R4W’s GuideTo The Best Running Sports Watches
Running watches can be as high-tech as you like! GPS, heart rate, foot pod synch and software compatibility are all standard these days, with running watches able to capture a dazzling amount of data which you can then upload to your computer, laptop or tablet so you can crunch numbers to your heart’s content.
Key features to look for when buying a new running watch include GPS, heart rate monitor, altitude, temperature, alarm, pace/speed, lap facility, big buttons or touch screen, ease of use, washable strap (or sweat-resistant), compatible with Running4Women and other online packages you use to track data.
As race season approaches, we round-up the best running sports watches on the market.
Our Top Five Running Sports Watches
Garmin Forerunner 610 (around £250)
The Garmin Forerunner series is a firm favourite with runners and we can see why. The Garmin 610 is a touch-screen watch with GPS, which gives a host of feedback including distance, speed and elevation, and cadence (using the foot pod). It’s a nice small watch, great for female runners. Garmin is famed for its map quality and it doesn’t disappoint with the 610. Garmin Connect software is easy to use and very intuitive. The best thing about this device is that it is compatible with the training diary on Running4women.
Garmin Forerunner 10 (around £100)
This small, lightweight watch is relatively basic but still gives you a host of features, as you’d expect from Garmin. It’s very easy to use, so you can get it going straight out of the box with just one press of a button. It’s a GPS running watch which tells you how far and how fast you’ve run. The screen shows time, distance, pace and calories and there’s even a “virtual pacer” feature so you can challenge yourself. When you hit a personal record, the watch lets you know. And it comes in a fantastic range of bright, vibrant colours, so you don’t have to have black or silver. This device is also compatible with the training diary on Running4women.
Timex Run Trainer (around £220)
This is Timex’s premier GPS watch. Female runners may find it is a little large, but it’s worth trying on. A great value watch with lots of timing features and very accurate speed, pace, distance and maps.
Polar RCX5 Run (with S3-plus foot pod) (around £190)
This watch is incredibly accurate with pace, cadence, distance and other variables spot-on. The display area is large and really easy to view as you run, and it’s a very light watch which is ideal for female runners. Note that it doesn’t have GPS.
Suunto Ambit (around £300)
Trail runners love this watch, which is very accurate off-road giving great altitude feedback (it contains a barometric altimeter). The display is large and easy to read on the run and it’s very durable and hard wearing, a real work-horse rugged watch.
Running4Women Mobile Training App (FREE)
Download the FREE Running4Women GPS Training App for iPhone to record your fitness activities and effortlessly sync / save your activity data into your training diary on Running4Women.
Record activities – Record duration, distance, pace, speed for each activity. Follow the route you travel on.
Review activities – See the route you travelled on from the comfort of your mobile device.
Sync – Store your historical activities in your training diary on Running4Women.