Running watches assist athletes in tracking their performances and training sessions. Modern running watches feature a built-in stopwatch timer feature, the ability to store laps and in many cases the details from each individual sessions. Over the years various technology improvements have allowed running watches to offer additional features. One of the more significant ones was the addition of a heart rate monitor chest strap device a strap capable of measuring the ECG accurate heart rate of the wearer with the ability to transmit the signal to the wrist watch. A more recent advancement is the addition of GPS technology which has led to the emergence of running GPS watches making an entry into the market.

GPS running watches are sports watches that have the ability to connect to the GPS satellite network. By picking up the transmission signals of the satellites, a runner's precise position on earth can be used to calculate their speed and the distance they have travelled over the course of one of their runs. The ability to measure instantaneous speed, is useful in allowing a runner to approximate their estimated finishing time of a performance and to be aware of whether they are on track to achieve their target time for an event.

Most popular GPS running watches have the ability to alert a runner when he or she is running below or above their target pace zone. Another common feature helps athletes with interval training and can automatically record a lap time based on distance rather than time, which is the usual way interval training sessions are performed using a regular sports watch. GPS watches typically feature the ability to record the courses you have run over in the watch's memory allowing viewing of courses in software when you have finished your run.

Running GPS watches are one of the most significant advancements seen in athletic watches. They allow you to view your current speed, distance, elevation and can store your training routes in memory. Most GPS watch manufacturers provide advanced functionality that allow you to optimize your training session and to take your running to the next level. With feature like pace alerts, auto-lap, auto-pause - which pauses the stopwatch when you stop moving and resumes it when you commence again, and advanced interval training and structured training sessions, you will have a powerful suite of training tools at your disposal. For anyone who is serious about their training and seeks the most sophisticated training tools for their runs and competitive events, then a GPS watch is a high-powered option that is catching on within the athletic community.