22 April 2013 by Shifali Rao
What most runners look for in their GPS companion is a set of features an athlete would require on his daily run. A runner's GPS is a lightweight wrist mount that straps onto your hand like a watch, so they're often also called running watches.
What features are useful?
Then, there's the speed and distance tracker that is a great advantage to almost any fitness oriented person. Say you want to keep track of exactly how consistent your pace is or how many kms you cover on an average, the GPS not only records this but also maintains a history of your daily run for as long as a year, so you can actually check on your gradual progress.
A dedicated running GPS or one meant for athletes generally has a heart rate monitor to make sure you're not overdoing your workouts. The calorimeter is another great favorite for many who for health reasons or motivation, like knowing how many calories they've burned.
In general a GPS meant for running also offers features suitable for other outdoor activities like cycling, swimming or hiking. So if you're a triathlete you get to switch between the modes for whichever sport you need.
Lastly, you need to consider what amount of battery life you may require. Most of the best running GPS units give you anywhere in the range of 8 to 20 hours and how much battery power one needs is a matter of preference.
As far as the build goes it's best to look for a GPS that won't weigh your arm down, weight limits are relative from person to person. Touchscreens are by far the best interfaces you can get today and wrist mounts generally have around 1 to 2 inch screens which are glove friendly. Today's GPS watches also have ports for connectivity to your computer.
Coming to your choice of brand, highly recommendable options are available from brands like Garmin, Tomtom and Motorola which you can check out in our listing below.
A heads up before you buy- Even the best GPS units for running are dedicated to your fitness routine at the cost of good navigation abilities. Although they provide pretty good basic navigation these GPS devices can not be used as a driving GPS and the likes.