Is It Worth Getting A Running Watch?
Is it worth getting a running watch? Many runners look at running watches and think, Is it worth it to me, or would I be better off without one?
Well, let’s start with the good. I love my running watch its a Garmin 245 And I love running with it. I love the fact that I can track my pace. And the fact that I can have running sessions on my watch means I don’t have to think about them.
So if I’m doing a speed session, they come up automatically on my watch. So, for example, if I’m doing two minutes at speed, two minutes rest, the watch will tell me when I need to do my two minutes speed. And then give me two minutes rest and then bleep again when I need to go again, which is much better than my old method of writing it on my arm.
So I think a running watch is a tremendous investment. However, there is a downside to running watches. And this is when you start to think of your running watch as your coach.
Your watch is the same tool as if you use a cooker for cooking your food or a microwave to cook your food. They are tools, but you don’t ask the oven or the microwave about your food. You trust your eyes, senses, and taste if your food is cooked.
So a running watch is very similar. It’s a great tool that you can use to track your pace, and it’s great to set up running sessions, but when people start looking at their running watches and having them coach them, and the watch tells them that their runs have been unproductive or it’s been productive or their VO2 Max is either high or it’s low.
I don’t feel that a running watch is accurate in that respect.
How Accurate Are Running Watches.
The point is, how accurate are running watches, and I think if you’re looking for them to track your distance and your pace, I think a good running watch, say like my Garmin 245, is good at following those factors.
When you start getting into things like heart rate, I think wrist-based heart rate monitors are not as accurate, but it’s fair to say that you can sync your running watch with a chest heart rate monitor. So that will make your heart rate readings more accurate.
I think where the inaccuracies arise, as I’ve said at the beginning of this article when looking for a running watch to coach you. So the running watch takes data from your run and runs it through an algorithm, and will start telling you if your running has been productive or non-productive.
And I feel all these readings and stats tend to be primarily inaccurate and because they’re inaccurate. They’re generally not very helpful in that respect.
So Can Running Watches Really Help?
I think they helped me tremendously. They’re a great tool. I would feel lost without them in many respects. I like to be able to check my pace. And I have my heart rate, strap monitor synced with my watch. So I get excellent heart rate readings.
And it means that I have seamless syncing with Strava. So I feel that a running watch is worth it. But I think you have to look at a running watch and understand what it is and what it isn’t.
And isn’t for me a replacement for my assessment of my running or that of a coach.
Why Are Running Watches So Expensive
I see that many people feel that running watches are expensive. And I hear that in comparison to many things.
I think the cost is in the eye of the beholder, really, in the respect that it’s only expensive if it’s not something that’s going to add value to your running and that you aren’t going to use regularly.
I use my running watch nearly every day. I wear it all day as my primary watch, and I use it in all my running. And so for me to pay £200, £250 or £300 is worth it, mainly as I won’t replace my running watch, probably for four to five years.
Like all these things, you can spend an awful lot of money that you do not need to.
So you need to decide the main features you require and don’t be lulled into buying features that you don’t need.
Often you can get the most basic running watch if all you want to track is pace and heart rate. Many of the other features in some of the more top-end watches most people never actually get around to using.