What smartwatch or fitness tracker: So what’s... - Couch to 5K

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What smartwatch or fitness tracker


So what’s everyone’s thoughts?

What tracker do you use

What is the best tracker

What tracker would you really like to have

At the moment all I have is the apps on my phone and my Fitbit one

19 Replies

What do you need it for is the question. If you are doing swimming and high altitude mountain running then the watches that supply data that support those activities will be better. If you are just doing normal running then app on phone and fitbit are more than sufficient.

TheRiddler8t2Graduate in reply to Rignold

I got my Fitbit one like 3 years ago to make me walk a lot more while I was losing weight. Now it’s more for my running

what additional data is it you need to capture is your start point, then look at which devices offer that.

TheRiddler8t2Graduate in reply to Rignold

So basically. Once i’ve achieved C25K. I want to go further on to running 10 or even half marathon. I am really enjoying runny. So would like something that would give you performance statistics. HR. So I was thinking a long the lines of the Apple Watch as I have an iPhone iPad

MickGJGraduate in reply to TheRiddler8t2

Which Fitbit do you have?

I have a Charge 2 which seems to do everything you would want. It's not overly big and I use it as my day-to-day watch. I only got it for the 10,000 steps and look where I've ended up.

While I'm running it gives me "voice cues" which can be set to tell you things like distance, time, average pace, split pace and do this at either distance or time intervals.

Afterwards you can go into the app on your phone/PC/iPad and see your run on a map, with your heart rate and cardiozones, altitude, split times, compare it with all your previous runs probably a lot of other stuff I haven't found out yet.

There are even flashier models but this seems to do the trick for me. I imagine an Apple Watch can do a lot more, but they are quite pricey.

If you want it to be reasonably accurate then you need GPS. Most smart phones have it. Most fitbit type things don't. I've been using a Garmin FR10 which is their most basic model. It does everything I need but does not do HR.

What would I like? Garmin Fenix 5. Ridiculously expensive. Does a million things I will not ever need. Looks cool.

But as I never wear a watch unless I'm running or hiking it seems a bit of an unnecessary extravagance.


Hi TheRiddler! I use Garmin forerunner 25. A wee bit expensive but not as much as others. It will track your running,weight,steps,pace cadence in fact quite a bit apart from your heart rate.

It also tracks swimming,cycling,and weight loss.

If there is a need to use it indoors on the treadmill you simply turn off gps and set for indoor use.

I also have Fitbit conceal on my person for work and that will monitor my steps. As I work for NHS I’m no allowed to wear anything on my wrists.

Hope this has helped a wee bit and good luck in finding one for

Happy running😀😀


I got my husband a Garmin Vivofit 3. He loves it and showed me how it works. Now I have 1.

I do stick to using my phone. I love using strava for rowing (waterproof case of course) and cycling.


I have the Fitbit Ionic , has HR and GPS , had the surge before which also had HR and GPS , I have an Iphone with the fitbit app it links too


I had a Garmin 310XT which was excellent and had a battery life of about 18 hours which was ideal for long distance stuff. For Christmas I got a Garmin 235 which does everything, and includes a built in heart monitor so no need for a chest strap. I love it - I got it reasonably cheaply from a cycling shop - online - Chain Reaction Cycles. I have found that having statistics on the Garmin site is a real help, you can compare and measure your improvements or not over different routes, and over the years - I now have all my stats from 2007 onwards recorded over a multitude of routes/courses and examining them whiles away the lonely evenings....


I have a Fitbit Alta, so all t counts is my steps. But that and Runkeeper on my phone works fine for me. And I didn’t even have the Fitbit when I did a 10k a few years ago... I don’t think I’m ever going to worry about heart rate and all that, so for me just the gps bit works fine.

That of course doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love an Apple Watch or a cleverer Fitbit at some point, but I simply can’t justify the money!


I have a fitbit Charge 2. It cost about £120 and doubles as my watch on non work days (also an NHS worker with a clip for work).

I wanted HR monitoring to see that I was putting in consistent effort. Granted, the readings probably aren’t entirely acurate but they give me a good indicator of my effort level. On a personal level I also use the HR data to track my monthly cycles... clever little thing.

While it doesn’t have built in GPS it can be linked to the fitbit app during exercise for more acurate mapping and distance data. I always take my phone out running so never an issue.

In the grand scheme of trackers I’m happy with what I get for the price I paid. I’m at the end of week 8. Maybe in the future I’ll upgrade but for now it fits a purpose.


Don't think that an Apple Watch is a runners' watch. It'll drive you mad with needing to be charged up every day.

Let's assume that you want a GPS running watch to track your runs, give you pace, time, speed etc during the run, displayed in a nice, large font. And a watch that you can wear all the time to track your steps, activity level and sleep. And you'd like the watch to connect to your iPhone over bluetooth and give you notifications - emails, messages, BBC news headlines etc. And need charging once per week.

That watch is a Garmin ForeRunner 235. I have one and it is absolutely brilliant. It'll give you everything that you need and is very easy to live with.


Garmin Vivoactive HR

Trackes everything and it’s ease proof

GPS and GLONASS for extra accuracy

Charge every 10 days ish and it’s very accurate and shows everything the more expensive ones do I would like the new version but this one is great

Even tracks sleep for recovery purposes :-)

I have a TomTom Spark. It is relatively low price and works well so far, and syncs easy to my phone, whereas my Fitbit was less good at syncing.

Hi I have a Fitbit that I wear for steps, currently working on my last lifetime badge! when I run I put in addition on my garmin 15 which is too big and ugly to wear everyday, but while running it's easy to glance down and see time or splits, then when I get home and connect to the app or PC dashboard I can see stuff like splits terrain etc and running history HTH


I've been through a few smartwatch / activity trackers over the last few years, and have settled on what I think is a pretty good compromise.

The first tracker was a Fitbit charge HR. Really easy to use, but not a run tracker. Worked well until the strap de-laminated - replaced under warranty, but sold soon after

Then I moved to a Pebble. A "proper" smart watch, but without HR. Then Fitbit bought Pebble and support went non-existent.

My current watch went through a lot of research. I needed a watch backed by a company that was unlikely to stop supporting the device - I was then realistically deciding between Polar, TomTom, Garmin, Apple and Fitbit. I use an iPhone, and at the time I was looking the Android wear devices didn't play nicely with iOS.

I needed GPS tracking, notifications, Heart Rate and a battery that lasted more than 24 hours (to enable sleep tracking).

The battery life discounted the Apple Watch, the notifications weren't great on my previous Fitbit, so that went off the list.

TomTom don't do notifications, and I wasn't impressed with the look of the Polar.

My wife has a Garmin step tracker, and it's been great.

Armed with this information, it was either take out a second mortgage and get a FR910, or be sensible and go for an FR235. Using camel camel camel, I put a price alert on the FR235 on Amazon, and managed to pick it up very cheaply. For some reason, the red was much cheaper than the black (only real difference is the inside of the strap which you can't see anyway!).

There are now cheaper Garmin options (the FR35 looks pretty good) but I'm glad I got the 235. It's round (I wanted a round watch) and it's helped convert me from a cyclist into a cyclist who runs.

The Garmin Connect app is really good (I use this with the cycling computer as well) and it all links up seamlessly to Strava for even more in depth analysis of just how steep that hill really was...

Happy shopping!



Forget all the expensive options. We have Mi Band 2 units and they do everything you need, even sharing to social media. Extensive reporting of everything you need to know, from daily averages, sleep patterns and specific activity stats. From the app send activity to social media and see how you have done. Time, pace, calories burned, speed, step frequency, heart rate, total steps, stride and heart rate zones.

All that for around £22. And it is a watch too..

I recently got a Suunto ambit3. benefits are a range of sports can be selected. I can change the rate at which the GPS tracks e.g. once a second for running cycling once every 5 seconds for something like swimming or once a minute for long distance walks. with this the battery can last up to 180 hours with GPS activated at once per minute. I get about 2 and a half weeks out of mine just running at the moment. you'll need to recharge a fit bit at least once a week if not more. great app and website has coaching a valuable to add to your programmes. connects to strata etc. heart rate is only active with selected sports that need it. again saves battery. I can choose loads of data selections for each sport depending what I want to track. great prices at the moment. do a price comparison between go outdoors and Cotswold and claim the extra 10% off at GO WITH THEIR price promise.

only downside I've found so far is that the heart rate is done with a chest strap rather than on the wrist. more accurate but another thing to have to remember.

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