Fitbit for runners – your best training tool?
Fitbit for runners: elevate your training
We’re going to get a bit tecchie today, and talk about an absolute want/need that I have right now: a Fitbit!
There is a plethora of GPS watches, heart rate monitors, and goodness knows whatever other gadgets out there to help you track your training, but I want to show you how completely the Fitbit can meet your needs.
Fitbit is fantastic for runners, it might just be the best training tool you ever use.
Cheapest place to buy: Amazon.com
My rating: 8 out of 10
What’s a Fitbit?
Fitbit is a company that makes a range of activity trackers. They are probably the most popular and well loved trackers around. Most Fitbits look like a very sleek watch, and come in a variety of cool colors. They range in price from US$50 for the more basic Flex up to $250 for the super souped-up Surge (that’s the one I want).
The models from flex up will all will do these things:
- Track your steps (like a pedometer)
- Monitor how long and well you sleep (interesting huh? this can be a big insight into how the day ahead might go for you)
- Wake you up silently via its vibrating alarm clock (no more grumpy, sleep deprived partners mumbling at you as you roll out of bed for that early run)
- Allow you to set daily goals, and give you visuals for how you’re tracking (includes fun social stuff like setting up competitions with your friends, or you can cheer each other on)
- Easily synch to your phone or laptop to view and analyze results
They’re also widely recognized as having a pretty darn good battery life compared to similar products made by other brands.
The more expensive the Fitbit, the more features it will have in addition to those listed above.
What’s the difference between them?
Here is a handy comparison table that shows you the different features that come with each Fitbit. Please note I got this chart from the Fitbit website, which has very kindly given me the price in New Zealand dollars. I’ve quoted USD above, since I figure that’s where most of you are, and it’s the most commonly used currency on Amazon.
You can see that the Flex is really quite basic. It will track your steps, but won’t give you much else training information. However, it does come in the widest range of colors.
In the middle, we have the Charge HR. This has some great features, including heart rate monitor. I think if you are looking at purchasing a Charge model, you might as well spend the small extra amount and get the HR included. Note that with Fitbit heart rate monitoring, there is no uncomfortable band to wear around your chest, everything is done from the watch. This is fantastic news for women, as bras and heart rate monitors can all get a bit uncomfortable sometimes.
The king of the Fitbits is the Surge. It has many advanced features, including GPS tracking.
The best choice for runners?
Based on all the features packed into it, the Fitbit Surge is a clear winner for me. It’s also the top selling running GPS unit on Amazon, so plenty of other people think so, too. Before you go ahead and purchase one let’s walk through some of the pros and cons of the Surge.
– Most accurate sleep tracking of all the Fitbit family
– Has the most advanced features, including those most useful for runners such as GPS and hear trate
– Good at tracking your activity levels during any sport, so you can get an accurate gauge of how your cross training is going
– Easy to charge
– Surge is the bulkiest Fitbit, and looks the most like a sports watch out of all of them. The idea of a Fitibit is it constantly tracks your activity, so this may or may not be an aesthetic issue for you (I do know of women who say their Surge is their favorite piece of jewelry though!)
– It costs a lot more than the other models (but it does have more features….)
– It only comes in three colors (black, blue, orange. Please note: Amazon only stocks black at the moment)
I think the cons are pretty minor, and that the Surge is a great tool for your running and your every day life.
I’d love to hear how you get on, so come back and leave me a comment.
Your running (and tracking) buddy,