Choosing Heart Rate Running Monitor Watches in a Heartbeat

A lot of people are attracted to running as their physical activity of choice because of the absence of significant equipment.  After all, when people engage in various sports, they need to have a racket, a ball, or other devices that could prove cumbersome or pricey for some. Going to the gym may require yearly membership commitments that a lot of people would like to stay away from, because of financial or obligatory concerns.  Running is freer, and does not really give the person a sense of obligation to invest on equipment, among others.  However, with more serious runners, having a running monitor watch has proven to be a worthwhile investment.

This does not really mean that a runner cannot run or perform well without a running monitor watch for their heart rate.  This device is not really a prerequisite for a runner to be into it, as opposed to having a pair of running shoes.  But then again, having and sporting a particular watch for runners may show your commitment to your chosen sport; proof that the wearer is really serious about running. But beyond the aesthetics and the bragging rights, a watch for runners also has functions that can contribute to the improvement of the runner’s level of fitness.

For example, a running monitor watch that is equipped with a heart rate monitor easily informs the runner how intense his or her running workout has been.  Moreover, this information can be stored, so that from week to week, the runner can see changes with his or her fitness level and can modify accordingly. There are many ways a heart rate monitor can be used by runners. In order for a person to become more fit, or if the runner wants to go faster or run longer, the intensity of his or her workouts is an important factor, and knowing this information through a watch that has a heart rate monitor is a step in a positive direction.

The Greatest Running Shoe Never Sold

I found this interesting article over at, of all places, Businessweek. It’s title, The Greatest Running Shoe Never Sold. Here’s an excerpt.

Athletic brands spend millions every year trying to build a better sneaker that will propel them to the front of the $6.3 billion running shoe business, one of the biggest and most visible areas of sporting goods, with 11 percent growth in 2011, according to industry analyst SportsOneSource. Nearly all sneakers have a sole that looks like lasagna, composed of layers of rubber, foam, and plastic. The fluffy foam is made from ethylene-vinyl acetate, or EVA, which has its critics: EVA adds weight to shoes, and lab tests show it requires more energy per stride. Running shoe companies have long sought an EVA substitute that absorbs shock but also returns more energy. “Consumers like the cushioned feeling associated with a conventional running shoe,” says Darren Stefanyshyn, a University of Calgary researcher and former chairperson of the Footwear Biomechanics Group. “If you could provide that without using foam, you’d have a winner.”

Although I’m enjoying my half-minimalist Chi running style, just like running watches, I enjoy trying new shoes. Just ask my kids as they always have a name for them. For example, I’m wearing my bumble bee shoes right now (Merrell trail glove). Some of the technology discussed is almost as jargon filled as reading a GPS running watch review. But, an interesting read for today.

Considering GPS Watch Reviews When Shopping

For runners who think they have outgrown their first runner watch, looking for one that has updated and more sophisticated features may be in order. One of the features that would greatly benefit a serious runner is a GPS feature.  It is no wonder why GPS watch reviews are tools that runners look into when selecting a new watch for running.  After all, GPS running watches are one of the new key technologies offered to people that are more concerned with their fitness.  Those who are looking for GPS watch reviews are convinced that having a GPS feature in their watches for running is a perfect addition to their fitness device.  While running watches are already great for those who are serious about running as way to improve their conditioning, the addition of a GPS feature in a runner watch makes the whole experience that much better.

But with various GPS watches offering varied features, which one should a runner choose?  This would depend on how intense or how serious the runner is with his or her running habit.  Some GPS watches allow the runner to let the watch remember information of the run, especially the important data such as the distance traveled and the runner’s average speed.  This data is automatically transferred to the runner’s computer for all data and stats to be easily compared and contrasted.  For those who are more concerned with the health benefits of running, a GPS heart rate watch would be something they should look into, as it detects if a run is effective as an aerobic exercise. This increases the heart rate, which in turn, makes a person lose more calories and therefore, make the runner healthier and stronger.

GPS watch reviews are required reading for anyone thinking of upgrading their current watch. You may even learn how GPS works. Those reviews can focus on a myriad of features. A few to consider: a running watch should be lightweight and have a screen that easily tells the runner the information the GPS is tracking.  It would be a waste for a runner to slow down and read their device because he or she can’t make out what is being displayed in the runner watch.

Selecting the Best Watch for Runners

Running has become a very popular fitness activity for a lot of people over the past few years.  For one, it allows people to appreciate the outdoors.  The activity also lets them clear their minds as they solitarily find their stride, away from a lot of people, unlike team sports. Also, running does not involve any expensive equipment, except a dependable pair of running shoes. But then, for those who want to take running to the next level and really get serious with it, they should check out how a watch for runners can benefit them.

It is most likely that people reading this are not really all that familiar with what a watch for runners can do to a fitness buff who has just taken up running.  But then, there may also be some readers who have a runner’s watch already and would like to upgrade their basic model to a more advanced device.  Thus, they would like to know what the best watch for running is.

The good news is, somebody looking for a watch for runners would not have difficulty looking for one, as the choices are far from scarce, considering how much growth there is in the market for sport watches. But then, most beginners may lean towards models that look sleek and flashy, although they may not really be the best watch for running.  For design, it would be better for the runner to choose a watch that has a rugged design.  While it is true that running is not really a rough and tumble activity, running is still physical, which means something that has a sleek and dainty design may look out of place.  Of course, the watch has to withstand the elements, especially sweat, rain, and anything liquid that the runner may splash onto himself or herself in long-distance runs.  Thus, water resistance and durability should be present in the watches the runner is considering.  For the more advanced runners, heart monitors and GPS devices would of course be beneficial.

Some Necessary Features of Runner Watches

For those who want to go on occasional leisurely runs to make their hearts healthy and keep in shape, a runner watch is not really a necessity. However, for those who are serious in the business of maintaining their health and getting better in running, running watches would prove to be a huge help.  This device would assist in making a run more interesting, as it would tell the runner his or her speed at particular intervals, how far and how long the run has been going on, and therefore, tell the runner if any improvements have been made since he or she has started to take up running. But, what are some necessary features of runner watches?

But this information on runner watches are mostly about men’s running watches or unisex watches.  With regard to ladies running watches, the selection is not well advertised.  But then, there are specific characteristics, particularly in design, that should be present in a ladies running watch, like smaller faces, brighter hues and more curvy and lightweight feel.  But then, no matter whether the topic is about a men’s or womens running watch, there are particular features that anyone shopping for them should be looking for.

Even a basic runner watch should include some straightforward functions, the first of which is sufficient memory.  This memory will be used to record important data that can be compared to check the runner’s progress, such as his or her number of laps for distance work and lap times for speed work.  This function is closely related to two other functions that are deemed important: a timer and a lap counter.  Of course, the runner cannot calculate how fast he or she is without a timer (both ordinary and standard) and how his or her capacity to tackle longer distances may have improved without a lap counter.  Of course, other features such as easy to access buttons, a readable screen, and being water resistant also spell more benefits for the serious runner.

Relaunch of Running Watch Review

Welcome to the relaunch of Running Watch Review. We have made a number of improvements to make researching the best running watch for you easier.

To start, the site has receive a full redesign. We are now using a standard template to make finding watches easier. We have new categories: full featured watches, heart rate monitor watches and GPS watches. In addition, you can also sort by your favorite brand.

The most exciting change is the addition of the new rating system. On a star scale of 1 to 5, you can now find an overall Editor rating as well as a rating for Design, Usability and Features of each running watch we review. If you have something to say, feel free to comment and provide your own rating on any watch.

Enjoy the new website. Please help support us by clicking on the buy links from our sponsors. You’ll also get a great deal on your favorite watch.

Exercise Watch for Running, Fitness Watch

Watches for running can be very specialized, but most runners will get great use out of a general exercise watch.

Generally speaking, most people who run do not use all the features of a high-end running watch. An exercise watch that has a simple chronograph will work just fine. A chronograph is simply a timer. You press a button to start the timer and you press the same or a different button to stop the timer. At the end, the exercise watch will display the number of minutes and seconds that have elapsed.

A fitness watch is the same as an exercise watch. At its core, it contains a chronograph timer. You can use the term fitness watch or exercise watch to mean a watch for running.

Most fitness and exercise watches are digital. Digital quartz will get you the most accurate time. But, unless you are running a timed 100 meter dash, accuaracy that is off within a second is fine.

Running Watch Bracelet – Plastic or Velcro Watch Strap

With the complexity of running watches today, the runner has a difficult choice to make. However, one of the most overlooked aspects has nothing to do with the watch face or any of the features; it is the watch strap, also known as the watch bracelet.

Watches come with several different types of straps. Let’s start with what a running watch will not work with. Metal bracelets are almost never found on a runner’s watch. Leather is never found on a digital watch for runners as it will absorb all your sweat and quickly become dirty.

Most running watches come with a nylon velcro strap or a black plastic strap.

The benefit of the velcro strap is that you get a perfect fit, everytime, on your wrist. When running, you know that your watch will be secure and not move as you cover the roads and trails.

However, some nylon velcro straps are not comfortable. They may hold your sweat making the band heavier than it needs to be. The toughest part of wearing a velcro watch band is that the velcro can sometimes chafe or irritate your skin.

Most running watch straps are simply made of plastic (also called polyurethane) with a hook and loop to secure the band to your wrist. Sometimes, you don’t get a perfect fit, resulting in some small movement of the watch on your wrist. What most runners like about the plastic strap is that it is easy to clean. So, you can sweat all day and wash the strap with warm soapy water at night

Running and GPS Runner Watches, Pedometer Watch

A GPS running watch is quickly becoming commonplace for runners of all types. Although most of you are familiar with the common use of GPS,  to get directions while driving, a GPS runner watch has a different purpose. A GPS watch is also known by another name, a pedometer watch.

A GPS watch for runners is primarily used to track the distance you have run. With some watches, you can track the distance of your run down to the 100th of a mile or kilometer. With an accurate distance run, you can log this in your running diary and know that the distance is exact. Runners who have become hooked on their GPS watch have been known to hit the end of their run, only to keep going a few more meters just to hit an exact number.

Another key use for a GPS running watch is to map out your running routes. This is a great feature to know that a particular route you run is a specific distance. This is how runners have come to love certain runs, for example, a park loop that is exactly 5 miles.

Running watches with GPS have several different features. Generally, the higher the price, the more features you get. Typically, you want to make sure that your GPS watch can connect to your computer or the Internet so that your runs can be automatically saved.

Pulse and Heart Rate Watches for Runners

One of the most popular types of watches for runners is the heart rate watch, also known as the pulse watch or heart rate monitor. Watches with this function have the ability to monitor your heart rate, some while the runner is standing still and others can monitor your heart as you are running.

Heart rate monitor watches are used primarily for one of two purposes. First, as a safety device. Some runners require the monitor to ensure that their heart rate is at a safe level Most runners use the pulse watch as a training device to optimize their workouts. This is the usage that we’ll discuss here.

The two main types of heart rate watches measure your pulse with either a strap around your chest or simply from the watch on your wrist. It used to be the case that those with straps would have a higher level of accuracy. However, heart rate monitors with the monitor on the wrist have increased their accuracy.

Monitoring your pulse during training could help improve your running performance. One straightforward way to use the monitor for your race training is to reach and maintain a threshold. For example, if you are training for a 5K or 10K race, you may strive to reach a peak heart rate that can be maintained for the duration of the race. Naturally, the longer marathon will require different training.

Watch Glossary

Acrylic Crystal: This is a plastic that is used for many of the faces of running watches. Although it is resistent to shattering, it does scratch easily. Typically, you can use some toothpaste to polish out the scratches.

Alarm: A typical function of most watches found on a runner’s wrist is the alarm. You can program it to beep at a specified time.

Battery EOL: Battery End Of Life indicator. Your watch numbers will flash, or a screen warning will indicate when your watch battery is low.

Calendar: Most runners watches have a built in calendar with various calendar and reminder type features. However, the calendar is typically used just to show you the day of the week.

Chronograph: The chronograph is possibly the single most important feature of your watch. Time is measured usually from tenth or hundredth of a second to hours and sometimes days. A typical runners watch will also have a chronograph memory to store your time and a split mechanism.

Crown: In rare instances, a runner’s watch will have a crown. The crown is used in analog watches for winding and setting the time. In a digital watch, it is sometimes used for similar purposes.

Crystal: Typical types of crystal are acrylic, mineral (glass) and sapphire. Essentially, these are used to cover the dial (or face) of the watch.

Dial: The dial is also known as the face of the watch. The numbers show through the dial.

GPS (Geo-Positioning System): This is the technology that allows some running watches to track your position providing reasonable estimations of the distance of your run.

LCD Display (Liquid Crystal Display): The common display mechanism of most watches used by runners.

Luminova: This is the glow-in-the-dark material used by most watches to provide a nightime glow.

Mineral Crystal: Scrath resistant watch crystal that is essentially glass.

O-Ring: The back of the watch which is either pressed-in or screwed on. Provides resistence from water

Quartz: An oscillating quartz watch is known for its accuracy and use in digital watches. The watch battery powers the oscillating quartz crystal to run the display.

Shock-Resist: Watch components that are protected by shock absorbing material are shock resistent.

Water Resistant: Water resistancy in watches is usually measured in meters, meaning they can withstand submersion to the recommended level.