In the past couple of years, tech and fitness brands have really stepped up their game in developing smart watches for the runners among us. Tracking and planning your fitness goals are the best way to achieve them, and these watches close the loop on this need and more. This article takes a look at 5 of the top gps watches for running on the market today, weighing the pros and cons of each to help find the best fit.
The Polar M430 GPS Runner’s Watch
The Polar M430 is reported to be the best GPS watch for its value by livescience online. Its features include both outdoor and indoor walking, activity tracking daily, cycling and running, ability to both create and follow custom workouts, vibration alerts and ability to create custom profiles of sports.
Overall Design of the Polar M430
The Polar M400 is sturdy and ready to stand up to anything due to its stainless steel and rigid plastic composition. However, in spite of its brawn, it is comfortable to wear. Its buttons are easily accessible while running. Colors of these watches include black, white and an assortment of bright hues.
The Polar M430 is User Friendly
In comparison to many GPS watches, navigating the Polar M430 is easier than most. Just pressing one, red button starts the recording of your workout. The watch can be set up on your computer and customer service is available should you run into problems.
Additional Polar M430 Information
The Polar M430 can’t be used as a triathlon watch due to its design not including ability to track swimming workouts. It can, however, track both running and cycling workouts. For these, it tracks your distance, time, speed, pace, heart rate when coupled with its heart-rate strap, step count and calories burned. All of this information can be seen at the easy-to-navigate Polar Flow website and mobile app that feature both ready-to-read graphs and charts. By creating sport profiles online, you can customize your data collected and displayed by the watch. Whatever sport you are recording, you are able to label your workouts.
The Tom Tom Spark 3 Cardio GPS Watch for Running
Tom Tom Spark 3 Cardio Overall Design
The design of the Tom Tom Spark 3 Cardio provides for easy reading while running by its large and brightly lit display. While most sport watches have buttons along their outer edges, the Tom Tom has just one button underneath its display that is pressed left, right, down or up. This design is different, but it makes the watch easily navigated even during a workout.
The Tom Tom Spark 3 Cardio Connectivity
You don’t need a manual to know how to work the Tom Tom Spark 3 Cardio watch since it is so easy to navigate. Data can be uploaded from the watch to your computer with a USB cord or it can be uploaded wirelessly with Bluetooth to your mobile device. However, the most outstanding feature of this watch is its built-in sensor for heart-rate that allows you to track your pulse.
Additional Tom Tom Spark 3 Cardio Information
Whether you’re an experienced runner or a beginner, this watch provides the basic information that is needed to track your progress. Time and pace, steps per minute, distance, calories burned and elevation gain can all be tracked with this watch. Running-efficiency data can be confusing by actually providing too much data. For that reason, the lack of this kind of information on the Tom Tom makes it a better watch for runners. The Tom Tom My Sports mobile app and the company’s website both display the heart-rate data in a format that is easy-to-read.
The GARMIN Vivoactive GPS Watch
Livescience online rates the Garmin Vivoactive watch as the best GPS watch overall. Along with its feature of tracking running both outdoors and indoors, it also tracks cycling and walking, golf and indoor swimming. Additional features include mobile device smart notifications, alerts by vibration, activity tracking daily and controls of music. Its mobile compatibility includes IOS and Android, and its data transfer is done through USB, Bluetooth and ANT+.
GARMIN Vivoactive Overall Design and Comfort
The slim design of the Vivoactive watch is far above the bulky, multisport GPS watches on the market. Its modern-looking square face gives it an up-to-date appearance and makes it easy to read. Its look is one of a smartwatch rather than a sports watch. The Vivoactive is easy to navigate with a touch screen that includes conventional buttons. Although the screen can be difficult to read in the dark, its backlight that is activated with a simple tap of a button solves the problem.
Although it is possible to sync your watch wirelessly with your mobile device via Bluetooth or with your computer via a USB cord, you don’t have to in order to see your stats. You can view them on your watch and see both your workout summaries and your daily activity record since they are stored on the watch.
The watch’s battery life lasts approximately five days when using the feature of GPS for thirty minutes each day making it superior to most other smartwatches as well as fitness trackers that are lacking in GPS capabilities.
Additional Vivoactive Information
The Vivoactive data tracking does not include those devoted to running, swimming or triathlon training that the Garmin products devoted to these include. The Vivoactive lacks the ability to track in-depth data about running efficiency since it can’t be coupled with a heart-rate sensor. The Vivoactive does provide for the tracking of your pace, distance, time, elevation gain and cadence while you run. For cycling, you can track speed with the watch. For swimming, the watch tracks laps and strokes per lap as well as efficiency of swimming. Garmin provides all of this data on the Garmin Connect mobile app or its online dashboard featuring both charts and graphs, daily step information, workout summaries and calories burned.
Nike+ Sport Watch GPS Watch for Running
A widely popular sport watch on the market today is the Nike+ SportWatch GPS. This watch is a device that is easy-to-use and features a customizable display allowing you to see the information that is important to you. With this watch, you can keep track of GPS, your pace, your time, calories burned, your laps and intervals, and you can monitor your heart rate as well. Since it is water resistant, there is no need to be concerned if you’re caught in a rain storm with your running.
How It Works Before, During and After Your Run
• Before: Besides telling time, the Nike+ SportWatch GPS will keep you motivated with its automatic run-reminders to keep you on track with your goals. This feature acts as a personal running coach attached to your wrist.
• During: It can keep you informed of your location, distance, instant pace, average pace, laps, time elapsed as well as your calories burned. You can also track your heart rate with the Polar Wearlink+. It even includes a handy stopwatch. For your personal encouragement, your run history is stored, tabs are kept on your personal histories, and Atta boy messages are given.
• After: At nikeplus.com, you can set goals, view your splits, track your progress, communicate with other runners and above all check your NikeFuel. You can also see your mapped runs as well as how elevation has affected your pace. This information allows you to plan the best places to run and even compete on a Top Route of Nike+.
You can connect the watch to your computer with its built-in USB or a USB cable that is included. This allows you to download the free Nike+ connect software.
The GARMIN Forerunner 235 Runner’s Watch
Anyone would certainly consider the new GARMIN Forerunner 235 to be one of the best GPS running watches available. Some outstanding features of this watch include it’s ability:
• to track distance, pace and heart rate
• to track activity by actually counting steps
• to count calories for an entire day
• show your zone as well as beats per minute at a glance by a colorful graphic interface
• record distance indoors with a built-in accelerometer
• connect its features automatically by unloading to Garmin Connect with lives tracking and sharing on social media
• to be compatible with the advanced workouts as well as free training plans at Garmin Connect https://connect.garmin.com/en-US/
• to track, analyze and encourage on Garmin Connect
All about Garmin Connect Mobile
The Forerunner running watch puts all your Garmin connect data is at your fingertips anytime and anywhere with Garmin Connect Mobile. It makes it possible for you to quickly view activities and track and analyze your progress. In addition, you can view your graphs, charts and maps.
With Garmin Connect Mobile, you can connect your watch and upload your watch’s data to Garmin Connect on the go. Courses and workouts can be sent to your watch. The Live Track feature of the watch can let your family and friends follow both your running, training activities and races in real time.