Meet your virtual running coach: the benefits of running with GPS trackers

If you are looking to take your running to the next level, you may be interested in the benefits of running with GPS trackers. With the right device, such as a GPS running watch, you can track a whole range of metrics and running data designed to help you monitor your progress, keep you motivated and enable you to tweak aspects of your training to help you achieve your goals. It’s like having a personal running coach right alongside you as you train.

Our blog looks at the benefits of running regularly and how technology is helping us do just that.

Motivation on your wrist

The key to receiving the many benefits of running is to do it regularly. Running with GPS trackers is a very effective way to keep you motivated to continue your efforts. Even with the known benefits of running, such as the ‘runner’s high’, or any exercise for that matter, keeping at it as a consistent practice is not always easy. Seasoned runners will know from experience, and beginners may just be finding out, that when you first start, running can really suck – your lungs are burning, your feet are blistered, your muscles tight. But when you feel like giving up, try to remember why you started running in the first place.

Keep your goals in mind

Many begin running with a specific goal in mind: to lose a few pounds, or allow for more indulgence at the dinner table; to reduce stress; to improve general health and fitness; to run a marathon; to enjoy the fresh air and scenery of wherever you are in the world; or to just simply get better at running. When it comes to all of these goals, the key is to run with regularity. And remembering why you started running – when running becomes the last thing you want to do – will help you stay motivated to keep pounding the pavement.

Why running with GPS trackers is a winner

Sometimes, our best-laid plans can go awry – even if we remember exactly we took up running in the first place. That’s where running with GPS trackers comes in. By using this type of device, you can track your progress, seeing how far you’ve come and your potential to go further. When you don’t necessarily feel like you’ve achieved very much, or are finding it hard to motivate yourself to get out and run, you’ll want all the help you can get.

Your virtual running coach

A GPS tracker designed for running is often more advanced than other types of activity trackers you might have access to (such as your smartphone). More than simply counting steps, GPS trackers act as your virtual running coach. They can:
· Log the length and duration of your run
· Calculate your speed
· Capture your heart rate throughout a session and help keep you in an optimal zone of beats per minute (bpm)
· Crunch the numbers for calories burned
· Map the terrain (if you were running predominantly on an incline, for instance)

These devices can even figure out the length of your stride as you complete your run, as well as your cadence (the way your foot hits the ground), enabling you to alter your running style for peak performance.These levels of detail are what can help you achieve better results faster, which in turn will motivate you to keep going.

The best running trackers for you

Today, we have multiple choices when it comes to these smart devices that can track our distances and speed, monitor our heart rate and sleep patterns, and provide visual metrics over weeks and months so we can monitor our progress. There are different types of devices to choose from and your choice will depend on your goals. Here are just a couple of them.

Fitness trackers
A standard device for the novice runner is a fitness tracker. It:

· Is lightweight
· Counts steps
· Tracks distance
· Monitors heart rate and sleep
· Calculates calories burned
· Is easy to use
· Has a long battery life

GPS running watches
When it comes to choosing a device for more advanced running goals, a GPS running watch is often the preferred choice. A GPS running watch:
· Uses global positioning to track your route
· Is very accurate for distance run and speed
· Monitors your heart rate and sleep
· Allows for better analysis of pace, cadence, vertical gain, etc.
· Optimizes your training

Technology has had a profound impact in many aspects of our lives. And this goes for the way we exercise. In the old days, to track our running progress or other fitness goals required rudimentary equipment, like a stopwatch, and a lot of time and effort (not to mention paper). When you add a smart device to your training, the results can be impressive.

But remember, while technology can be a big help to us reaching our goals, nothing can replace the real results from just getting out there and testing yourself.