Which one is best suited to track Runs? Smart Watch, Sports watch, Mobile Apps, Fitness tracker!

I have just taken up running as a substitute for fitness activity as second wave of pandemic scare has still made me reluctant to join the Gyms.

I kind of have started enjoying running and find it very liberating and refreshing and prefer to continue as a permanent fitness activity at least thrice a week.

Now i am looking for an accurate device to keep track on my runs and able to track progress and see improvements. But then with plethora of options available with Apple watches, sport watches, garmin, strava, Apps like Runtrackr, Runkeeper and so on , it is confusing which one should i buy?

What would you suggest for a beginner runner to track runs?


  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    It's a question with many, many answers! If you want to know how far you are running in an instant then you really need a watch. I have a Garmin, and always had a Garmin, I think they are great, but they do have lots and lots of things on them that you might not need. Apple I think look better in a D2D setting.

    Garmin watches work with Garmin connect which I like. Friends use Strava, and they find that useful especially for segment analysis.

    I would head for a reasonably cheap watch and then see if you want to trade up in a couple of years. As with all technology the minute you buy it it will be out of date!
  • I use a Garmin HR+ which syncs to Garmin Connect with all the GPS information and HR information plus all the other health stats. From there it syncs to Strava with my workout information, runs, cycles or whatever (it doesn't have an official cycle setting but it can still track rides) . Used this watch for a few years but somehow I began to feel as though I was just tracking a decline in my fitness. Probably just personal but I never found myself motivated to work harder by particularly the Garmin app.

    So I still use the same watch but now when my workouts sync up to Strava I copy my splits and distance back down to my own spreadsheet to do my own analysis and time series. The problem with apps I think is that you aren't able to choose a single KPI from your data and track it over time, they all just seem to be able to show you points in time for each workout with all the stats from that one workout. Or they present time series in ways that are not necessarily motivating or meaningful.

    I'm hoping to start working soon on something on my computer that just reads the gps logs directly from the watch and presents what makes sense to me as the relevant performace stats rather than having to copy data down from strava every day. I'm training for a marathon in 5 months so I want to make my progress tracking as easy as possible.

    So to answer the question, anything that is tracking standard GPS stats is good, it's how it all gets presented afterwards that gives the data value according to your own goals and objectives. I'm not convinced the available apps are always geared towards motivation and improvement. I do like Strava though and despite doing my own analysis, I have considered using the paid version too for some extra insights. Strava does have some other cool features too, even on the free version, for example I got an email on Sunday from Strava that I'm apparently a "local legend" and king of the hill or something like that for a segment that I had run that day which made me smile.
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