How to Compare GPS for Running: 5 Steps - MakeSureHow
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If you are serious about running and fitness, a GPS-enabled runner’s watch can be an invaluable tool for maximizing your performance. In addition to tracking your speed and mapping out your runs, these devices can provide a host of other tools to enhance your training, keep you safe and provide vital information about your workout.

Steps

  1. 1
    Connectivity and Tracking: One of the primary uses of any runner’s GPS watch is to track your runs. Many models simply track your progress via GPS a few times per minute, storing that data until you return home. Then you can connect a USB cable and download the information about your run, plotting your route on a map. Some GPS watches offer wireless uploads. You can store your data and analyze it over time, upload it to community websites to compare performance with other runners, or even submit it to personal trainers for a professional evaluation of your regimen. Some models even provide the ability to upload running routes to your GPS, allowing the device to guide you through an unfamiliar course and keep you on track.
  2. 2
    Monitors: Look for a watch that includes an integral heart monitor. This allows the device to keep track of your pulse rate, alerting you if you start to overexert yourself and helping you plan rest periods. In some cases, this involves a sensor pad that you must touch to provide the reading, forcing you to slow down or stop for accurate measurement. High-end heart monitors can communicate wirelessly with a chest harness, allowing you to track your heart rate throughout the course of your run. Some runner's watches even allow you to program regular notices for hydration, so you can keep yourself in top shape even under hot conditions.
  3. 3
    Battery Life: An important factor to consider with any runner’s GPS is battery life. Unlike normal watches, which can go a very long time on a single battery, GPS devices require more power to detect GPS satellite signals and extrapolate that data for position information. Choosing a device with a more robust battery can give you the freedom to take longer runs and explore new routes.
  4. 4
    Form Factor: While features are certainly important in any runner’s GPS watch, form factor and weight are other important considerations. The more features a device has, the bigger it will be, and even a difference of a few ounces can prove to be an annoyance over a long-distance run. Choose your GPS watch with an eye toward comfort as well as the features it offers.
  5. 5
    Accuracy: While a GPS running watch can give you a good idea of your running courses and times, the technology may not be as accurate as you would like. Typically, a GPS receiver can pinpoint its location to within a few meters, but buildings, mountains, and other land features can confuse the signal somewhat. This inaccuracy can introduce some variance into your lap times. If you want to improve your record keeping you can use a foot pod as a backup. Foot pods connect to one of your running shoes to measure your stride and speed, and can give you an alternate measurement of your lap times for maximum accuracy. However, they do need to be calibrated before use.

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Categories: GPS

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