Updated: October 20th, 2011

Silhouette woman run under blue sky with clouds and sun
If you have yet to discover how GPS running watches can improve your workout routine, you’re in for a nice surprise. The effective tools of running can help improve your time, distance, and confidence when running. Just like choosing the right shoes, the right clothes, and the right running path choosing the right watch can make a big difference in your overall performance.

There are a wide variety of GPS running watches available. You can spend a lot or a little, depending on your needs, preferences, and your budget. Since the feedback that the watches gives you is vital to its full use, you will want to select a watch that offers you the feedback system that matches your running habits and needs.

Timex Speed&Distance

Timex Speed&Distance

One of the simpler versions of the GPS running systems can be found on the Timex Speed and Distance model. This watch offers some amount of valuable feedback but also requires an external placement of a GPS unit. That means the runner must be equipped with a compatible GPS system that translates the data to the watch, giving the runner instant access to the unit’s information. Combined with some of the other features that this watch provides, it’s a reasonable value. The Timex Indiglo lighting system made famous by the onset of diving watches helps increase the runner’s ability to read the watch data at night.
If you need to know your altitude while running then the better selection of GPS running watches from Timex would be the Bodylink GPS system. The speed and distance model can give you your running time and distance but doesn’t factor in altitude like the Bodylink system does. If you are perpetually running beach side, you certainly wouldn’t need the altitude feedback. Yet if you are cross training or running cross country, the altitude feedback can help you regulate your breathing while giving you valuable insight into your running time.

Garmin Forerunner 305

Garmin Forerunner 305

Garmin, which has been a leader in GPS devices since the inception of personal GPS units, also creates GPS running watches that are highly beneficial to anyone performing the task of physical training. Garmin products tend to be in the moderate to high price range, but the quality is often undisputed. The Forerunner series packs a good package and offers valuable feedback. The 305 and 405CX models provide excellent feedback that can translate into chartable data for your computer. If you’re looking to track your progress and find your weak areas then this feature is truly unique and nearly essential.

The ability to link the communication from one device to another helps to increase communication from runner to coach with the 405 CX series. These GPS running watches can talk to each other as well as your home computer. The informational data return includes things like time, distance, and direct feedback such as caloric burn and information pertaining to the work out itself. If you’re a serious runner, either of these two models would be highly valuable.

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