With so many watches on the market, it can be confusing knowing what features you need and which are surplus to requirements. The main features to look for are a heart-rate monitor (HRM), which will help you to train smarter, ensuring your runs are neither too hard nor too easy. A GPS will let you keep an accurate log of your mileage; particularly useful if you are training for a longer event. Lap timers can help plan your interval training, while the ability to quickly download your data to a computer-based or online diary will help you analyse your training.

Here, coach Dave Taylor, analyses the top brands to show you how you can use wrist-mounted technology to gain race places.


It's great when Strava tells you you're King of the Mountains but it's tempting to make every run hard, chasing segments. Sometimes it's good to run naked (watch free!) and just enjoy the scenery.