The Best 5 Running Watches

With literally hundreds of sports/running watches on the market it is not surprising that runners are overwhelmed and confused when buying a watch to help with their training. If you are a casual runner or occasional jogger a standard digital watch with a stop-watch will be just fine, but if you are serious about running you are going to need something with more functionality.


These are the 5 watches we will be looking at.

The three basic features you should be looking at when you are buying a running watch are:
A stopwatch chronograph with large numbers, which can be read at arm’s length.
Lap memory storage to record your times and data over several runs.
A Countdown or interval timer.

Additional features which will also benefit runners include: heart rate monitor, speed & distance tracking and computer syncing software which enables session/training history to be collected for analysis.

Heart Rate Monitor
By far the most popular heart rate monitor system is comprised of a chest strap which monitors your heart rate and transmits the information wireless to the watch. Your heart rate is measured by the number of beats per minute your heart is pumping at a given moment in time and your heart rate is an effective indicator of your intensity level in a workout. You burn off more body fat when your heart rate is low- which should be a comfortable level you can sustain for a long period to improve your fitness, but your overall performance will not improve at this rate. When your heart rate is high, at 160-180 BPM, this is more effective for improving peak performance, but this level is hard to maintain long periods and will lead to over training and burnout.

Distance and Speed Tracking
Most running watches track speed, distance and pace through a GPS system which is a great feature for performance runners. When competing in a race or during intensive training session, it is extremely useful to know at any given point, what pace you are currently at and the distance you have covered over the course of a run, or even a weekly distance summary of all runs, so as to record these statistics in your training diary.

Computer Software Interfacing
If you are serious about running then you should be keeping a diary of your training sessions to collect and analysis the data to help optimize your training shecdule. The best watches have the facility to download the collected data to a computer (usually through a USB port) and anaylise it with supplied the software. Some will also have an online community where you can upload and share your data.

The 5 watches will be looking at are:
Garmin Forerunner 110
Garmin Forerunner 410
Timex Ironman T5E931
Suunto T1c Heart Rate Monitor
Asics Mens Watch QA5349004

Garmin Forerunner 110

Garmin Forerunner 110 Sports Running Watch
Forerunner 110 is a simple-to-use GPS running watch for runners of all abilities. Whether you’re training to complete your first 5k or you want to get faster and fitter, accurate workout data is the key. Forerunner 110 is GPS-enabled so it knows how far and how fast you run. Its data-friendly display makes it simple to read on the run with the all-important time, distance and average pace always there when you need it. Data from each run is stored in the unit (upto 1000 laps), so you can go back and review how you did last week or last month. Or, upload to our Garmin Connect™ website for more detailed analysis.

With virtually no setup required, you can just press start and run or walk with your Forerunner 110. It’s automatically set up to show your current mile pace and will capture and display the split time for every mile you run. Alternatively, you can adjust this to kilometres if you prefer, or even change the distance to get more frequent splits. The Forerunner 110′s rechargeable battery lasts for up to 3 weeks when used as a watch or 6 to 8 hours when training.

Product Features
• High-sensitivity GPS receiver accurately locates and tracks position even near tall buildings/under tree cover
• Stores up to 1000 laps of training data for review as you run
• Garmin’s simplest GPS running watch for runners of all abilities – switch on, press start and go
• Record, relive and replay your workout sessions on Garmin Connect™, our free online training community
• Compatible with ANT+ heart rate monitor to track training intensity and collect accurate calorie-burn information.

Technical Details
Product type: GPS running watch
Dimensions (W x H x D): 4.5 x 6.9 x 1.4 centimetres
Weight: 52 grams
Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
Battery life: 8 hours

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Garmin Forerunner 410

Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS Running Watch
If you’re ready to take your training to the next level, Forerunner 410 can get you there. This advanced sports watch is GPS-enabled and accurately records your time, pace, distance, heart rate, elevation and more. Once your training session is over it wirelessly uploads your data to our Garmin Connect site when in range of your computer so you can go back and review your run on your own time. It works via ANT+ wireless technology and the USB stick that comes with your watch. No wires, no manual uploads.

For extra training benefits, you can create detailed workouts or race the Virtual Partner®, a digital depiction of your goal pace vs. actual pace. The courses feature allows you to race a previously recorded activity and try to match or beat it. If you like to explore new paths, you’ll appreciate the 410’s basic navigation feature that can guide you back to your starting point. Just follow the arrow on screen and see how far you have to go.

Product Features
• High-sensitivity GPS receiver accurately locates and tracks position even near tall buildings/under tree cover
• Forerunner 410 is compatible with PC or Mac. In Garmin Connect, you can see the route you traveled on a map, view a summary of your run, create goals, find new activities to upload as courses and more.
• Forerunner 410 lets you customize up to three training pages with more than 30 different types of data.
• You can create detailed workouts or race the Virtual Partner®
• Compatible with ANT+ heart rate monitor to track training intensity and collect accurate calorie-burn information.

Technical Details
Product type: GPS running watch
Dimensions (W x H x D): 1.88″ x 2.78″ x .646″ (4.8 x 7.1 x 1.6 cm)
Weight: 60 grams
Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
Battery life: 14 days in power saving mode; 8 hours in workout mode

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Timex Ironman T5E931 Triathlon 30 Lap Watch


The iconic Ironman* 30-Lap provides indispensable functions for athletes at any level. The classic styling is rooted deep in Ironman tradition, but updated with new functionality, design features and materials. Color updates keep the essential 30-Lap a favorite this year and beyond.

Features
• INDIGLO Night-Light with NIGHT-MODE
• 100-Hour Chronograph with Lap and Split Times
• 30-Lap Memory Recall
• 99-Lap Counter
• 24-Hour Countdown Timer
• Fifteen Date Reminders

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Suunto T1c Heart Rate Monitor


Whether you’re hitting the gym to work off that extra holiday weight, going for your daily run, or practicing your favorite sport, every bit of information helps. Use your Suunto t1c with the included Suunto Comfort Belt to accurately and conveniently monitor your real-time or average heart rate, so you know how to get the most out of each session.

With the Suunto t1c, you can also monitor how many calories you’re burning in real time, or view your workout summary for the last two months to see how many you’ve already worked off. Suunto t1c also helps you keep your workouts at a safe and consistent level, so you don’t under- or over -train. Glance down at your zone training status to better match your workout intensity with your fitness goals, or pre-set your maximum heart rate and use the alarm to warn if you are over-exerting yourself.

It’s important to train with minimal interruption and maximum ease to get the most out of your workouts. Suunto t1c helps you monitor your body to ensure that each movement brings you one step closer to your fitness goals.

Technical Details
Product type: Heart rate running watch
Functions: Average HR in real time, HR limits and HR zones, Calories burned,
Heart rate belt: Suunto Comfort Belt (Analog Coded)
Memory Capacity: 1 log
Weight: 45 grams
Water resistance: 30m/100ft

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Asics Mens Watch QA5349004

Asics Mens Watch QA5349004
A bold yellow and black rubber strap with cutout detailing adds a sporty look to this Asics watch. This Active Running men’s watch features an ellipse-shaped resin case with a digital display and multiple functions your training regime can’t do without, including memory capabilities of 25 training sessions up to 50 laps. Men’s watch bands can be sized to fit 7.5-inch to 8.5-inch wrists. – Digital Display – Water Resistant

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