Watches have proven themselves to be indispensable even in an age where phones and computers display time – all the time. The convenience of knowing the time by simply turning the wrist a few degrees is incomparably more convenient than taking out a phone from one’s pocket and unlocking it. Similarly, smartwatches have been replacing small smartphones when it comes to being indispensable equipment for runners. Runners, both non-competitive and professional, all apparently agree that a smartwatch is all that a runner needs in their run of course, in addition to their running attire and shoes. But before rushing to the local sporting goods store or to an online store to buy one, it’s important to know first and foremost features that are essentially necessary for running watches. Here are some must-have features to look for on a running watch.
- GPS capability.
Come to think of it, no self-respective running watches manufacturer will want to push their product unless it has a GPS function. Runners make use of the data provided by GPS extremely well. From distance traveled, time the run took as well as the actual path taken; runners who are serious in tracking their progress are never ones to shy away from the different data provided by their running watch with GPS. Unfortunately, there are still manufacturers who are making watches without GPS. To be fair, they may have a niche market in runners who run exclusively on a treadmill. In which case, an accelerometer would prove to be more useful than a GPS function. Still, it’s shortchanging oneself to buy a watch without GPS, as it becomes rather useless when joining running events, for example.
- Controls are intuitive.
Different manufacturers have different takes on watch controls. Some have created controls that are more intuitive than others. Conversely, intuitiveness of control is still highly dependent on what the runner is more comfortable using. What’s interesting to note about running watch and smartwatches in general is that analog control seems to be something that’s hard to live without. Sure, touch screens are becoming the norm, but for a device that can only be as large as the largest coin, touch functionality is severely limited.
- Sync features.
Going for a training with the best GPS watches for running won’t be that much fun to do if the running watch as a convoluted means of migrating data to a workable interface. Running watches must be able to sync with a computer or mobile phone so that the runner will be able to view their data in a form that’s easy to understand visually. Data that is presented in a visually appealing form, especially in the form of progress charts, help significantly in pushing a runner to dig deeper and do better on their next runs.
With these features in mind, finding a running watch that can do the job for the runner’s needs is going to be an easier task. Still, it would be even easier if reviews and blogs from enthusiasts are checked and read to further understand what makes a good running watch.