Fitness tracker and GPS: Hi guys, I’m on week... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
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Fitness tracker and GPS


Hi guys, I’m on week 3 and I’m so happy I’ve started running.

I’m 33 and I’ve smoked for almost 20 years. I quit only 2 weeks ago.

Last year I joined a group of hikers for a weekend in Wales and I thought I was gonna die every step of the way cause I was always out of breath.

I felt out of place and people had to wait for me cause I couldn’t walk fast enough. I felt ashamed.

I hope in 9 weeks I’ll be able to get to 5K.. and then 10.. then 13.. who knows :)

Anyway.. I wanted to ask you if you’re tracking your run on your phone or if you’re using an Apple Watch or another tracker. I wish I didn’t have to carry my

Phone with me and I’d also like to track the actual route.

Does anyone have an Apple Watch or a Fitbit?

Is it worth it?


8 Replies

Welcome to the forum and well done on your progress.

This guide to the plan is essential reading

Enjoy your journey.

In the early stages of my training I was using a cheap Chinese watch - it was about £15. It did the job, but I wanted to upgrade and get more detailed info so went for a Garmin which means I can go phone free now as the watch has music onboard.

Taking your phone with you is a must in the early stages unless you're happy with scribbling timings on the back of your hand. The voice prompts from the C25K app/podcast are invuable with their encouragement.


Hi, I do do track my activities, normally just to compare how I'd done in week Z compared to the week N. It's an independent device so I would leave my phone at home (and synchronise later) if I didn't have the interval instructions.


My opinion is that it is mandatory to carry a phone with you. We’re all new runners and you never know when you may need to call for help. Get a cheap running belt (or FlipBelt if money is no object) to carry your phone, don’t hold it in your hand.

Tracking runs? Personally I did during C25K, but that was several years ago. I’ve used Nike+ foot pod, Nike+ TomTom running watch, various apps, FitBit trackers and various Garmins. I use a Garmin ForeRunner 235, worn 24/7 and it is very easy to live with.

For a new runner, I suggest ignoring tracking until you can run for 30 minutes. C25K is not the plan to get hung up on speed, pace, steps, distance. Only time is important. But if you want a record, then use an app on your phone, until purchasing a Garmin after you graduate.


I wear a Fitbit but its not particularly accurate; according to the heart rate readings, my heart should have exploded long ago. I don't use it to track my runs.

I do use the free strava app, which I rate highly. It does the job and no annoying emails or advertising. The only thing I'd be careful of is that it does encourage you to compete with yourself to beat your own times. That's the fastest route to the injury couch as a new runner.

There is some wonderful kit out there for tracking, but I wouldn't bother with it at this stage. Save your money for the best pair of trainers that suit your running style.


I have a Fitbit Versa 2, 2 reasons:-I got it with Boots Advantage points, and the Garmin Forerunner 235 that I had bought was so big,I just couldn't wear it.

No doubt the Garmin has superior GPS though.

Regardless of other functions, I always have my phone, and as MarkyD suggests I use a flipbelt if it's warm or a zipped jacket pocket if it's cool.

I wish Garmin catered for people with smaller hands and wrists, but they don't.

The versa 2 is fine for my level of running.

If you use the tracker, they are worth every penny ( pounds ) Its just a way to get you to do more. Strava gets people out of the house, I don't use it but if it works for you, great. Fitness trackers are really quite cheap now, you do not have to buy an expensive GPS

I always have my phone with me in a flipbelt, because I go running alone. I used to memorise the timings and used a cheap Casio sports stopwatch to time myself when I started, that wasn't ideal, my memory isn't always up to it! Now I use a forerunner 35, the 235 is too big for me. But I still take my phone.

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