Is a GPS watch for me?

This is a question we hear a lot from our runner friends.  They may see their running buddies with one; with them saying "you've got to get one!"  Or, there may be an article about the latest and greatest watch.  What most people leave out is the most important part.  "Do you actually NEED one?"  We carry Garmin GPS watches at GRO, and will use those models for comparison in this blog.  

Let's first talk about what exactly a GPS watch is.  GPS (global positioning system) "is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense." (from  The watch "talks" to the satellites about where it is.  The watch then turns that conversation into speed/pace.  Here's where the fun starts and where asking the question "do I actually need one?" comes into play.  Do you want the watch to give you feedback?  Do you want the watch for recovery features?  Do you want the watch to be used as a training log?  Do you want the watch to serve as a activity tracker?   Do you want the watch to help you train more efficiently?  If you answered "yes" to any of these, then a GPS watch might be for you.  Most people who are running can answer yes to some of those questions, though.  There are options for just over $100 that will give you speed/distance/time and some other timing features (Forerunner 25).  There are watches for just over $300 that will have built in Heart Rate (in the wrist strap), recovery advisory, bluetooth connectivity, smart apps, and almost everything else except the kitchen sink(Forerunner 735XT).  

Once you have the watch to suit your needs, where do you go from there?  Are you using it to simply track your distance or pace?  What do those numbers mean?  Have you ever looked down at your watch and said, "Wow I'm running fast today" or "wow, my pace is really bad today"?  My question is how do you know?  Is it based on previous runs?  Is it your feel?  Is it something that you "just know?"  Or do you have a specific set of paces that you can use as guidelines to get you though your different workouts?  Using a GPS watch is very simple to do, but using it to improve your fitness takes a little bit more.  Drop in to GRO to have our Garmin Whisperer help you work out what's best for you and get you started down the path of fitness/running!

Come in and grab your free gift with purchase of Garmin watch when mentioning this blog post!