An important components to consider is going to be which device to use to tracking your runs. The most common way to do this now is with a GPS watch. Collecting data will show how well you’ve followed our performance training tips.
Run with GPS Watches
There are countless brands that produce watches to help you to track runs. Most offer a wide variety of features. When it comes to improving training, using a running watch is key. Not only does it allow you to get real time information about your run, but many offer post run features. These can help you assess recovery and track overall fitness progress.
I personally use the Garmin Forerunner 955 and have used other Garmin products for a few years prior. Some features that I find really helpful when out on my runs are:
- Planned out workouts – I can plan my workout and populate it on my watch so it guides me with notifications. If I am falling outside my pace goal it notifies me. I don’t have to focus on keeping track of segments and can instead put all my energy into the workout.
- Turn by turn routes – When in a new area it is very helpful to have turn by turn navigation on the watch so that can plan out a route beforehand and not need to remember every single turn along the way to allow me to enjoy my run and explore new places
- Race guidance – A specific time goal can be developed that considers elevation and a general pacing strategy.
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In addition to some of my favorite features during the run there are also some great features that I use to help me track my how my training is going:
- Training load – Uses information on total amount of running and overall training performed including elevation and speed to give both a chronic and acute training load number to best understand how your recent loading compares to previous weeks.
- Heart rate variability (HRV) – Tracking HRV helps to understand how the body is recovering. The watch provides data showing how training is being handled by the body.
- Recovery time – Watches will calculate the amount of recovery time needed between runs. This is helpful to understand the recovery demands in relation to the difficulty of a workout.
Are you are looking for more detailed stats about gait? While the best approach would be to get a proper analysis from an expert, many watches provide feedback. Most have accompanying pod devices that provide further details related to running dynamics.
Finding a good watch (and running coach!) will help get the most out of training.