How to Choose the Best GPS Watch for Running

Running seems easy enough. Pick a pair of shoes, throw on shorts and a tank top, and head out the door, right? Well, technically, yes (as long as you find the right pair of shoes). But the more you get into running, the more you realize there are tons of gadgets that can make it easier to get faster, get better, or even just easier to plan your runs. At some point, almost every runner will look into upgrading their basic watch for something a little more technical with a few more features. But then that opens a whole other can of worms – how do you pick one? You can ask your running buddy or running group, but we’ve narrowed it down to four of the best here (and even a couple that won’t break the bank).

Budget

Photo Credit: TomTom
Photo Credit: TomTom

The TomTom Runner is your best option if you are on a budget, coming in right around $100 (we found them anywhere from $89.99-$129.99). It’s one of the more basic watches, with an easy to read screen and reliable GPS. It’s waterproof, and can track indoor miles on a treadmill as well.

Mountain Running

Photo Credit: Suunto
Photo Credit: Suunto

While many other GPS watches track elevation, the Suunto Ambit3 Peak is designed for mountain running. It tracks elevation, weather, multiple sports (swimming, running, biking), heart rate, recovery time, and more. The face is easy to read, the buttons are easy to push, and it can sync with your phone. There are a few color options with the straps, too. But this one is gonna cost you a bit more – $400-500.

Just the Basics

Photo Credit: Soleus
Photo Credit: Soleus

It’s really easy to get into all the different features that these watches offer, so if you are looking for something more simple, the Soleus GPS Pulse + HRM ($199) is a good choice. That’s not to say it doesn’t have features, but the main ones include the typical distance, speed, and pace, as well as calories burned, interval timers, and a backlight.

The One Everyone Has

Photo Credit: Garmin
Photo Credit: Garmin

Garmin is a company that has made a name for itself in the running community. With a variety of options ranging from the Forerunner 15 ($119) that is similar to the basic Soleus, to the multi-sport capable Forerunner 735XT ($449.99) that measures everything from the regular distance to VO2 max and lactate threshold estimates. For a mid-price range watch that will have more than enough features for the average runner, the Forerunner 235 ($329.99) is an excellent option.

Feature Photo Credit: Forward Runner

7 of the Best Apps for Runners

For most of us, the days of running with just an iPod are gone. We don’t know many runners who don’t head out the door without their cell phone, and it’s a good idea to have one with you anyway if you are going out alone. But lucky for us, as phones have become smarter, there has also been a boom in apps to put on your phone that will make your run easier. Here are seven of them. Prices were accurate as June 2016, but may change at any time!

RunKeeper

Operating System: Android or iOS
Cost: Basic $0, Upgrade $9.99/mo or $39.99/yr

RunKeeper is one of the most popular apps out there, and for good reason – it does a lot. The app features GPS/distance tracking, speed monitoring, caloric output, and activity history. You can set goals, save and find new routes, and even get training plans if you upgrade. You can also link the app with your account on the website.

Spotify Running

Operating System: Android or iOS
Cost: Basic $0, Premium $9.99/mo

If you have RunKeeper, Spotify integrates into that app, but if not, Spotify Running is a great app that chooses music based on your tempo. So if you’re going for the golden 180 steps/minute, then you can set it to that, and the beat will keep you on track.

Daily Burn

Operating System: Android or iOS
Cost: Free 30 day trial, then $12.95/mo

Love running, but like cross training, too? DailyBurn features daily 30-minute, full-body workouts that you can stream from your iPhone or iPad. There’s also a workout library, and a motivating community you can join!

MapMyRun

Operating System: Android or iOS
Cost: Free

Yep, you guessed it – this one is all about mapping your route, sharing your route, and finding new routes to run. You can also track your activity, connect with the website, count your calories, and share your run with your social network.

Zombies, Run!

Operating System: Android or iOS
Cost: Free, but lots of in-app purchases

This app is a great way to mix up your run when motivation is lacking. Each time you start a run, you are given a mission and music. When zombies come, you speed up. Interval training at it’s finest (funnest?). There is also an 8-week 5K training plan that you can get for $1.99.

Strava

Operating System: Android or iOS
Cost: Basic $0, Premium $6/mo or $59/yr

This app is a must-have for anyone who is competitive and has competitive friends. It’s called the “social network for athletes” and doesn’t just let you track your runs and download your Garmin data, but let’s you connect with friends and compete against them in challenges. The premium version includes personalized training and   advanced data analysis options.

Endomondo

Operating System: Android or iOS
Cost: Basic $0, Premium $5.99/mo or $29.99/yr

Another tracking app, that offers basic information: duration, distance, speed, calories burned, and it maps your route. You can also set goals and review your workouts. There is a premium version that offers training plans and coaching. The coolest thing about this app is that you can leave motivational “peptalks” for your friends that also use the app (and they can leave messages for you!).

What apps do you use regularly?

Feature Photo Credit: Georgia Papadon

 

17 Inspirational Running Quotes

Here at Fun Run Box, we are all about motivating you to get out there and do your best. Sometimes, a motivating quote will get you out the door. Other times, it can be used as a mantra when the running gets tough. Either way, we hope these inspiring words will help you the next time things feel tough. And remember – we’ve all been there, and every run is a learning experience, good or bad. Happy running!

Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must – just never give up.
– Dean Karnazes

Any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.
– John Bryant

Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts.
– Steve Prefontaine

Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic.
– Tim Noakes

Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.
– Sarah Condor

My philosophy on running is, I don’t dwell on it, I do it.
– Joan Benoit Samuelson

I’ve learned that it’s what you do with the miles, rather than how many you’ve done.
– Rod DeHaven

Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.
– John “the Penguin” Bingham

When you cross the finish line, no matter how slow or fast, it will change your life forever.
– Dick Beardsley

It’s not so much that I began to run, but that I continued.
– Hal Higdon

As athletes, we have ups and downs. Unfortunately, you can’t pick the days they come on.
– Deena Kastor

Given the nature of running, certain things that will never be altered. That’s one of the beauties of our sport. There is no judge; it doesn’t matter how you look.
– Bill Rodgers

Be willing to move forward and find out what happens next.
– Frank Shorter

We all have dreams. In order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.
– Jesse Owens

Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
– Kara Goucher

There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime off knowing you have.
– Unknown

Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.
– Doug Larson

What’s your favorite inspirational running quote? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature photo: Odyssey BETA

6 Ways to Find a Running Partner

Even those of us who love the solitude of running by yourself can benefit from running with a buddy or a group every once in awhile. Running with a friend can challenge you to get past a plateau, be a great way to knock out a workout and a catch-up chat at the same time, and most of all, give you some accountability on those days when lacing up might feel especially tough. But what if you aren’t one of those lucky people who have a significant other or good friend who is already into running as much as you are? Don’t worry, we put together a list of places where you can find a running partner in no time!

1. Running Store

The best place to start is at your local running store. Most, if not all, offer group runs at least once a week. Sometimes they offer discounts for the run club or have local races/companies sponsor the run and giveaway some good stuff!

2. Training Teams

Not just for professional athletes, getting a coach or joining a training team near you is a great way to meet new people who will challenge you and push your limits. There are usually a couple different kinds of workouts each week (usually including a long run and a track workout), and you can get form or pacing tips from a coach at the same time. Typically, there is a fee for this kind of running group, but you can always make friends and run on your own as well.

3. Facebook Groups

There is a Facebook group for just about everything, and running groups are no exception. Try searching your city or even state and running and see what comes up. This is more hit or miss, depending on the activity of the members of the groups, but is worth checking out.

4. Meetup.com

Much like Facebook, there is a Meetup group for just about anything you can think of, and you can look for trail runners, road runners, ultra runners, or anyone in between. Many groups try to have at least a mid-week and a weekend run, but it depends on the particular group.

5. Local Running Club

You can search by state on RRCA.org and find a list of all the RRCA-affiliated running clubs in your state, or search RunningintheUSA.com by state, too. You can also just do a quick Google search and see what comes up!

6. Register for a race

Some of the bigger national races and even some local races coordinate training groups tailored to that specific distance. Sometimes, local gyms will put together training groups for a specific race, too, so ask at your gym.

Feature Photo Credit: i heart running