Activities | Walking & Running

Walkers and Beginner Runners

A basic watch that tracks time, distance, and speed is sufficient. Anything more advanced likely won’t be needed. And all watches on the market do this. So choose based on what you are willing to spend, style, and any extra features you think you might use in the future.

Intermediate Runners

If you no longer consider yourself a novice runner, you’ve likely discovered the benefits of interval training and heart rate monitors. Heart rate monitors are great for gauging workout intensity. Interval workouts are programmed on your watch ahead of exercising and alert you at specified times or distances when to start and stop your interval.

We like using a GPS watch for intervals for two reasons. First, they count a lot better than me and you, which we find especially useful when doing short, but numerous intervals. Second, a GPS watch frees you from the track (or counting telephone poles if you are old school). Intervals can be done anywhere as the GPS tracks your distance.

These GPS watches will also download workouts to your computer, providing a great way to analyze your runs and track them in a log.

Advanced Runners

GPS watches in this category can create very detailed, custom workouts in addition to standard interval workouts. This means you can create a workout like this: 15 minute warm-up, 800 meters at 6:30, 60 second rest, 400 meters at 6:15, 30 second rest, 10 minutes at 7:00, 15 minute cool-down.

And almost all of these watches have very customizable screens that allow you to display the data fields you find most important.

These watches often have unique features specific to their particular brand. For example, Garmin’s Forerunner 610 is one of Garmin’s only watches to have the Virtual Racer training aid.