GPS running watches – Sportwatch

The guide to choose your best gps watch for running, the watch for running, trying to understand the differences between sport watch, activity tracker and smart watch.

Once, not too long ago, the running watch was for a few. We used to measure the roads, which we used to train, with the odometer of the car, motorcycle or bike or, the most professional, had the wheel odometer, the road meter, very accurate, but not too comfortable, used mainly to measure the road sections of the repeated. Here you can choose nice watches for your running path:

With the chalk you could mark the marks of the km (or shorter distances), or take as references signs, houses, trees, garbage cans. We were Nawako, all we needed was to put our ears on the ground. Yes I know that someone has already become nostalgic and is thinking “we were better off when we were worse”.

Then came the first racing watches and the first cardio watches (these have been around for a long time). Watch on the wrist and GPS on the arm, super receivers that to catch you had to pray and when they took had an important margin of error. There were also the first podiometers (they still exist), but even there we had to recalibrate it continuously, even if, let’s face it, it is not that 10% error that changes the life of an amateur.

The cardio? The heart rate monitors that went crazy, that you had to constantly wet them (I’ll spare you how).

Today we have reached a really interesting level of precision and the battle, between the running watches, has moved to other fields, since the most valid on the market have reached a high level of reliability. The new battle grounds are lightness, extra functions, battery life, resistance, ease of use and programming, apps and software to make the best use of data. An open battle yet to be won instead is the accuracy of the measurement of the cardio wrist, which avoids us to wear the not very comfortable belt, but still has room for improvement.

Sport watch, Smart watch and Activity Tracker, let’s try to shed some light on racing and sport watch.

The runner with some experience definitely uses gps watches and is certainly familiar with the differences between different types of running watches, sports watches, heart rate monitors and watches that monitor daily activity. As always the categories have limits and in addition there are transversal models of sport watch.

Activity tracker

Activity trackers are those clocks that monitor our daily activity, the movement we make, estimate a consumption of calories, many monitor sleep. The activity trackers are indicated for those who are looking for this information related to well-being, without having precise data related to the practice of sport.


Smart watches are the watches that have functions partly as activity trackers and are born in combination with the smartphone, of which they have some functions and often give the best of themselves in combination with the phone.

Sport watch

Sportwatches, which increasingly have all the functions of activity trackers and partly of smartwatches, are designed to meet the needs of one or more sports (multisport).

Obviously I will dedicate myself to the latter and specifically to those that have functions for running and trail running.

The important functions and features that a sport watch must have for running.

The important functions of a running watch are not only the essential functions, but those that, in my opinion, speaking as a coach and as a runner, I find important and that, assuming that everyone then has their own budget, when I make a purchase is worth evaluating.

Attention: I’m not saying that to run it is essential to have one of these tools, it’s fine to go out only with shorts, socks and t-shirt and have fun.

But if you are thinking of buying a sport watch or renewing your gps watch for running, I invite you to follow the directions below.

First of all a running watch must be a gps watch.

GPS watch for runner

A GPS system that easily acquires the signal, does not lose it and calculates average gait, instantaneous, distance.

The possibility to have autolap and manual lap recording

An effective heart rate monitor on the wrist if possible. The cardio is not considered by many, but it is a parameter whose use, in certain periods of training, is more effective than the use of gaits and in any case is a very useful data to assess the physical condition in the short and medium term.

The possibility of being able to program workouts in a flexible way, where at least it can easily set distances, gaits, cardio intervals.

A shock-resistant and easily readable display in every condition
A battery that has a good life and a simple charging system.

A sound and vibration warning system that works and is not invasive

The secondary, but still interesting, functions of running watches.

The calculation of the cadence and pitch frequency

Calculation of ground contact time and vertical oscillation time and all stroke gait metrics. This point, together with the previous one, can be useful to monitor your running technique, to work on improving it. It is certainly not a fundamental data, but for fans of these aspects can be very interesting.


Bring back” function and track of the route taken and navigation tools, especially useful for trail or if you run so much in unknown places.

Tests to assess the condition that they estimate the need or not for recovery. They are tests based on different parameters and statistical data, they are a piece of advice, you should not get too conditioned.

Multi sport functions, if running is not enough for you

Basic activity tracker functions, which are useful to monitor your condition.

There are many other functions, today there are models with music, with the possibility of making payments, but for the race these are the most important functions.

Now some models by price range. I bring you back the link on Amazon, so you can read the user reviews, but I invite you first to think well about what you need, then to find the best place to buy it (not necessarily online!), considering also a point that I have not included, but I encourage: the service assistance!

The notes I put are indicative and arbitrary, to see it on Amazon click on the name of Sportwatch

Watches with GPS for Running

A list of the watches for the race that I consider the most valid and not by chance among the most purchased. Of some you will find the link to my review, of all the link, clicking on the name in red of the product, on the Amazon page correspond to buy your best sport watch at a favorable price.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
13 × 4 =