We’ve all been there: You’ve been running and wondered how quick you ran and perhaps how high your heart rate got to, right?

Not all runners know about the features and benefits of a GPS or heart rate watch. Many people find it unpleasant or annoying to have to wear a chest strap while running, and therefore don’t bother to accurately measuring their heart rate while running.

However, being able to determine your optimal training heart rate is just one of the benefits that wearing a heart rate monitor, while jogging, brings. Furthermore, modern pulse watches allow you to accurately trace your route using GPS.

It’s possible to measure individual values, such as heart rate, distance travelled and calories burned, using a heart rate monitor, and then evaluate them using PC software. Does your heart rate accelerate when you run uphill, do you run certain parts faster and what was your average speed?

These findings may be particularly beneficial for runners, who are pursuing a specific goal. For example, if they are training for a competition or are trying to lose weight.

Reasons for using a heart rate watch

One of the main functions, as well as being the most obvious reason for wearing a heart rate watche, is being able to exactly determine your heart rate. This measurement helps runners be in their perfect training area; e.g. determine and permanently improve your performance for optimal fat burning during the run.

An additional function of a GPS watch is recording the distance that you run. In conjunction with the latter, you can clearly see how your performance is improving (further, faster, more often, etc.).

Newer pulse watches also feature functions such as, a compass function, altitude measurement and a display of the calories burned during a training session. There are alternatives for people who think that wearing a chest strap during training is annoying and uncomfortable. Some new models give you the opportunity to measure your pulse on your wrist, thanks to LED based sensors below the watch. So there is no need to wear a chest strap.

Pulse watches are basically for ambitious, leisure and hobby runners; professional athletes wear them anyway, especially for training. Wearing a heart rate monitor can also be added motivation for beginners. However, you should not completely focus your run on the number on the display.

Beginners must first determine a feel for their body and the optimum frequency for training. Using a heart rate monitor will be helpful and will stop runners from going crazy during the run, or even “set the tone”.

Many providers of pulse watches also offer an online platform, on which the measured values can be compared with other runners. This results in virtual competitors and unofficial leaderboards and records - additional incentive for each runner.

Smartphone apps supplement these digital gadgets, which our expert Sandra has already talked about (to the article). By rule, these are more extensive, but you will have to take your smartphone with you when you go running. Who wants to do that or already does?...

Moreover, our running expert Heika has already discussed the subject of heart rate monitors in his blog, in a much more critical way. Here he describes "training according to how your body feels".

Ultimately, every runner gets to decide for themselves whether, when and how often they will use running gadgets. Generally, we think they are a helpful supplement to training and therefore offer a selection of models in the shop. We are happy to answer any questions!