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Running Watches That Measure Miles

author image Rebeka Stowe
Rebeka Stowe's writing specializes in health, fitness and general well-being. Stowe has competed and coached cross country and track and field at the elite collegiate level. She holds a Bachelor of Science in health and physical education from the University of Kansas.
Running Watches That Measure Miles
A man looking at his watch after a run. Photo Credit etorres69/iStock/Getty Images

Whether you are traveling the globe or running from home, a watch that keeps track of miles can benefit your workouts. Most watches that record miles are equipped with the ability to monitor other workout aspects such as pace and calorie burn, allowing you to track your personal bests and overall health. There many options available when it comes to watches that track distance.

GPS Watches

Global Positioning System technology works with satellites in orbit around the earth to locate your position anywhere three of those satellites can be picked up. GPS watches are packed with this technology and use it to provide feedback on pace, distance and speed. Many GPS watches are equipped with navigation tools which can direct you back to a starting point or to a determined end. This feature can be extremely helpful when running in a new location.

Pedometer Watches

Pedometers work by detecting vertical motion and hip movement ultimately counting steps, and estimating distance. Pedometer watches are paired with a sensor placed on your hip, which records your step count. This count is then paired with stride length information. Stride length is factored and entered on an individual basis allowing for a more accurate distance read. All of this information is transferred to the watch which displays total step count, distance and calories burned.

Accelerometer Watches

An accelerometer is an instrument that measures acceleration forces by processing feedback from both static and dynamic movement. When the accelerometer in a watch is moving, the vibrations from the movement transmit information to the watch allowing it to track distance. An accelerometer watch is more reliable than a pedometer watch because it filters out incidental movement, making it more accurate.

Which to Buy

Travelers and runners following a training program may enjoy the added features of a GPS watch. GPS watches provide a wide variety of information and beneficial tools. Most can be paired with an online account to track fitness growth or running routes. Accelerometer and pedometer watches benefit those who do much of their running indoors or in covered areas, because they don't require satellite feedback to operate.

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