9 Best GPS Running Watches for Your Training
I have always been a fan of a watch that can help me with my running, walking or just flat out working out. You can literally find so many versions out there with various features but when it comes to taking your training to the next level you need to consider looking at a gps watch that you can use for running, bike, walking and even triathlons. I love these for running especially because I can track my mileage, mph, heart rate, the route I rode or ran, elevation, percent grades of hills and much more.
In this article I'm going to give you a list of watches to look at to start your journey of find the best gps watch in 2016. I will give you a quick summary of the main features for each watch so you know the differences to help you get started.
Best Gps Running Watch Reviews
An active lifestyle mixed with technology is how the world works today. Whether you’re someone making the transition from machines to the street, finding the best GPS running watches may be on your to-do list today.
Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR Running GPS Unit
Created by Suunto, this running watch has a plethora of jaw-dropping features, including:
- 100-meter water resistance
- Mp3 or smartphone connection capability
- Compass, 1-minute accuracy, 200 hours per battery charge + more
Based on these features alone, the Suunto Ambit is worth the purchase. The only issue is that if you’re looking for a sleek watch that’s more feminine, the Ambit3 may not be for you. However, this doesn’t interfere with the fantastic performance. Water resistant with smartphone connection capabilities means that you can sweat as much as you want and listen to as much top 40’s hits as you want without the device breaking. With a 1-minute accuracy and 200-hour battery life per charge, this can’t be beat.
Polar V800 Sports Watch
Sleek and modern in design, the Polar V800 sports watch has great features including:
- Advanced training
- Heart rate monitor compatible
- Advanced GPS for hiking, biking, and running
You won’t have to worry about going too fast on your bike, as the Polar V800 is capable of recording all mileage instantly with ease. With advanced training for guidance in your workouts, the Polar V800 is one of the best GPS running watches on the market. A true hidden gem, the only issue is the lack of feminine colors. Red, blue, and black are the only options but doesn’t interfere with the high-performance. The Polar V800 is indeed worth the purchase.
The minimalist and simplistic Garmin Vivoactive is a running watch that is more than words and numbers, as it features pictures for visual pleasure. Features include:
- With or without heart monitor options
- Sunlight readable
- Smartwatch and Fitness Tracker
- Golf, Run, Bike and Swim Tracking
Being able to be read in the sunlight is imperative for many, as those in the market for a GPS running watch need something for the outdoors. The option for a heart monitor or without allows you to cater entirely to your needs. The only issue is that if you’re using this in your pool, you need to be in one that is over 50 feet in length for it to read. However, you can overset the number to make up for the length or purchase one specifically for swimming. Overall, this is worth the purchase.
Garmin Forerunner 235
Another one of Garmin’s awesome GPS running watches, the Forerunner 235 is capable of:
- Wrist based heart rate
- Large screen
The ability for it to be in either watch or training mode allows you to have between 12 hours and 12 weeks of battery life. Instead of buying an additional heart monitor, the Forerunner is capable of wrist-based heart monitoring. With audio prompts, there are minimal to no disadvantages of this watch. Sleek and readable, this watch is best for running, especially sustained running. If you’re looking for a swim watch, you may want to look for one specifically catering to water based activities.
Garmin Forerunner 620
Another from the Forerunner series, the 620 has features that differ from the 235, including design. These functions include:
- Automatic uploads to Garmin Connect
- Race predictor
Based on your current speeds while using, the Forerunner 620 can predict your movement and live share your results! If you’re a part of Garmin Connect actively or any other social media, this feature allows you to track and share automatically! Connecting you virtually with others, you’re able to have fun and outdo your numbers. Aimed specifically for runners, it’s a great purchase for those running, not swimming.
Garmin Forerunner 920XT
A great improvement, the Forerunner 920XT is less circular in aesthetics, but has an abundance of features including:
- S or E.U options for personable measurement system
- Ability to read ascent/descent, speed, distance, and grade
You won’t have to worry about purchasing a particular watch for other elements of measuring, as the 920XT is capable of measuring ascent/descent, speed distance, and grade. If you’re not a fan of feet, lbs., etc., there is a European option available for metric measurements. The only disadvantage is that if you’re going very short distances (under 100 yards), you may want to look for a short distance specific watch. However, the performance of the 920XT is fantastic for those looking for a long-term (both time and distance) fitness friend.
A super watch, the Fitbit Surge is sleek and great regarding design (both masculine and feminine). With a large display that isn’t tacky the design is fantastic and features include:
- Ideal for short and long range (all day tracking)
Many watches don’t cater specifically to short distances, but the Fitbit Surge is capable of both long and short. If you’re looking for a step tracker throughout the day, the Fitbit Surge is perfect for you. However, if you’re looking for a racing partner, the Surge is also fantastic for you. The multi-sport capabilities allow those participating in all sports to be catered to. The food tracking aspect of the Surge is good, but can be improved on. Thankfully, this doesn’t interfere with the performance and designated function of the Fitbit Surge. I would highly recommend this GPS running watch to everyone in the market for one.
Garmin Fenix 3
Optimal for both swimming and running, the Garmin Fenix 3 is perfect for those who want something with a long battery life and wireless connectivity. Features of this watch include:
- EXO “”
- Water rated up to 100M
The antenna capability allows precise GPS tracking and measurements. The Garmin Fenix 3 is water rated up to 100M so that your GPS running watch isn’t subjected to suffering water ingression. The only disadvantage to this watch is that it is rather bulky, but it’s not heavy. All in all, the disadvantage doesn’t perfect its performance and is rather comfortable, while being a fantastic buy for all sports.
Epson Runsense SF-810
The Epson Runsense SF-810 is one of the best GPS running watches on the market, with features including:
- Wrist heart rate
- Highly accurate sensor and lap timer
The accuracy and precision of measurements mixed in with the lap timer allow you to challenge yourself and accurately inform you of your location information. The only issue with this watch is that the display isn’t colorful and doesn’t look as updated as others. However, the functionality of this GPS running watch is fantastic and outperforms many others. For the price and capabilities, the Epson Runsense is worth the purchase
Key Buying Points For a GPS Running Watch
- Battery life - is pretty high up on the list in my book. I don't want to be out there working out worrying about how long it last and I don't want to have to charge it after every workout.
- Integrates with Tracking application - I like to keep track of my workouts and progress. It's a requirement in my eyes that I should be able to easily upload my workout and track my progress without much effort. Thankfully this is pretty much a standard now in all the gps watches in 2016.
- Price - You can really drop some cash here on these style of watches. So, set a price in your head that you can afford.
- Features - Decide what you are wanting to track and why you want the GPS features of the running watch. This will help you narrow your search down and keep you focused on your original goal of needing it. There are a lot of bells and whistles out there in these watches that most runners will not give a crap about. 🙂
- Virtual Partner - What's awesome about these type of watches is that you can set most of these up to have a running partner to challenge you to keep up a pace that you are looking to complete. This is pretty awesome if you take time to set it up and use it. It's literally like running with someone. I don't know about you but I tend to run faster than normal or push myself more when I'm running with a friend. This is exactly what this will do for you and keep you working harder where you might normal slack off a bit.
This is a start of some running gps watches to begin your research. I will be adding more to this page as there are more options out there. I thought would get you going though. If you have found a watch that belongs on here comment below or contact me.