7 of the best running watches

Running watches are a convenient way for people to monitor their physical activity and track their progress towards their fitness and health goals. There are several brands that people who want to buy a running watch online can choose from.

Physical activity can improve physical and mental well-being, as well as prevent serious health problems. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that only 1 in 2 adults in the United States exercise enough to see these benefits.

This article explains what to look for in a running watch and lists seven models that users can consider. It also examines the benefits of running for overall health.

A running watch is wearable technology that a person can use to track their fitness. Most racing watches have GPS capability, and many provide maps showing street names. Other models track altitude and atmospheric pressure.

Running watches provide real-time information about an individual’s vital signs, such as:

  • heartbeat
  • running pace, or number of steps per minute
  • distance traveled
  • speed
  • pace

Individuals may find that tracking their progress with a running watch strengthens their commitment to physical activity.

People who train for a specific event, such as a half marathon or a full marathon, can use a running watch to guide them through different workouts in preparation. Some runners may use a running watch to track their measurements, check their recovery needs, and look for areas for improvement, such as their cadence or consistency of pace.

Racing watches can be expensive, especially if they have additional features. People looking for a running watch should first determine which features are most important to them. They may wish to consider the following:

  • GPS accuracy and maps: Most running watches have GPS, but they can vary in terms of map styles and ease of reading data.
  • Types of activities: Some people will need their watch to track their biking, walking, swimming, surfing, or snowboarding activities in addition to their running measurements.
  • Battery life: People who exercise for longer periods of time may wish to purchase a watch with extended battery life. Long battery life can also come in handy for those who plan to use multiple apps simultaneously – for example, listening to music while using GPS.
  • Weight and comfort: Some people may prefer a watch that is light and comfortable to wear all day.
  • Musical ability: People who listen to music while training may prefer to buy a running watch that can also play music.

People interested in purchasing a racing watch can choose from a range of options. Several models track fitness measurements, play music, and are compatible with smartphones. Below, we take a look at the seven of the best running watches available for purchase.

Please note that the author has not tried these products. All information is based on research.

Garmin Forerunner 35

This waterproof racing watch weighs 37.3 grams (g) and has a 0.93 inch (inch) by 0.93 inch display screen.

The company claims that the battery lasts for up to 9 days if a person uses this product as a smart watch. If they select GPS mode, the battery will last up to 13 hours.

The Garmin Forerunner 35 allows users to configure run profiles. People can use GPS to calculate the distance and pace of their workouts, and the product can provide real-time steps per minute.

Additional features include:

  • footsteps
  • automated fitness goals
  • tracks calories burned, distance traveled and workout intensity
  • activity history
  • cycling features, such as goal alerts and speed sensor support

Individuals can also download the Garmin Connect smartphone app, available on iOS and Android. This product will automatically download fitness measurements to the app.

The Garmin Forerunner 35 is compatible with Android phones and iPhones, but only people with an Android phone can stream music.

Polar M430

This waterproof racing watch weighs 51 g.

The company says the battery lasts for up to 14 days if a person is only using the heart rate tracker. If a person uses the heart rate tracker, has a daily workout, and receives notifications, the battery will last up to 5 days. Using the GPS and optical heart rate functions will limit the battery life to a maximum of 8 hours.

The Polar M430 has the following features:

  • training programs for a variety of running events
  • 5 minute fitness test
  • running performance monitoring
  • motivational training
  • recovery status information
  • monitoring daily, weekly and monthly activities
  • calorie and sleep tracking
  • heart rate tracker

Polar M430 connects to PCs or Macs with a custom USB cable. Additionally, people can use Bluetooth to sync data with their smartphones.

COROS PACE 2

This waterproof racing watch weighs between 29 and 36 g, depending on the type of strap a person chooses.

The company states that the COROS PACE 2 has an autonomy of 20 days with regular use. Battery life is reduced to 30 hours if one person is using GPS.

COROS PACE 2 supports the following drives:

  • running, indoor running and track running
  • cycling and indoor cycling
  • swimming in pool and open water
  • triathlon
  • cardio gym
  • Cardio GPS
  • strength training

This product has the following additional features:

  • optical heart rate monitor
  • barometric altimeter
  • accelerometer
  • compass
  • gyroscope
  • thermometer
  • muscle heat map
  • heart rate sensor
  • phone notifications
  • caller ID
  • sleep tracking
  • fitness level analysis

Individuals can connect the COROS PACE 2 to their smartphone via Bluetooth.

Fitbit sense

This water resistant smart watch has a display size of 1.59 by 1.59 inches.

The company says the Fitbit Sense has a battery life of up to 6 days, depending on the features a person uses.

The Fitbit Sense has the following health characteristics:

  • over 20 goal-based exercise modes
  • stress management score
  • oxygen saturation monitoring
  • high and low heart rate notifications
  • heart rate sensors
  • tracks number of steps and distance
  • calories burned
  • All-day activity and sleep metric trackers

This product is compatible with Mac OS X 12.2 and later, iPhone 5S and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and Android 7.0 and later. Individuals can connect their Fitbit Sense to their smartphones or computers via Bluetooth.

Samsung Galaxy Watch3

This water resistant smartwatch has a screen size of 1.2 ”.

The company claims that the Galaxy Watch3 has a battery life of up to 53 hours, depending on the features a person uses.

The Galaxy Watch3 has the following features:

  • able to follow 39 different exercises, including swimming
  • calorie tracking
  • sleep tracking
  • high or low heart rate notifications
  • syncs with phones and headphones
  • fall warning system
  • option to read texts and make phone calls from the smartwatch
  • wireless charging

Individuals can sync their Galaxy Watch3 with Android 5.0 and higher or iPhone 5 and newer smartphones via Bluetooth.

Suunto 7 Black

This waterproof racing watch weighs 70g.

Suunto states that the battery lasts for up to 1 day if people use the product as a smart watch all day and also do a workout. The company recommends charging it daily for the best performance.

The Suunto 7 Black has the following features:

  • free access to external offline maps
  • more than 70 sports modes
  • GPS
  • wrist heart rate sensor
  • speed and distance tracking
  • training recovery tracking
  • sleep tracking
  • calorie tracking

This product is compatible with Google Fit, Google Assistant, Google Pay and Google Play. Individuals can connect Suunto 7 Black to most smartphones.

Apple Watch Series 6

This water resistant smartwatch has a screen size of 44 millimeters (1.73 inches).

The company says the Apple Watch Series 6 has a battery life of up to 18 hours, depending on how people use it.

This product has the following characteristics:

  • blood oxygen level measurements
  • ECG monitoring
  • sleep tracking
  • calorie tracking
  • elevation tracking
  • laps and distance tracking
  • running, swimming, cycling and yoga programs
  • streaming music, podcast and audiobook

Apple Watch Series 6 is compatible with iPhone 6s or newer models with iOS 14 or later. Individuals can pair this product with their smartphone via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

About Michael Sample

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