GPS watches (those that use Global Positioning System technologies) take any doubts and uncertainties out of an unmeasured run or long distance jogging trip. A GPS sensor is placed within a digital fitness watch and receives the longitude, latitude and sometimes altitude of its location. Once the watch is set to a starting mode, it can trace the wearer's whereabouts until he or she sets an end marker. By using the worldwide radio-navigation system, an athlete can know for certain just how far he is able to run within a certain period of time.
In addition to distance, these watches can help an athlete understand his or her average and personal best pace rates over a familiar training route. Many GPS watches offer lap memory settings that allow the specific lengths and directions of traditional running courses to be recorded and saved for further use. The runner can then choose the specific route she will be traveling, gauge how fast she finishes it, and then compare this speed with yesterday's data.
Many parents also use GPS watches as a way to make sure their children know exactly how to return home from school or back to the bus if they get lost on a school trip. While they are not required, these watches can become great preventative measures if the child or young adult does not feel familiar with his or her surroundings. They are often appreciated during camping trips or wilderness hikes as well.
Common Brands of GPS Watches
Two of the most popular brands of GPS timepieces are Timex and Garmin. These companies offer personal training and data recording watches that are fitted with integrated GPS functions. Timex offers an arm unit that tracks the individual's speed and distance and transmits the information to the GPS watch. Garmin offers the Forerunner 101 or 102 personal trainer and GPS mapping system all in one wristwatch unit.