Why Do I Need a Training Watch for Running

Why Do I Need a Training Watch for Running?

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It’s mud season in Park City and lots of runners are hitting the lower trails while they wait for the higher elevations to shed the remnants of winter’s snowfall.  Whether you’re an avid runner, just getting into the sport, or somewhere in between, it makes sense to invest in a sports training watch to get the most out of your workouts.

Benefits of a Running Watch
Even the most dedicated runners have days where they need an added incentive to lace up their shoes.  Maybe you’re sore from your last workout or the weather isn’t really cooperating, but this is your only chance to squeeze in a run for a couple of days.  That’s when a sports watch can help motivate you – kind of like a personal trainer, but without the need to socialize.

Most training watches provide runners with information such as total time, distance and calories burned.  Others include handy alerts that let you know when you have completed each mile so that if you’re feeling stronger than expected, you can add distance or if you’re dragging, you know how close you are to your goal.

Things to Consider in a Sports Training Watch
When I started running, too many years ago to count, sports watches were pretty basic – a timer and stopwatch, but not much else.  Thanks to GPS technology, today’s training watches boast a ton of information, with a direct correlation between the amount of data provided and the cost of the watch.  So it makes sense to determine exactly what info you need without paying for extra gadgets and features that you may not use.

A good running watch should provide total time, distance and pace, in addition to my favorite measurement, calories burned.  Other options include a feature that compares your current pace to whatever target pace you input into the watch.

Many GPS watches come with a data cable that allows you to download your run data directly onto your computer.  This is especially handy to track miles run over time, or how you’ve improved in the last month or year.  It also is a great way to map runs and share data with running partners.

The Garmin Forerunner 10 – Why We Like It
One of my favorite training watches is the Garmin Forerunner.  Not only does it come in really bright, fun colors, but the Forerunner is Garmin’s lightest watch that is comfortable and small enough to wear every day.  Keep in mind that the black and red model has a slightly larger face and wider wristband than the other colors.

This water resistant running watch starts with the press of a button and records time and distance on one screen and calories and pace on another.  If you’re like me, and like to celebrate the number of calories at the end of your run, the Forerunner is also customizable so you can see distance and pace on a single screen.

For those of us that like to be entertained by receiving information during a run, Garmin’s Virtual Pace compares your current running pace to your target and the Forerunner also includes an alert system for every mile completed.

Lastly, the Forerunner 10 running watch comes with a cable that allows you to upload your running data to Garmin Connect for free.  So you can monitor your progress and brag on Facebook when you achieve your running goals.  And since it is priced affordably, the Garmin Forerunner won’t break the bank like other sports training watches.

Liz Yokubison, Senior Editor