For decades, the only technical equipment you needed for jogging was the right pair of shoes. The digital revolution, however, has presented technology that many runners consider to be mandatory. GPS watches geared toward the physical dynamics of running are essentially small computers attached to wristbands. These tech savvy training gadgets measure biometrics such as heart rate, muscle activity and respiration while gauging your performance trends and tracking your position in real time. It is now possible to measure your progress as an athlete, upload the information to a server for storage, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t get lost.
TomTom Runner GPS Watch
This watch is designed for runners who want to track their performance in either an outdoor setting or in the gym on a treadmill. The accelerometer allows you to see calories burned, average pace, stride length and distance covered. A sensor in the wristband keeps track of your heart rate and an easy-to-use menu displayed across a large scratch-resistant LCD display screen makes it user-friendly. The slim design makes this item ideal to wear as an everyday watch between running sessions and the water-resistant feature keeps your investment safe as far as 160 feet (50 meters) below the surface.
Garmin Forerunner 10
This running accessory was made with the intention of making activity tracking as quick and easy as possible. Slim, lightweight and affordable — the Garmin Forerunner 10 is an ideal choice for the entry-level tech runner who wants to keep things simple. Storage features allow you to document your longest run and your fastest mile while the large screen displays the time and tracks your location. You can upload your performance information to a PC and view your metrics on easy-to-read digital charts.
This GPS fitness computer tracks calories burned, distance covered, step length, heart rate and even sleep patterns — all accessible with a simple finger swipe across the display screen. This watch is designed not only to track athletic activity, but also overall activity throughout a 24-hour period. An optical sensor that faces the wrist measures heart rate by measuring blood flow through capillaries near the surface of the skin. This information can be uploaded to the Fitbit app on your smartphone and onto the Fitbit site to be viewed in a digital graph format.
Timex Ironman One GPS
One of the biggest names in watches lets you hit the jogging trail with all the amenities of a smartphone without the hassle of actually carrying one. You can get messages and listen to music while tracking your location through the cellular connectivity built into the design. This phone-like “smartwatch” also lets you load in contacts to message should you become injured on a run and allows you to send generalized messages to your daily contacts. The Bluetooth connectivity allows you to track your heart rate through a strap worn across the chest and the fitness features measure running distance, rate and speed.