Best value devices for tracking running distance

Hi Everyone

I've finally made the transition from running on a treadmill to running outdoors and was wondering if anyone knows what is the best devices for tracking distance?

I've used Runkeeper in the past but was looking for a watch to invest in.

I've had a look online but the majority are in excess of £150.00 (I'm a beginner so only need something basic)

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.


  • Forerunner 110 - just over £100, or go 2nd hand. Some use their smartphone but I've no experience of that.

    Other option, just get a normal stopwatch - we all used to use them perfectly well before GPS!

    You can team that up with websites such as mapmyrun, or fetcheveryone, and get a pretty accurate measurement of your course either before or after you run. If you regularly run the same rout, you won't have to plot them out so often. The only downside is that you don't get "on the fly" pace feedback, but I just used to have a watch which recorded multiple laps, and just had set points on each course where I pressed lap, and so knew whether I was on pace or not.

  • forerunner 205 - bloody brilliant for the money image

  • When I started I used a map and a piece of string. Bloody brilliant value
  • Silly man. How do you think people measured things before Garmins came out. Grow up and keep your childish insults to yourself.
  • I am hoping to get a Garmin at some point but they're pricey as you say, so I use a stopwatch and a website called walkjogrun to map out routes. I have my favourite routes mapped and memorised, along with the mile markers along the way and if I go off route, I'll just take a guess at what sort of pace I'm doing per mile and use the stopwatch to roughly gauge the distance. Then, when I get home, if I really want to know how far I went, I plot it on the website.

    Bit of a palaver but it does the trick for the cost of a cheap watch with a stopwatch (I got an old school Casio for about £7 off Amazon) and if you stick to a lot of the same routes, which I do, it's pretty easy to record your distance.

  • one of the major advantages of the garmin is measuring distances for interval training. e.g. i couldn't get to the track but i wanted to do 4x800m with 90secs rest then 3mins rest; 4x400m with 60secs rest then 5mins rest; 4x200m with 45secs rest. you can programme it to time all your distances and rest intervals so once you hit start you don't need to press another button until you've finished your last 200m rep.

    impossible to do that without a GPS watch really unless you're at a track. you can't just do long, slow and steady runs all the time, you'll be a long, slow and steady runner otherwise! image

  • I could say Nike Sportsband (£40.00) but I found it absolutely pants though there are people getting on with them so may be for you if you don't mind calibrating it.

  • you can just draw your routes out for free on a website such as mapmyrun or runkeeper, you wont have live data when you're running, but you'll be able to track your distances etc,


    just an FYI, i know runkeeper syncs with garmin devices too so you can continue using it after you get a garmin in the future.

  • If you don't have a GPS you can still do interval sessions with a stopwatch. Just do it based on time. Set an interval timer to go off after a set time and then repeat. Run hard, then jog when it beeps and repeat until you get to the end of a normal route. If the watch has multiple countdown timers you can get more creative.

  • Thank you for all your suggestions.

  • Nick Windsor 4 wrote (see)

    NLR - deffo a Knob!! ha ha

    you're strange and rather immature. if you've nothing positive to contribute, don't contribute at all.

  • When someone's already gone through three accounts, it's a pretty good indicator that their fourth deserves to be put on 'ignore'.
  • I second that!

  • Three accounts? Why?

  • Just how do you ignore people on this new format. Never ignored anyone before on here but Nick's crimes were the worst ever. He bored me!!
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    OK so it's not cheap but it is under £150 and I reckon if you've never had one before you'll wonder how you did without one.

  • +1 for the Forerunner 205. Got mine new on Amazon for ??90. Ran a PB 3 weeks in a row at my parkrun when I got it having not had a PB for 4 months. Find it great for pacing on training runs too, stops you overdoing it on slow runs. Great piece of kit for the money.
  • 205 not available for that now - been kicking myself for not grabbing one. As they are an old model they've just become very difficult to get hold of without paying stupid money.

  • I'd been watching them on eBay prior to buying it and they were silly money for a secondhand one then. I have the Edge 205 for the Mountain bike and they were quite pricey on eBay too.
  • Nessie73Nessie73 ✭✭✭

    Hi Sarah

    I have a couple of apps on my smartphone which are free.  They do a fairly OK job although I secretly hanker after a Garmin (not so secret...).  Still the free apps record time, pace, route, splits, elevations and you can do nerdy stuff with your data on the websites.  I use mapmyrun mostly, it's never let me down so far even cross-country.  Have also tried endomondo which auto-pauses (useful for club runs) but I've lost GPS with it so have given up.

  • another vote for a garmin 110, which via amazon sometimes cost 99 quid (other times, its slightly more for some reason)

  • SlowkoalaSlowkoala ✭✭✭
    I've used the Nike + GPS app on my son's iPod touch for the last year. It only cost one pound fifty and I have found it really accurate for distance. It keeps track of all your runs so you can track your improvement. It also tells you what pace you are running at. I'm thinking about getting a Garmin at some point but will really miss not having all my past data to hand!
  • I used an Android app to track my runs for a while. I found a really nice one (Run GPS Trainer Pro, I think) that would stop your music for a few moments to tell you your pace, along with other potentially useful features.


    That was until it crashed during running 13.1. I was pretty sure I had done it in my best time at that point, too. It integrated somewhat erratically with the phone's GPS before this, but had never let me down so badly.


    It was then that I decided I needed dedicated running GPS.


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