods. The distance gathered by the watch also serves as a reference point for your future workouts as it helps calculate your splits, as well as the calories you have burned over a period.

  • Lets You Compete Without Competing

Another great advantage of wearing a running watch is that it lets you compete with yourself, especially with distance and speed monitors that provide you a history of past workouts which you can use as a baseline for future workouts. You can then condition yourself to do better than your best performance. Some watches even have apps that tell you of other users that have passed the same route, and it compares your stats against theirs, setting a competitive mood during regular workouts.

  • Goes Beyond Being Just a Running Watch

Some running watches go