GPS Running Watches for high-tech athletes are just here. But which is the best GPS running watch for all serious runners?
I spent several years of training with a heart rate monitor. It is the best way to improve my fitness training at the right intensity because I know that I will not be over or under training. It’s also a perfect running partner because it helps me to be motivated all the time and it gives me the evidence of my progress. It’s like to have the perfect coach who has the exact data to tell you what you need to do at each step.
After a couple of years, technology came up with a new product: the foot pod. With it paired with my training watch, I can track more data: real-time running speed and distance. Now I have a lot of information in my wrist unit display. My training is getting better and my motivation is ready for the next performance. But is this already the perfect partner, or not? Not yet…
Now, with the miniaturization of the GPS technology, the most important computer training watches brands and the high-tech GPS enterprises are developing the perfect partner for the runners. The running GPS watch merged with computerized information compilation with GPS monitoring. Now I also can compare the data about my heart rate, my pace, speed and distance with the route on a map after the training session. The analysis of my training could not be better. If there’s a rise or a slope I will know it at the exact point and I will see how my body reacts. Monitoring and analyzing my training data give me the possibility to improve performance by planing my next running session.
But, who better better all this technology? Which is the best GPS computerized running watch? We have four main brands who are developing the perfect runner partner: Polar, Garmin, Timex and Suunto. While Timex has only one model and it points very fragile and Suunto is little known world-wide but with a very good product, I will focus in Garmin and Polar. Garmin was first to introduce this technology in this field, we know well Garmin for its GPS on the road solutions. Garmin is the one that has more watch models available. Starting with the Forerunner 101, an entry-level GPS-enabled personal trainer for only $115; and ending with the complete Forerunner 405CX for $470. It has a very good product with an excellent software for all the analysis we want to do. Polar is the reference brand for everybody. It caters to all levels of fitness by offering a comprehensive product range and recently, it came across the GPS technology. It introduces the GPS pod that you can pair with your Polar compatible watch. On the other hand, Garmin incorporates the receiver GPS in the watch itself and with much better technology and analysis.
Let me compare the Polar RS800CX MULTI with the top Garmin product: the Garmin Forerunner 405CX. Despite that Polar Software is only compatible with Windows (polar software developers please take note!), if you are a serious runner, triathlete, coaches and you want the complete and most serious analysis about your training or performance, this is your choice: Polar RS800CX. Garmin is more focused on the popular market while Polar is for people who understand what they want, people who will improve the RS800CX measures for develop more efficiently their performance, their training, it is focused to the professionals. Garmin Forerunner 405CX will be similar to Polar RS30 G1, but is far from the top Polar product: RS800CX.