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Running GPS Watches: What They Are, Which Ones To Buy

By Edited Jun 5, 2016 0 0

Running watches have experienced many changes since they were first introduced. Over the years they have acquired complicated features that allow you to perform advanced training sessions and keep track of your performance details in memory. A notable technological innovation to the design of the basic running watch was the heart rate monitor cheststrap, which wraps around your chest and has the ability to transmit vital heart rate information to the wrist watch. In the same way that the concept of the heart rate monitor has become an exceptionally popular if not essential item in a sports watch, a more recent advancement in sporting technology is the entry of running GPS watches onto the scene.

GPS watches feature a GPS aerial that can link up to the satellite netowork system and can determine your precise location on the planet. Using positioning vs time data, both speed and distance travelled can be calculated, adding a whole new dimesion to the features that sports watches can now offer competing athletes. Perhaps the most useful feature that GPS running watches allow runners to do is to use their current pace to approximate their expected finishing time. Other features offered by watches with GPS include the ability to automatically record laps based on distance instead of time, record three-dimensonal course maps in memory, automtically start and stop the running stop watch based on movement and more.

The most recently relese GPS watches at the time of writing are the Garmin Forerunner 110, 210 and 410. The 110 and 210 are relatively new timepieces that are designed to be more user friendly than the former 405CX watch that, while powerful, featured a complicated mens system that makes running many of the more simple function a pain at times. The 110 is a trimmed down GPS watch that has the basic features you need to take advantage of GPS. The Forerunner 210 watch is similar to the 110, but features a couple more features such as an interval training feature that allows more serious athletes to opportunity to take advantage of easy-to-use GPS while not compromising on some of the more useful advanced features. The Forerunner 410 is an upgrade on the popular 405CX. It provides the maximum level of feature, but at the cost of added complexity the might prove too overwhelming for the average user.

Each of the new running GPS watches features the SiRFstarIV GPS chipset that is smaller, lighter, more powerful and incurs less battery drain than the older SiRFstarIII driving virually every other GPS watch on the market.

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