Ok - I have changed my mind about a running watch.... so which one should I buy ?

After posting that I didn't need one - I currently use RunKeeper - one of my friends did a sales pitch that told me if I wanted to take running seriously, track my runs accurately and have more stats that I can shake a stick at, then a watch is the way to go !!

I have no clue on budget but would most probably rather buy a used one from ebay etc

I have NO clue what stats I want being all new to this BUT love tracking my routes, calories burned, average pace and times.

Any help or guidance would be great and thanks in advance for your help.


Ps I will still use my phone / runkeeper as well but am open to suggestions.

EDIT : Please can you tell me any brands to avoid etc & Do I need a heart rate monitor ? If so, why ?

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14 Replies

  • In order of overall stat-fullness:

    Garmin forerunner 620 (overwhelming stats)

    Garmin forerunner 225 (latest model has inbuilt optical HRM, sleep tracking, step counting etc).

    Garmin forerunner 15 (adequate stats)

    HRM is useful for training runs.


    As an example, 620 with HRM will tell you your vertical oscillation - basically how high you jump each step you take. Minimizing this encourages a more efficient gait. any of these watches will help you train, and could be useful during a race if you want to maintain a particular pace.

  • What a good reply !

    Thanks for your effort all I have to do is now try and understand all the info !!

  • Hi Richard

    Oh running watches ,now then theres a question ! I have the Garmin 205, my hubby got it for me second hand from Ebay, so I don't know how much it was , plus it has being discontinued now and replaced with the 305 which has a heart monitor. Mine does basically everything that Runkeeper does but has a virtual pacer on it ,not sure if Runkeeper has that , where you can set the minium pace to say 7min k and you run and try and match it ,and it beeps if you lag behind so to speak , sorry I am a bit rubbish at explaining things ! Plus, you can upload it to Garmin Connect, another forum to get addicted to ha ha :-)

    Ebay and Amazon are good places to look as people tend to trade up to newer models and Amazon have good special offers .

    I think it all depends on how many stats you want to see, I just like to keep mine as simple as possible , I don't really feel the need to see my Heart rate, I would probably scare myself half to death I think :-)

    I think the Garmin 15 is a good place to start , if you want to check the reviews as to what it does etc

    Good Luck ! :-) xxx

  • Thanks Christine - not really sure what I want BUT the pacer bit sounds good.

    I shall research !!

  • I have a forerunner 10, that was what everyone said when I asked the same question as you! Like Chrissy, I didn't want to scare myself with my heart rate, but now I wish I had the cadence thingy. Yes, the forum is great fun!

  • and please curly, what is cadence ?

  • Cadence (running) = how many steps per min you take. Cadence (cycling) = how many times a minute you turn the pedals through a full circle - i.e. linked, but slightly different because they use slightly different bits of kit. A running watch will normally show running cadence by default, but you can get cadence sensors to fit to your bike which will allow some running watches to pick up bike cadence.

  • I'm currently working on my cadence, steps per minute as Adam explained. I have a naturally long pace and low cadence, I'm trying to speed up a bit by taking more shorter steps. Not everyone needs to do this, some people have a naturally high cadence.

  • Rather than look at the latest models from Garmin you could try searching the interwebs for slightly older but perfectly servicable ones. I have a Garmin 610 which was top of the range when it was introduced about 5 years ago. I paid less than I would have done for a more basic modern Garmin (FR10 / FR15). It gives me HRM, virtual pacer, courses, switch to cycling mode etc.

    You can also look beyond Garmin - Suunto, Polar, Tom Tom etc. The advantage the Garmin has is that there is a large community out there to connect to (e.g. quite a few of us here on the forum).

  • I have a Fitbit and saw the Fitbit surge which is an all-in-one but looks huge !

    I also saw the Polar M400 which looks a terrific bit of kit and great value too.

    Thanks for your help so far ad I now know what cadence is too !!

    I learn something every day.....

  • The Fitbit Surge isn't a traditional GPS running watch. It's an activity tracker which they've bolted GPS onto. As an activity tracker it would be great. As a GPS running watch... well just think carefully before committing. I think you may be disappointed if you are expecting a training watch (I say this never having seen one in the flesh, but I'm concerned that the GPS is more of a marketing gimmick, than a fully blown GPS watch).

  • Like Curly, I also have a Forerunner 10. I haven't felt the need for extra bells and whistles yet, and its been over a year running. It shows the stats I care about, route information and provides enough information on my run.

  • I've just "upgraded" to the Garmin 225 from a Forerunner 10 and I think its great! Apart from the normal GPS features on all running watches I like the built in heart rate monitor which is useful to view whilst and after running. I also like the Bluetooth connectivity and the cadence recording. Other features such as step counting and sleep monitoring are useful but not essential for me. It was a bit more that the Forerunner 10, but I don't regret the extra.

  • Forerunner 10. Cheap and does what you need it to do. Basic, simple watch but you can still upload to Garmin and get your stats and see us all over on the other side. Lovely colours too, and small and neat.

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