gps for fitness

December 15, 2014

Finding the Best Sports GPS Watch with Speed and Distance Capabilities

Investing in a watch that can track both speed and distance accurately is always a priority of those who would like to engage in serious sports such as cycling, rowing, running or any outdoor sport that involves rapid velocity and lots of movement. Some features to take note of for sports watch models for these kinds of sports include the ability to track both speed and distance over a session or groups of sessions, as well as record elevation above sea-level and capability to navigate between pace and distance alerts, marked locations  and offer speed.

The pedometer, accelerometer foot pod and GPS are the three main technologies used by several leading model sports watches for distance and speed monitoring. One of the cheaper and least accurate pedometer watches is the Tech 4 O series. These watches base its calculation on the number of steps you’ve accomplished to measure your distance and speed.

One of the cheapest of GPS watches is the Timex Ironman T5E701. Some of its main features include a countdown timer, a 100-lap memory and an odometer that adds up the total distance for one or several workouts. Currently, the Garmin Forerunner models 205, 305 and 405 are most sought-after. What a lot of people don’t know, though, is the fact that the 305 and 405 are also compatible with the optional foot pod, just in case accuracy is still an issue with their GPS functionality.

Foot pods function to measure distance and speed of based on the user’s cadence and leg speed. Their accuracy is comparable to a GPS watch but usually requires calibration. Compared to GPS devices, they can be used with buildings and large objects and works wonderfully indoors. One disadvantage of a GPS device is its inability to function properly in an enclosed space, and typically requires unobstructed areas in order to pick up signals from satellites. However, foot pods are not recommended for kayaking or rowing and they can neither plot a course in 3D nor monitor altitude.

Other recent models of GPS watches that are worth mentioning are the Polar RS800CX and the Suunto Trainer Series watches, the Timex Ironman Bodylink watches and the GlobalSat GH-25M watches.

The Timex, Polar and Suunto GPS watches are usually partnered with an optional add on pod that can easily be strapped or clipped to your body. These GPS pods are, as mentioned, are not required and do not always come with the watch. The GlobalSat and the Forerunner, on the other hand, can both function individually without the need for add on pods.

Whatever sport or activity you choose to engage in, especially those that require moving from one point to another, don’t forget to bring with you a sports watch that can measure both distance and speed, monitor how far you’ve covered or plot the path you’ve taken for easy reference. Best of all, don’t forget to enjoy life to the fullest!