Calculating Running Distance

Jogging Benefits

Jogging Health Information 2012

Calculating Running Distance

Calculating running distance is one of the most important considerations for runners who are following a training plan. As a matter of common practice, a majority of training plans require runners to run a pre-determined distance day-in and day-out. The sum of the weekly mileage is oftentimes used to build up one’s endurance, especially when training for a long distance running event. Because of this, runners put a premium on being able to calculate their running distance for every workout.

To do this, runners rely on a variety of gadgets to help them in calculating running distance. Here are some of the most popular running distance calculators that are currently on the market:

GPS Running Watches. You will find this used by newbie and advanced runners alike as it is the most reliable technology in place for calculating running distance. GPS running watches rely on overhead satellites to determine the runner’s position at any point along the route. The best GPS watches are able to accurately measure distance down to a 10-meter error for a 10,000 meter run.

However, GPS watches also have a downside that runners need to be mindful of. First, GPS watches are more expensive than regular sports watches. High-end watch models from famous manufacturers Garmin and Polar often sell for more than $500. GPS watches are also suspect if the running environment blocks the GPS signal as in the case when running in tunnels or remote locations. GPS watches also have a relatively short battery life in the range of a few hours of continued use and requires frequent charging for your next run. Still, there is no arguing that when it comes to calculating running distance, runners rely on the GPS watch more than on any other technology currently available in the market.

Pedometers and accelerometers. These devices are used for calculating running distance by sensing the runner’s motion, recording that motion as a step, and then multiplying the runner’s pre-inputted stride length to the total number of steps to get the total distance. Pedometers are notoriously inaccurate because motion-sensing is susceptible to glitches in data recording. However, due to its affordability, especially when contrasted with GPS watches, there are plenty of runners that would rather use pedometers and accelerometers than GPS devices. These devices are also great if the intention in calculating running distance does not boil down to a matter of meters but rather only as an estimate of the total running distance per workout session.

Without relying on any fancy gadgets, the best way for calculating running distance is to run on a route with pre-determine distance markers. This can be done either on the track or on a country highway with kilometer markers. This allows runners to follow through with their training plans without having to lose sleep over which pricy gadget for calculating running distance they should buy.

There is no arguing the value of calculating running distance for a training plan. However, this does not have to be done in the most expensive way possible. By checking your constraints particularly in the budget department, or by being creative with your other options, you can still calculate running distance without having to spend a lot on a very sophisticated running watch. In the end, it’s not how expensive your running gadgets are, it’s the quality of the training that counts the most.