A GPS Sports watch is a great way to monitor your running. The watch will record the distance you are running, and give you the pace you are running at. Some watches have interval functions built in, heart rate recording features and can store music or podcasts on them.
- Garmin can probably be described as the market leader here, and offer basic GPS watches from £100.
- The Apple Watch is great for those that are into fitness, not just running, and syncs amazingly if you have an iPhone.
If you aren't into using a watch, all smartphones come with GPS as standard and you can use that to track your runs. The advantage of this is you aren't spending any more money, you can take your music with you and it'll just work.
The disadvantage is that phones seem to be getting bigger and bigger now and so you'll need a way of carrying that with you on a run and it isn't easy to just quickly glance to see how far (or fast) you've gone.
There are also many apps available to record your runs:
All the apps are free to download and try them out. See which one works for you.
There are a number of online sites that let you view your runs, routes and stats from the sessions.
- Garmin users will probably get on with Garmin Connect
- Strava has a great website witha lot of social features, it's a lovely way of connecting and supporting other runners too
Things to remember:
One danger of using any numbers-based tracking system is that it's very easy to get frustrated or disappointed with the numbers that are coming out. It's vital you keep the training in perspective and an eye on the bigger picture.
The only day your pace is going to matter is on race day. Everything you do before that is just training for the big day and you are more than likely training too hard if you are looking for Personal Bests in training.
Training is just that, training. It's designed to work a certain energy system (hence the effort levels you are running at) and the sessions are not there to show you how fit you are. One day you'll fly along, other days you'll feel like you are running through treacle! This is just the ebb and flow of endurance training, and nothing to worry about.