If you’ve started getting into running and realised that it’s the right choice of sports for you, it’s important to understand that you’re going to need some tracking systems to help you monitor and improve your performance. The good news is that these days, there is a huge market for watches that are designed for running, with different brands producing a variety of different products that come with a wide range of functions. The watch that you choose will also depend on your running skills and level.
You’ll also need to consider what you’re going to use the watch for. Some people need a watch that can count their activity during other sports such as weightlifting workouts, swimming or cycling, while others may require a watch that is specifically designed for running only. Here are some features to consider if you are thinking about getting a running watch.
The design of the watch will have a number of important factors, including whether or not the watch is visually appealing to you, how much it weighs, and what it feels like to wear. Specialised running watches tend to have a variety of specific traits. They tend to be made from hypoallergenic materials to prevent allergic reactions on the skin when sweating. It should also have a strong lock in order to help you avoid losing your watch on a run. Just like running shoes, running watches should also be extremely lightweight to prevent any additional unnecessary weight for the wearer when racing or training. Try watches on before you buy them to ensure that you are comfortable with the weight in particular.
Consider this watch for the racetrack – the Tag Heuer Aquaracer is a comfortable lightweight luxury running watch available from Chronext. Chronext offers a range of Aquaracer models with something to suit everybody’s preferences.
A waterproof watch is important if you want to use it for doing water sports. This is an especially important feature to consider if you are training for a triathlon or swim alongside running and would like a watch that can measure your performance for both sports. The good news is that most sports watches are designed to be used underwater, however, different brands and models might vary when it comes to the depth that they can be immersed in and how long they can go under the water for without any damage being sustained. After swimming, it’s important to remember to wash your sports watch to prevent any damage – especially after swimming in the sea.
There are several display options available for sports and running watches and the one you choose will depend on what you want the watch to be able to do for you. Basic running watches may come in mechanical displays that you can use for timing your performance, and these are an ideal choice for those who do not watch a smartwatch but do want a timepiece that is designed for sports. On the other hand, smartwatches have a digital display and typically offer many more features compared to a standard running watch, although there are digital running watches to choose from too. A smartwatch is an ideal choice if you want to do more than simply monitor your performance when running. You can use them to set timed goals for yourself, track the number of calories that you burn per run, and more.
Fitness trackers are an ideal choice for some since they offer basic running data such as step counts, calories, speed, and distance. Some more advanced fitness trackers can also be used for recording your heart rate and monitoring your sleep. They tend to be lightweight and easy to use; many come without a digital display and rather are connected to an app on your smartphone where you can access your data. Most fitness trackers have excellent battery life making them an ideal choice for those long runs.
Along with providing you with all the features offered by a fitness tracker, a GPS running watch will use global position technology to create an accurate record of the running route that you take. This gives you the ability to use the watch to analyse aspects of your run such as the pace, elevation and cadence to make better decisions about training in the future and closely monitor your progress over time. GPS watches are an ideal choice for those who like to run long distances or over hilly terrain, such as they can record vertical gain and provide you with more accurate data compared to fitness trackers.
Watches that are specifically designed for running may come with or without a heart-rate monitor that is built into the watch or on an external chest strap. These are the next level in terms of running-specific watches and provide you with the ability to track your pulse and heartbeats per minute, providing data that you can use to put together a tailored training plan that uses heart rate zones to speed up fat burning and improve your strength, endurance and speed. Some heart-rate monitors can also be used to estimate your maximum oxygen consumption and recovery rate.
Multi-sport watches tend to be waterproof as standard and therefore ideal for swimmers. They can record all of the data that other sports watches and fitness trackers can, but specific to the type of activity that you are taking part in. Whether you are running, cycling, hiking, swimming or even weightlifting, your watch can track tailored data depending on your workout. This makes them the perfect choice for a runner who also enjoys other sports or taking part in triathlons.
Features to Consider:
Whatever watch you decide to purchase for running, each feature will be designed to help you personalise and optimise your training. Since different watch brands and models come with a varied range of features, it’s important to consider the features that are the most important to you. Along with the basic features offered by the majority of running and sports watches, some extra features to look out for include vibration or audio prompts for real-time information on heart rate zones and lap times, competitive racing against yourself or others, customisable runs and workouts, recovery time calculation, and online interactivity where you can upload and share your data with a variety of training apps like Apple Health or MyFitnessPal.
How Much Do Running Watches Cost?
A running watch can be purchased at either end of the budget with some fitness trackers available for less than £100 compared to luxury running watches coming in at over £2,000. Sports watches that are designed to be used with a variety of different activities such as the Apple Watch tend to cost around £250-£500 depending on the model that you choose and the features that you desire. Before deciding on the best running watch for you, it’s a wise idea to have a firm budget in mind as this allows you to narrow down your choices and help you find a watch that offers all the features that you need at a price that is within your range.
If you are an avid runner, getting the right watch can help make all the difference to your performance and results.