Physical training is tough — but you can level the playing field by using the very best training equipment available. In addition to the best running shoes and breathable fabrics, your equipment should include a GPS watch for running and interval training. But there are many different brands and models to choose from, so let’s start by looking at the top three GPS watches on the market today.
At the low end of the price scale, you’ll find the Timex Speed-Distance watch. One of the primary benefits of this sports watch is its ability to provide precise measurement. It not only measures speed and distance, but altitude as well. You might appreciate its auto pause feature, as well as its lap and target speed settings. Running at night is no problem, as the Indiglo night light provides a nice uniform glow of the surface of the dial. The watch contains a built-in GPS receiver that sends speed and distance data directly to the synchronized digital FM signal for visual display.
Runners will really appreciate the auto lap feature on the Timex Speed-Distance watch. This feature provides a programmed log of each lap that you travel, allowing you to focus on speed work. The auto pause feature allows you to hit the pause tab when you have to stop running — it picks up again as soon as you resume your run.
Moving up the price scale, we find the Suunto X9M/I GPS watch. It is a visually stunning watch, with a black-on-black color palette and a red backlight for night use. Highlights also include a three-hundred-sixty degree compass, as well as 6400 MILS bearing display. If you wan to take off for a run without a predetermined route, the Suuno watch will record your position, speed and distance traveled. If necessary, it will even provide a guide to return you to your original position. You can use the digital mapping feature to track landmarks along your route, or use the uploadable preplanned routes to map out a new running course.
With more features than the Timex, the Suunto X9M/I GPS watch is easily regarded as one of the best choices for GPS running watches. However, the clear favorite seems to be Garmin’s forerunner series of GPS watches.
The Garmin Forerunner 305 was the heavyweight in its weight class for quite a while. But the Forerunner 405 was introduced recently and is quickly becoming the go-to favorite for serious sports enthusiasts. The 405 is lightweight but feature-packed. It boasts a heart rate monitor and can be connected to your PC via a USB connection to easily track your stats. With more features, it’s obviously a bit more expensive that the Timex or Suuno, but it actually more affordable than the similar Timex Body Link.
Each of these watches stand out as “best in class” for their individual price points, but you’ll have to decide which one fits your budget and needs. They will all keep you on track — and on time.