When you practice pacing or calculate time to cut the finish line at a marathon race, you surely count on a running watch. But there are so many varieties in functions and you may find it hard to choose one. So we asked Yumi Yoshikawa and Chihiro Sunaga of Shiseido Running Club for their tips on how to find the ideal watch as well as about their favorite watches.
Yumi Yoshikawa, Shiseido Running Club, Captain
Joined in June 2015. Since then, she has renewed her records in 1500m, 3000m and 5000m. Under coach Mr. Iwamizu, who is the men’s national record holder, she is also practicing 3000m steeplechase and aims to become one of Japanese top runners.
Chihiro Sunaga, Shiseido Running Club
Placed third in the 800m at the 2013 National Sports Festival in Tokyo. Also won the 1500m titles at the Japan National Industrial Teams Championships and National Sports Festival in Nagasaki in 2014 and at Japan Championships in Athletics in 2015.
GPS is Essential! Try On Before Buying
“Running watches are rather expensive. Everyone looks for different functions with different aims so I would recommend thinking carefully about what kinds of functions you need before you actually buy one,” Ms. Sunaga says. For instance, if you run in the rain, or swim in a pool for recovery workout, a waterproof function is essential. If you run a hilly course, you need a watch that shows the altitude. It is important to have a clear idea of what kinds of scenes you would like to or expect to wear it in.
In particular, both Ms. Sunaga and Ms. Yoshikawa recommend “GPS function” among various functions. “It is very useful for tracking pace. For example, while walking to the station from your house, you can figure out your pace based on the distance and you can reflect it into your running pace, too.” (Ms. Sunaga)
Meanwhile, Ms. Yoshikawa gives us advice on the design, saying, “You might think a bigger screen is easier to look at, but when you actually wear it, you might find it rather heavy or uncomfortable. On the other hand, some watches look bulky, but might in fact be nice and light and easy to use. So you’d better try first and see how it feels.”
Check Out VO2 Max Function, the Maximal Oxygen Consumption And Changeable Straps!
Furthermore, we ask about the features of running watches for this coming season. Speaking of functions, “Now there are watches that measure your heart rate to predict VO2 Max, the maximal oxygen consumption available. Thus, you can get a rough idea of your running time, like estimating how long it will take to complete a full marathon based on your current condition.” (Ms. Sunaga)
And concerning designs, Ms. Yoshikawa says, “I like the ones in cute colors and shapes. Some watches are very stylish so you can wear them daily by changing the straps to leather ones.”
Favorite Watches of the Two Athletes
So what types of running watches do Ms. Sunaga and Ms. Yoshikawa actually wear? Let’s find out.
“Epson, Garmin and uplifting Apple Watch,” Says Ms. Sunaga
Ms. Sunaga uses Epson (picture above) and Garmin depending on her mood and training menus. “I bought Epson last year, and I like it because it has a heart rate monitor function. It also shows the altitude and that is very useful when running a hilly course. I also like Garmin for its cute design.” Plus, she often wears Apple Watch in addition to these two running watches. “I use Apple Watch to listen to the music while running. Its earphones are cordless so it is so handy for a run.” She sometime runs wearing a running watch on one arm and Apple Watch on the other.
“Garmin for Long Distance and Cross-Country, SEIKO for Track Trainings” Says Ms. Yoshikawa
Ms. Yoshikawa likes Garmin’s fēnix3 (picture above) and SEIKO SUPER RUNNERS. “I fell in love with the design of fēnix3, a combination of white and gold, at first sight, not to mention its functions. In addition to GPS function, it shows the altitude so it is very useful for checking my pace depending on ground slopes when I run a cross-country course or on a riverside ground. I haven’t mastered all functions yet but apparently it can be set for several scenes such as bike, skiing or swimming so I want to try those functions too when I include those sports in my training menus or at my leisure time.” On the other hand, “I like SUPER RUNNERS, which has no GPS function but its stopwatch function is very easy to use. I always rely on this watch to check and track my speed every 100m.” (Ms. Yoshikawa)
Which One to Buy? Running Watch Recommendations
Finally, we asked Mr. Takahashi of Garmin PR Dept. about his recommendations for this season. “I would like to recommend fēnix5, which was released on March 27. You can change the straps without any tools, allowing you to easily adjust it for daily use or to a sports watch. There are three variations in size so even if you have thin arms, you can wear it comfortably.”
Now you have the advice from Ms. Yoshikawa and Ms. Sunaga, their favorite watches as well as a watch maker’s recommendations. So check them out and find your best running watch!
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