Best Running Tracking Device?: Hello fellow... - Couch to 5K

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Best Running Tracking Device?


Hello fellow runners! Can somebody please help me . I want to buy a tracking device that will let me track my distance, route...etc.

I have heard of some of you mentioning a Garmin but I don't really know which is the best one to buy. Can someone please help me? I am only just starting C25k and I have just done week 2 run 2 so starting week 3 soon.

Hope someone can help as I don't want to spend lots of money on a device which may not be suitable.

Best wishes, happy running, Beenal xxx

17 Replies

You don't necessarily need to purchase a dedicated tracking "device" - do you own a "smart" phone of some kind??


Try Runkeeper - a free app on the phone. Probably does all you want for the moment.


Have a look at the TomTom range, I have the runner and a seperate heart rate monitor called a Mio link


I like Runkeeper too, it does everything I want, just download to a Smart phone and off you go. There are others similar too, MayMyRun and Endomondo...I'm sure there are others..


I would suggest any of the following (in rough order of cost / features)

Garmin Forerunner 10 (this doesn't work with a heart rate monitor strap)

Garmin Forerunner 15

Polar M400

Garmin Vivoactive

All except the first one can be bought in a bundle with a heart rate monitor strap (which you have next to the skin under running top). You can also buy a heart rate monitor for these at a later stage. Also all except the first one does some sort of all day activity monitoring such as steps taken.

I find that DC Rainmaker does the most comprehensive review of these types of gadgets, as luck would have it he has reviewed all of these:

FR 10

FR 15



Myself I have a Forerunner 110 and a Forerunner 305. If I were to buy a new watch today I probably would buy the M400 or the Vivoactive. The Vivoactive can also track indoor swimming, Walking and bicycling. The M400 has really neat features focused solely on running which gives feedback on your (hopefully) improving fitness.

Good luck!

Bazza1234Graduate in reply to fredl


Do you ever find with either of your two units that sometimes the HRM registers extremely high ( and obviously wrong) HR numbers?? I have a cheapie HRM which works quite well -- until it goes beserk. I was wearing it in the car on the way to Parkrun on Saturday - it was working fine for most of the trip and then went beserk - as soon as I got out of the car it returned to normal operation for the rest of the day. It IS a cheap unit - but am wondering if more expensive units have the same problem??

fredlGraduate in reply to Bazza1234

Way back in time when I used a Polar Heart Rate monitor watch (this is probably in 2003 or so) and would run under big power lines, it would freak out. The transmission on those older Polars was analogue, so distortions could be misinterpreted quite easily. Is suspect that some units still use analogue transmissions (it has it's upside as well, they work underwater).

If it is a Garmin or similar unit I would suspect that either the fit is off or the conductivity. Have you tried using gel on the electrodes? It's the same type of gel they use for ECG, ultrasound, TENS etc etc. I have a big tube of blue goop which seems to last forever and was quite inexpensive. Water or saliva doesn't work as well in my experience.

I try to use gel on all colder days since I tend to perspire less due to the dold.

Bazza1234Graduate in reply to fredl

I have been using water to start with - and it is very humid here so I sweat a LOT!!! But have tried using natural Aloe Vera gel - haven't tried any commercial stuff yet. So you dont have any problems with your Garmins??

fredlGraduate in reply to Bazza1234

Not when using a gel. It is important that the gel has good conductive properties, otherwise it might just worsen the problem.

Bazza1234Graduate in reply to fredl

OK - will have to see if I can get some.

old_gitGraduate in reply to fredl

Heard mixed reviews about the Vivoactive. Was going to get one but apparently it is difficult to see in some light conditions.

I have a Garmin 310, it's old but i can read it without my glasses!

fredlGraduate in reply to old_git

Monochrome displays are often easier to read, but very unsexy these days. I probably would have preffered a device with VA:s functionality but with a full set of physical buttons and a monochrome display. The market demands color though (and touch screens).

I too was on the verge of ordering the VA but since I could breathe new Life into my Forerunner 305 with some solvent and q-tips I most likely will wait for a spell.


I am using Adidas MiCoach and its working really well for me. There is a separate Heart Rate Monitor if you wanted to spend a little bit, but as @Bazza1234 stated, if you have a smart phone there are loads of free apps.


I use runkeeper on my phone too, you can run it alongside C25K app :)


Don't overlook the Mio link if you want a heart rate monitor, its not a chest version, works superb and on your wrist, review it.


Wow! So many replies! Thanks a lot my run chums. I will try downloading the Runkeeper app. Thank you all again, you are all really helpful. If I fancy something a bit more hi tech I will have a re read of this post and have a look at the other cool devices mentioned. Thanks! :-) xxx

Dunder2004Graduate in reply to Beenal

Runkeeper will do everything you need it to for the timebeing.

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