Once you start running, you might want to check on your progress and performance. You might have seen people running with their phones strapped on their arms, or in their hands, or people looking at their watches occasionally. Well, that’s technology in the picture! It perhaps starts from a basic stopwatch if you just want to keep a record of your times (very useful for short repetitive intervals). But to accurately (yeah may be 99% accurate, not the perfect accuracy) measure the distance, pace and other things, you need something more.
GPS enabled phones loaded with an appropriate APP such as Runtastic, Nike+, Runkeeper…. can do the job. I used Runtastic for over an year to track my runs. This kind of tracker allows you to run pretty much freely. All you need to do is to start your running session, strap your phone around your arm, and run. That’s it. Since you’re having a phone with you, you can also enjoy your music en-route. Ample number of runners use their phones to track their runs and why not? Who does not have a phone and an internet today?
But I had to switch from this phone-based tracker to a GPS watch!
The reason being my sweat. I do not have a waterproof phone. Even while being contained inside my arm-strap, my phone got chunks of my sweat which in turn made my phone malfunctioning. Luckily the phone was under warranty!
That’s when I bought a Garmin Forerunner 15. It is an entry-level smartwatch and therefore the functionalities are limited. High-range smartwatches include heart-rate sensor and triathlon training support. My watch supports HR sensor (I have to buy it additionally but I didn’t).
It does more or less the same thing which my phone was doing. But there are differences.
- What used to be a phone loaded on my arms earlier is now a tiny watch. Running wise, it is much more comfortable.The difference is sensed and felt.
- But because it is not a music player, I have lost the luxury of listening to music simultaneously.
- Now since it is a watch, I can look at it anytime to check my progress during a workout, which wasn’t possible on a phone (if it is strapped). I used to get the feedback after every kilometer or so.
- This is also an activity tracker i.e. to track my steps and sleep. It allows me to have a check on my activity level which if I want to use with a phone, isn’t very accurate with APPS like Google Fit.
One more thing, I am also connected with the running communities and I can see the progress and training patterns of other people which is very helpful at times.