I'm a Suunto T3 user. I have the HRM and the foot pod device which gives pace and distance. It does it all, minus GPS coordinates. There is also a program to buy to download the data and track on the computer. Its small on the wrist and can therefore be used for more than just running. Its worked great for me. I calibrated it on a track to make sure my distances were accurate. Its tricky to figure out the buttons at first, but after a little messing with it and reading the directions, its easy to navigate. It takes about a month to totally feel comfortable with it. It also has a feature called training effect, which uses your personalized data and your performance data to calculate the physiological effectiveness of your workout. This is important in figuring out how much recovery time you need to reap the benefits of your workout. Hope this helps. ~Active Toby
Social Media Specialist | Endurance Sports
The Garmin Forerunner 305 does it all, HRM, GPS, pace, distance, software to track everything on your computer including downloadable tracks from sites like mapmyrun.com and lots more too. You can get a GF305 for about $200. on ebay. Most other devices in the $100. to $150. range are 3 legged dogs compared to the Garmin Forerunner 305. It is kind of bulky tho, so if style is high on your list look at Polar or Suunto. Hope this helps.
If price is not an issue, I love my Garmin 305. It is a GPS unit so you don't have to calibrate it. It has a heart monitor, tracks your elapsed time, distance to 1/100 mile, current pace in min/mile, displays elevation, calculates calories burned, etc, etc. The price on these have come down, MSRP is $349.99 and Walmart.com has them for $219.88, its cousin the Garmin 205 is $154.88.
You choose the displays you want to see. I have mine set up for 4 displays so at a glance I can see elapsed time, distance, heart rate, and current mile pace at the moment.
Message was edited by: Terry4X4
Looks like drjenson beat my post on the 305 unit.
I've used a Polor S120 for years. Plain ole HRM w/ stopwatch. MapMyRun figured out distances of my runs (the ones I didn't measure with my bike computer). I'd wear it all the time as a regular watch because I'm a dork. Seemed to work just fine for my training.
Since I wanted more metrics and charts, I upgraded to the Polor RS800sd. Now I have a small footpod that provides speed, distance, cadence and stride length as well as HR and normal watch / stopwatch function etc. I got a big discount so it was the same price as the Garmin Forerunner 305. I can wear it as a normal watch as well and it's pretty sleek - OK I'm a bigger dork now. There is a GPS option but you don't get location, which is a big plus of the Garmin (if you like mapping out your runs). I guess with the Garmin footpod accessory you gets the best of both world (bar a real watch) since you can track speed and distance indoors for your training log. I like the Polar just because of the size and flexbility - just personal preference.
In the end you need to look at what features you want/like as well as price.
You're in luck! Active.com has reviewed a few of these running watches in our Gear section. Check 'em out here:
Garmin Forerunner 301
I'm new to running, doing intervals and looking for a watch that I can set to beep at different intervals ahead of time, so I don't watch the clock.
Do any of these do that? HRM would be nice, too.
Lower cost the better.
I've been also using Garmin forrunner 205 for outdoor runs. However, I got myself an Android phone
(Google Phone) couple of months ago and have been using some programs similar to Garmin. Like Sportypal which gave me some really good results. It can track speed,
elevation, distance, map the run, pace etc. It's good to use it because after uploading the track to any internet mapping site I'm able to manage my track and devide it manually in different intervals. So if you have a phone that has a GPS built in it, you can try this it's for free so there is nothing that you can loose.