Sunday, March 18, 2012

Do You Need a GPS Watch?

running-strava-jogging

GPS watches have been around for quite a while, but with the recent explosion of smartwatches, they have become more and more prevalent. It seems like you can’t turn around without seeing someone jogging along, staring down at their wrist, or hearing about the latest and greatest running watch that you simply must have to measure everything under the sun. There’s almost a pressure to track yourself when you jog. But, do you really need a GPS watch?

The short, easy answer is no. You don’t really need a GPS watch to run or do any sport. The long answer is that it really depends on what you’re doing and what your reasons for that activity are. Depending on your motivation, a GPS sport watch can actually be invaluable. If you are deciding if you need a GPS watch, then there are a couple things you should consider.

GPS Watches Track Your Stats

If you’re training for something or have a specific goal in mind for your activity, then having access to all of the stats that a GPS tracker offers will be very helpful. Basic GPS watches track steps, distance, and calories burned, while more advanced watches can plot your path, measure heart rate, and guide your workout.

However, if you’re only running just to run, then you probably don’t need all of that. It can be really nice to track all of those stats, but without a purpose it may actually do you more harm than good. So if you’re just running to run, then it might be best to pass.

GPS Watches are Great Motivators

For the competitive people, having a GPS watch or some sort of tracker can really help with motivation. Sure, a phone can track your stats, but you can’t exactly look at that while you’re on the run. Being able to check it as you go and know that you’ve only got another mile and you’re still feeling fresh is motivating. It can help you push yourself and better measure your activity on the fly.

GPS Watches are Expensive

Depending on what kind of watch you get, a GPS watch could set you back around $200, with some of them going for as much as $500. Of course, that depends entirely on how often you’re going to use it and whether you want to get one of the fancy ones, like the Fenix 5, which can be worn during the day as well as on a run.

If you’re just going to use it for an afternoon jog, remember that your phone can do almost everything that  GPS watch can, and you probably already own a phone. Of course, that means that you’ll have to lug a phone along with you. But, if you’re like me and you need tunes to work out, then you are likely already going to have your phone on you.

So, do you use a GPS watch? How frequently? What brand? Leave a note below and let me know!

 

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