Running may well be the most popular activity for people looking to get and stay fit. This accessible hobby can be done with or without a gym membership, and you can choose to do it on your own or with friends.
So what’s the best way to track your running distance, speed, and other data? While you can follow your running progress using a smartphone, smartwatches are an even better solution. When a watch is strapped to your wrist, there’s no need to worry about dropping a phone or carrying any extra tech. All your need to do is fasten your watch, and it’ll take care of the data insights for you.
Whether you’re new to the running watch world, or perhaps you’re ready to upgrade your running watch, keep on reading. We can help you find a watch to suit your running needs.
Scroll down to find out more!
What Features Does a Running Smartwatch Offer?
Typically, a running watch will have a variety of tracking features. These allow users to record the physical distance they’ve run while monitoring their elevation and pace too.
Smartwatches also offer health metrics, such as a heart rate tracker or a SpO2 monitor. These elements let you know how your body’s coping with the exercise. Health monitors are another excellent way to see how your body progresses over time. They can also be used to work out whether you should train or rest.
An excellent running smartwatch should also provide music streaming or storage. While this doesn’t sound like a running essential, music or podcasts are a great way to stay motivated, especially on long runs. Besides, if you’re leaving your smartphone at home in favor of a running watch, you want that watch to do everything your smartphone did, including play your favorite workout music.
Common smartwatch running features:
- Heart rate monitor
- SpO2 sensor
- Distance and elevation tracking
- GPS data
- Cadence and pace tracking
- Music streaming or storage
- Incident/fall detection
- Workout modes (pre-programmed to help users run)
- Recovery modes (will let users know when to rest to avoid an injury)
Advantages & Disadvantages Of A Running Smartwatch
Still unsure whether a running smartwatch will benefit your fitness schedule? To help you make a decision, here are some crucial advantages and disadvantages of running smartwatches.
- Recovery mode options will help you tailor your running workouts to your physical needs, reducing your chance of an injury.
- Fall detection and other emergency response features gives runners the confidence to run alone.
- You can easily access your health data at any time.
- Running watches are lightweight and comfortable to wear.
- Most running watches come with standard smartwatch features, such as messages and notifications. Some also come with contactless payment systems.
- GPS modes help you navigate while you’re out running. They also allow you to visualize your running routes.
- Smartwatches with workout modes give you on-wrist running coaching.
- Many worry that they won’t want to use the extra running features often enough, and the watch won’t be worth the money.
- GPS usage sometimes depletes the smartwatch charge very quickly.
- Not all runners want complicated health metrics. Some might be happier with a simple fitness tracker.
How Can a Smartwatch Improve Your Running?
Whether your goal is to hit a new personal best or to lose a bit of weight, a running watch can complement your routine. Since a smartwatch records your data, you can keep an eye on how you’re improving. This is ideal for those who want to run faster or improve their heart rate levels.
A running watch will also suggest running tips and tricks, allowing you to hit your fitness goals. These tips will usually be found on workout settings or recovery data.
Some people like to use a running watch to discover new running routes. GPS features and distance trackers are essential for those who like to know where they are when they’re on the run.
Can a Smartwatch Help Your Recovery?
Typically, recovery modes estimate the time needed to relax and rest. This often ranges from a few hours to a few days, depending on your fitness levels. When you work with this information, you might discover more about your body’s needs. You’re also more likely to give yourself a break when you need it, making your exercise routine more enjoyable overall.
These features aren’t available on all smartwatches, though, so make sure you read the running watch description carefully.
Here are some of the most common running smartwatch questions!
Can you run with a smartwatch without a phone?
Many smartwatches need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network or a mobile phone to access any internet apps. If you don’t want to bring your phone on runs, an LTE or 4G smartwatch might be for you, as these can connect to wireless networks without a phone.
On the other hand, some smartwatch trackers don’t need an internet or cell connection. So if you’re willing to go without music streaming or other online apps, you can run without your phone.
Which smartwatch should I get for running?
We’ve searched the market for watches that are optimized to meet runners’ needs. From high-tech options to simple watches, explore the 12 best running watches here. Popular running watch brands include Fitbit, Garmin, and Apple.
Compare prices and choose your favorite merchant in the table below.
|Fitbit Charge 5||Amazon||View Offer|
|Fitbit Charge 5||eBay||View Offer|
|Fitbit Charge 4||eBay||View Offer|
|Fitbit Charge 5||Fitbit||View Offer|
Which apps work best for running?
Though many smartwatches come with built-in running features, you can also download extra apps to learn more about your fitness levels. These third-party apps let you record your routes, set your goals, and save your fitness data. The Apple Watch series offers a lot of external running apps to help users boost their personal bests. Explore some of the best running apps here.
Compare prices and choose your favorite merchant to buy the Apple Watch
|Apple Watch 8||Amazon||Check Price|
|Apple Watch 7||Amazon||Check Price|
|Apple Watch 7||eBay||Check Price|
|Watch Ultra||Amazon||Check Price|
|Apple Watch 7||Apple||View offer|
|Apple Watch 7||Target||View offer|
|Apple Watch SE 2||Amazon||View offer|
The Bottom Line
Perhaps you feel like something is missing from your running routine, or maybe you want to watch your progress to improve your motivation. Many reasons lead runners to try a running watch, and most never look back. Try improving your fitness with a running smartwatch this year–it’s an ideal way to get fit and enjoy a new accessory simultaneously.
Want to find out more about fitness trackers? See our top picks for fitness bands here.
Last Updated on February 3, 2022
Isobel is a freelance copy and content writer who regularly contributes to Superwatches. Well-versed in all the ins and outs of the smartwatch industry. Isobel specializes in Fashion and design and is a First Class fashion design graduate.
Currently lives in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.