A GPS watch can provide lots of benefits to runners looking for a way to improve their performance and track their progress over time.
With so many different GPS watches on the market, choosing the right one is not always simple, so here are some things to keep in mind while you make your decision.
Health monitoring is a worthwhile perk
If you are a runner, owning a smartwatch which also keeps tabs on your physical condition while you are wearing it, as well as providing location-based services via GPS, can be a real boon.
Top GPS running watches will offer the ability to monitor things like your pulse rate and the amount of energy you have burned over the course of a session. They can even provide important alerts and reminders that will be useful when you are exercising, such as prompting you to rehydrate or take a break when the time is right.
Durability is a serious selling point
While you might be tempted to save some cash and go for the cheapest possible GPS watch on the market, this is not always the best idea because the build quality and ruggedness of this type of device will matter a lot in the long run.
Look out for watches which are not just well made, but also provide official ratings for waterproofing, dust proofing and shock resistance. As you will be wearing the watch in the great outdoors while you are physically active, it will face a greater likelihood of being bumped, scraped, splashed, submersed and generally put through the wringer. Durability may cost more but will be better value in the long run as you will not need to buy a replacement as soon.
Cross-platform compatibility is appealing
It is not just that a GPS watch will be able to let you see how you are performing from minute to minute while you are out on a run; a model worth buying will also let you store, transfer, review and share this data in a digestible way across other devices.
This is usually achieved by synchronising your watch with a smartphone or other digital device, although some variants are able to transfer data directly to a central storage service without needing any gadget to act as the middleman.
Checking up on which platforms your chosen watch will work with is definitely a good call, as some models are tied to specific software ecosystems while others are more broadly compatible.
Styling may be relevant
You might think that a GPS watch for running is purely a practical accessory and so its looks do not really matter. Of course, if you are also planning to wear it throughout the day when you are not geared up for exercise, you might actually be interested in its aesthetics.
This all comes down to personal taste, but since some models offer interchangeable wrist straps, there is a way to handle the transition from practical to eye-catching.