10 Reason to get a GPS Watch in 2019
Here is a little secret to successful training wither it is for a coming 5k or a marathon in 6 months. It is the GPS watch which stands for Global Position Satellite. Some athletes who use it including myself say it is like cheating. Here are 10 reasons why and why you might want to start cheatinging as well. IF YOU WANT TO WATCH MY VIDEO INSTEAD CLICK HERE. https://youtu.be/_kUV5ZEHb7M
Reason #1 is the most obvious accurate mileage for your workouts. If you’re training for a marathon, which if you don’t know it is 26.2 miles and you need to run 18 miles you don’t want to find out that you actually only did 15. As embarrassing as it is I once ran what I thought was a 7 mile run only to find out it was 4.5 miles. My mother actually was the one who said “sone that is in no way 7 miles, drive it”. Ooy! She was right. Bottom line you want to know your mileage and you want it accurate.
Reason #2 If your goal is to run or walk your event/race in a specific time you are going to need to train at a specific pace. Such as if your goal is to break a 3 hour marathon you’ll need to run under a 6:50 minute mile pace according to my Google assistant. GPS watches can not only display your current pace some can display your average pace which may be more important for you timely goal.
Reason #3 Many GPS watches not only can wirelessly connect to a very accurate heart rate strap that can be worn across your chest, but many current GPS watches come with a built in wrist heart rate reader as part of the watch itself. Although not as accurate as a chest strap unit they are much more convenient and practical for most of us, I included. Your heart can tell you a lot about your training and health so I highly recommend getting a GPS watch that includes a built in heart rate monitor. More important I recommend understanding at least the basics of how to utilize the all so important information your heart can provide.
Reason #4 Some, not all GPS watches can display your cadence. What is that you ask? Cadence is how many steps or in the bike world how many time you spin the pedals around per minute. Again for you runners. Cadence is how many steps per minute, aka SPM. This piece of information is helpful as it offers a clear presentation of your overall running technique and sometimes conditioning. A known sweet spot is 180 per minute, that 90 per side. Left foot 90 and right foot 90 just to be clear. Too low of a number like 140 means your out of shape and/or your over striding. On the other end 220 or more is too many and isn’t efficient resulting in early burn out. Many running form issues can be corrected simply by raising your SPM. Keep in mind don’t jump straight up to 180. Anyway, it is great information that GPS watch can provide.
Reason #5 Unlike traditional stopwatches GPS watches typically have rechargeable batteries which is much better than dumping batteries out. Just beware of no name brands with junky batteries. Also there are a big range of battery charge life spans. Lower price point GPS watches may only have 3-4 hours which will be a problem if your planning to do a marathon. Others like the Garmin Fenix 5 shown have a 24 hour battery like and can even be set up to 40 hours. This is great for someone doing an ultra marathon, but keep in mind this setting will reduce it accuracy for distance.
Reason #6 Here is mouth full. Collection of past training information. What the what? Many GPS watches connect wirelessly to an app you can install on your smartphone. This app can collect and store all your workouts so you can look back at them. Many coaches recommend and even require you have this so they can log in and see your training performance and how your hopefully improving. This is one of my favorite features as it is so much easier to look at all that information on a smartphone screen compared to a small low resolution watch screen.
Reason #7 Have you ever walked, hiked or ran, heck biked a trail and had no idea how to get back to the start? Well, let me tell ya, it sucks especially when it's 100 degrees. Anyway, this is a fairly high end feature, but some GPS watches actually can display maps. YEP! Maps with directions back to where you started. This feature ranges from simple bread crumb maps and others have complete in color maps with trail heads to help direct your back to the start. Very helpful. Unfortunately usually only on pricier watch options. A great start with basic bread crumbs is the Garmin Instinct. I’ll talk about that more later on.
Reason #8 Okay we got most of the key training and functional reasons to get a GPS watch, but here just a cool everyday reason. Many if not all can be used as an Activity Tracker like a Fitbit. If fact many Fitbits have GPS and can be used as both an Activity Tracker and a training watch for light use. Basically your not gonna get much use from it training for a 100 miler, but put to a half marathon is possible as long as it has a great battery or your really fast. GPS will drain the battery so buy accordingly. Also keep in mind after 6-12 months batteries can lose their steam so again go with something that has better battery life for anything over a 10K. And just Incase you don’t know a 10K is 6.2 miles and a hapl marathon is 13.1. Rule #7 Never assume!
Reason #9 Beyond being just an Activity Trainer many GPS watches have Smartwatch features like connection to your phone and alerting you of emails and text messages. This is great if you want one watch for training, activity tracking and work when you always need to know when someone is trying to reach you. Some like the Applewatch can even do phone calls. Yes, I once got a phone call in the middle of a run and yes it is very annoying. Luckily you can turn this feature off which not only allows you to complete you workout in peace, but great saves your battery.
Reason #10 okay this is a fairly new reason, but all so important. Only a few GPS watches have this feature, but I assume many going forward will include this and it is Emergency Alerts in the case of an unfortunate situation happens like you crash on your bike or you have a heart attack. Sadly these things do happen. In my case I almost had a very bad day on a trail run a couple years ago in 106 degree weather. This feature would have at least made me feel much more safe. In the meantime, I strongly recommend Road ID. Check them out, great product and company and they guy with that had the heart attack. Well, Road ID saved his life.
Okay all. That is my top 10 reasons to make a GPS watch part of your training equipment. Hope that helps and let me know what you think or if you have any other questions please leave it below.