Is a runners watch essential

I'm thinking of getting a watch but as I'm only working towards 5k (TBH I could probably manage one) is it a bit poncy or is one really needed?


  • It isn't essential to have a 'running' watch, but having some sort of watch is useful if you want to know how long a run takes.

    The advantage of a running watch is that it will give you more info such as distance, elevation, average pace/speed, time, splits.

    Therefore it depends on what you want as to what is best for you.

  • Just get a decent sports watch - that will have a stopwatch, and possibly split times as well.  If you're only working towards 5K, I don't believe you need one just yet. image

    Edit:  I didn't know runners watches can do all that - they must be very pricey then?

  • They are not expensive, I can get a Timex Ironman watch brand new off a well known auction site for £21,

  • for a 5k, all you need is a stopwatch, if that...once you get in running, you'll probably want to get a somewhat pricier GPS...don't do what i did, which was get a Timex and outgrow it within about a month...

  • ok thanks for the advise. appreciated.

  • I'm pretty happy with my cheap casio (we all know the one), been using it for quite a while now and still havent moved on from it as I'm still quite content with a basic stopwatch for now.

  • drawboy69 wrote (see)

    They are not expensive, I can get a Timex Ironman watch brand new off a well known auction site for £21,

    Really - now, that is interesting.  For £21, I would definitely pick one up.  I have an idea which site you mean  ***rushes off to check for a bargain***.

    Ah - I see the one you mean.  Good looking watch, but doesn't do distance, elevation etc as mentioned earlier in the thread.  I doubt you could find one of those for £20 odd. image

  • Cara HCara H ✭✭✭

    I use the stopwatch on my smartphone. I put the phone in an armband so I can play music and also run any running programme apps (such as C25k, B210k etc) if I want to. If I'm not using an app, I'll use the stopwatch. I map runs on so get pace from that. One day I may get a fancy watch, but tbh I don't wear a watch normally, hate things round my wrists, so probably won't bother!

  • I've had a watch since I was a poncy 7 year old. No watches aren't essential but then again neither are trainers or shirts or shorts. I think watches come under the catergory "basic equipment" for a runner.
  • I only really started training with a watch when I upped my distance and was trying to work on maintaining a consistent pace throughout a longer run. With 5kms my strategy has always been to just go as fast as I can until the finish line, so I just used the stopwatch function on my phone to tell me how long it took me to get there image 

    I've got a Garmin 305, it does all the fancy stuff - GPS, elevation, heart rate, pace, distance etc etc, but it was expensive (£115, and that was on sale). However, I doubt I'll need to buy another one for a good few years so I think it was worth it.

  • I use may my run on my samsung galaxy s2 phone. works great and means I can look at my progress online when I get back. You can work out all your nutrition etc... too.



  • I'm another fan of map my run, works for me.
  • Runkeeper works well on smart phones, as long as you can put up with wearing the armband. The interface and data presentation are pretty similar to a 100 quid Garmin.

    I have to admit, though, it's nice to be able to see your pace at a glance, and the heart-rate monitor is useful to know how hard you're pushing in training.
Sign In or Register to comment.