How to Choose the Right GPS Watch

A GPS watch is a tool that can enhance your training—if you pick the one best suited for you.

GPS watches track time, distance, pace and calories, and come equipped with numerous features and training aids. But it can be difficult to find the right watch with so many brands and models available.

More: Active Gear Scout: Heart Rate Monitors and GPS Watches

Here are four questions to ask yourself when shopping for a GPS watch:

How Often Will You Use It?

Budget GPS watches cost around $100—about the same as a pair of running shoes. Figure out how often and how far you run to determine whether it's worth buying a GPS watch. Beginner runners might not benefit from using a GPS watch if their runs are short or infrequent.

A smartphone fitness app may be a better option for new runners. Most apps have the same functions as a basic GPS watch. They're also less accurate, not as durable, and come with fewer features.

More6 Running Apps to Pick Up the Pace

What Will You Use it For?

GPS watches are most commonly used for running. But they can also be worn while cycling, swimming, hiking, skiing, rowing, or kayaking. Just about any outdoor sport can be tracked with a GPS watch.

It's important to think about the activities where you will use your GPS watch and ensure it has compatible features. For example, not all watches can be worn in the water. If you plan on swimming with your watch, make sure it's waterproof to at least 30 meters.Some watches are designed primarily for triathletes. They come with features that make it easy to quickly transition from one sport to another. If you are not a triathlete, determine whether a watch with these features would be useful.

More: How to Set Realistic Time Goals for Your Next Triathlon

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