What kind of watch you use while running is important to help you track your run in real time and stay within a healthy range of physical exertion. You don't want to get bored, but you also don't want to overexert yourself and end up injured, which can keep you from running at all for extended periods of time. Certain features can help you take your running and fitness tracking to a whole new level.
You can purchase a watch that comes with a device called a "foot pod". This pod attaches to your shoe and keeps track of how fast you are running throughout your workout. You can use this feature to challenge yourself to run a little faster week after week. Though faster running means you're working harder, don't push yourself too far or you may end up getting hurt.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Some running watches also come with a feature that allows you to track where exactly you have run during your workout. This helps you with tracking distance and your speed throughout your run and keeping track of exactly which routes you have taken if you are running out in the woods or grasslands where there is no formal trail or path for running. If you are running where there is not an official recreation lane, please be safe by carrying a fully-charged cell phone and an extra bottle of water, and making sure someone in a more populated area of town has some idea of where you are going to be.
This is a pretty basic feature for most of the quality running watches on the market. Many of the less technologically advanced watches will measure your heart rate and give you a very general idea of how many calories you've burned during your workout. There are other watches that are a little bit more on the cutting edge that actually ask for your body's specifications. Knowing things like how old you are, how much you weigh, whether you're male or female, or how tall you are can give the watch a better idea of how much energy each beat of your heart is actually worth.
Points and Games
More recently on the running watch scene there have been advances in technology to help you stay motivated throughout your workout. Some watches have websites that you can connect to and compare your running speeds, times, and distances to those of your friends on that site or other social media platforms so that you can brag, motivate, and challenge one another--just like if you were playing a game, trying to one-up someone else. Other websites that your watch may link to offer points that you earn based on how much physical activity you complete on a given day. Adding this extra feature in as part of your workout can help keep the work fun and light.
While all of these features are very good to have, be careful about how much money you'll be spending on this particular workout tool. If you really are a near-professional level runner, it might be okay to spend $100 to $300 on a professional level watch. However, if you just ran for the first time in ten years last week (and that only lasted 30 seconds), don't hesitate to stick with a more basic model until you raise your fitness level.