Best Beginner GPS Running Watch?

2nd July 2020

What is the Best Beginner GPS Running Watch?

Strap one of these budget running watches and activity trackers and you will be pounding the streets in no time.

If you are starting out as a runner, you are in great company. According to a government survey, approximately 6.8 million people in England consider themselves regular runners. Whether you are looking to increase your exercise or you have a marathon in your sights, a GPS running watch can help you to meet your goals. But which watch is the best beginner GPS running watch and which will give you all the features you need to up your game?

Why Choose a GPS Running Watch?

best beginner GPS running watch

Use a GPS running Watch to meet your training goals

Mankind has been running for thousands of years. Whether sprinting away from sabre-toothed tigers or running to catch the bus, we’ve been doing it quite well without any help. So, why should you buy a GPS running watch? Well, being able to track steps, location, heart rate, and calories make for a much more tailored training plan. You’ll do okay without one but you won’t be able to track your progress or set proper goals.

At their most basic level, GPS running watches allow runners to track how fast and how far they have moved with excellent accuracy. Many running watches offer additional features such as music, notifications, and even contactless payments. Whether you want a watch with these fancy features is up to you.

Garmin Forerunner 45

In our opinion, this is one of the best beginner GPS running watch models available on the market today. It’s also great on price coming in at around £130. With this watch on your wrist, you can set up training plans for events such as 5K and half marathon runs. If that seems a little daunting right now, you can set shorter plans and build up your endurance over time. The Garmin Coach app also allows you to track all progress in one place.

And it’s not only a running watch either. The Forerunner 45 allows you to track everyday activity and several other sports, too. It also has a nifty emergency assistance feature that allows you to send an SOS to up to three contacts via email or text. Battery life is impressive and offers 13 hours of full GPS or 7 days if just using in watch mode.

Price at the Time of Article: £149.99

best beginner GPS running watch

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Suunto 9

Running isn’t always about times, races, and personal bests. You can also discover a lot of joy pounding the pavements and finding the best running trails. Whether you are planning to take on the city or you fancy some countryside exploration, Sunnto 9 is a great companion to take along.

This is a beautiful looking running watch and while it’s the most expensive in our list, it does pack a punch. It features a low GPS feature that can save you a ton of battery life. It’s not as accurate as full GPS mode but good for those long runs or multi-day adventures when you can’t risk having your watch run out of juice. You can run on full mode and the Sunnto will tell you when you need to switch to low GPS to save battery life. Its versatility and easy controls make it a hot contender in our best beginner GPS running watch list.

Price at the Time of Article: £314.30

best beginner gps running watch

Suunto 9 – Black

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Polar M400

The Polar M400 is an all-day activity tracker that is now fairly cheap on Amazon and other outlets. The clear display makes it easy to read whilst on the move and the metrics are easy to change quickly using the Polar Flow training log. The GPS locks onto satellites quickly and provides accurate tracking of every run or walk. In full GPS mode, you’ll get around 8 hours of battery life. One of the best things about the M400 is that it uses a standard USB charging cable so no fiddling around with cradles or facepalming when you realise you left the cradle at home.

Price at the Time of Article: £158.74

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Garmin Vivosport

The Garmin Vivosport locks on to a GPS signal quickly and feels robust for such a small frame. Although not really a running watch (it’s an activity tracker). It features the basics such as pace and distance and a few extra features like the rep counter and VO2 Max estimator. You can also control your music using Bluetooth. If that wasn’t enough the Vivo also features sleep and stress tracking and lets you keep track of other sports like cycling, swimming, and strength training. The only downside is that it comes with a tiny screen which may be a little difficult to read when you are pacing the mean streets.

Price at the Time of Article: £99.99

best beginner gps running watch

Garmin in slate (small/medium)

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Essential Reading: Best Fitness Trackers Guide

Huawei Band 3 Pro

When it comes to finding the best beginner GPS runner watch, the Huawei Band 3 Pro is a safe bet. This is a feature-rich fitness tracker that offers reliable GPS for around half the price of its closest rivals. One huge advantage of the Band 3 Pro is that it is highly accurate for such an affordable price. This watch has been through rigorous testing against its more expensive competitors and is just as accurate. Other big-league features include data-driven coaching, advanced sleep analysis, and swim style recognition. So, whether you prefer to run, cycle or swim, the Band 3 Pro is a great choice.

Price at the Time of Article: £55.50

best beginner gps running watch

Huawei Band 3 Pro Fitness Tracking Wristband, Black

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Price at the Time of Article: £55.50

The Amazfit Bip has received fantastic reviews on Amazon and is a great-value sports watch. It features a sleek and slimline design so its perfect for the track and the boardroom. If you’ve heard nightmare stories of fitness watches running out of charge mid-run, there is no need to worry with the Bip.

This impressive little watch will give you up to a month of battery life when fully charged. It also records data for multi-sports – perfect if you plan to complete runs and cycles. The distance tracking is reliable, but some people report this isn’t always the case with the heart and sleep monitor functions. You’ll also need to adjust settings for the Bip using the Amazfit smartphone app. No snazzy touchscreens here, unfortunately.

Price at the Time of Article: £110.00

best beginner gps running watch

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Wrapping Up

When you are looking for the best beginner GPS running watch, this is a great selection to choose from. Whether you are looking to do a couch to 5K or hit the big time with a marathon, all of these watches will help you to smash your goals.

Further Reading; Music on the Move: Choosing a Running Watch with Music

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Gym-Wired exists to expand the concept of wearable fitness technology. We review Smartwatches, Fitness Trackers, Fitness Apps and more. We share our passions through expert reviews and guides to help you cut through the clutter. Founded in 2015 but launched in 2020 we aim to shake the Wearables industry and let our writing do the talking.

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