Posts Tagged ‘GPS watch’

When to Wear a Heart Rate Monitor or GPS Watch

October 14, 2010

The ActiveWatcher has always been extolling the virtues of heart rate monitor (“HRM”) and GPS watches.  But one question it commonly comes across is: “When should I wear a HRM or GPS watch?”  In an old post, the ActiveWatcher discusses extensively about the benefits of a HRM watch.  You can find that post here.  Although it hasn’t done so yet for GPS watches, stay tuned!  But to quickly answer that question for both HRM and GPS watches with one stone, check out a recent article from Runner’s World Magazine that provides a quick explanation on when HRM and GPS watches should be used.  You can find that article here.   To summarize, HRM watches should be worn to “serve a specific purpose (such a tempo run) when you need to maintain a certain effort.”  In other words, wear it if you want to monitor your level of exertion.  GPS watches should be worn when “you’re running in unfamiliar area and want to know exactly how far you’ve gone.”

To be sure, you can achieve either of the above goals without a HRM or GPS watch.  But wouldn’t it be great to let the watch do those things for you so you can enjoy the scenery?!?!  So purchase a HRM or GPS watch from ActiveWatches today.  Come visit us at

The ActiveWatcher



May 10, 2010

The January 2010 issue of Runners’ World has a great blurb about footpods, which are essentially devices separate from the watch that allow the watch to measure speed, distance, and other metrics.  You can read the blurb by clicking here.  Footpods aren’t new, but haven’t been as prevalent as GPS devices due to limitations on accuracy and reliability.  Technology is changing that though, just like everything else.  With their accuracy and reliability improving, more and more watch brands are starting to incorporate footpods as part of the watch package and The ActiveWatcher has observed a noticeable increased in interest among the running community.  As the blurb says, however, calibration is the key to ensure continued accuracy and reliability.

The ActiveWatcher

“What happened to my GPS signal?”

April 12, 2010

For those of you with a GPS watch, Wired magazine has a good article addressing the most common problem facing GPS watches: lost signals.  The article can be found here.  Although much of the article is targeted towards car navigation systems, many of the principles discussed in the article apply equally to GPS watches.

Some of the golden rules on GPS watch signals, as reinforced by the article:

1.  “Because a GPS has to receive a signal from space, physical impediments like skyscrapers, cliff faces, and even trees can stump it.”  So if you run in an urban jungle, you may be out of luck.  The ActiveWatcher know this from personal experience.  Even more frustrating, it may work, but only sporadically.  The good GPS watches will continue to track the distance while the signal is lost.  If you have no choice but to run in the city, run along the smallest buildings and in the most open space you can find in the city, such as along a river bank or in a park.

2.  “Reception is less of an issue with the ultrasensitive chipsets in newer models….”  This principle is just as true for GPS watches.  The newer the GPS watch, the better the signal reception.

3.    “The worst time to power up your GPS is when you actually need it.”  That’s right, don’t wait to power up your GPS watch until you’re done with your warm-up run.  Want to make sure your GPS is functioning for the ever-important tempo run?  Go outside, activate your GPS, relax, and stretch for a few minutes.

If you want more detailed information about GPS signals and time, try this site:

The ActiveWatcher