Preparing yourself for a marathon it’s a long process that takes a lot of time, dedication and training. One thing that you MUST incorporate into your running routine is the usage of a wearable device that helps you monitor and tracks your pace, time and distance. That way you won’t get any surprises when race day will arrive.
Smartwatches and activity trackers are the most common devices used to give you accurate fitness data that helps you improve your runs during your training. But not all wearables are precise when it comes to long runs like half-marathon or marathon distances. Which? has recently tested 8 wearables devices that you should avoid if you are training for a marathon due to inaccurate distance tracking. They compared more than 100 devices and here’s a list of the worst ones.
Big guns like Apple, Fitbit and Garmin (just to name a few) are all on that list, so make sure you eliminate these specific models below from your buying list.
Note: Which? tests have been done from May 2016 to February 2018. The list doesn’t include the latest models from 2019.
Less Accurate Model: Garmin VivoSmart 4 (
Inaccuracy : -41.5% )
The Garmin VivoSmart 4 is the wearable that gave the worst accuracy during a full marathon. This fitness tracker underestimate the distance by almost 11 miles! Slow down and take a nap buddy, you deserve it! 😉 Not having a built-in GPS (only accelerometer) doesn’t help this activity tracker at all.
In Which? test, the actual distance ran by the athlete was 37 mile instead of 26.2. Crazy!! Not throwing out the ball at Garmin though. The previous version of the VivoSmart was rated way higher (tested by Which?) than his new version.
The Samsung Gear 2 is also a bad choice with an inaccuracy of – 38% followed by Misfit Ray (-32%) and the Xiaomi Amazfit Bip (-30%). To go back to Garmin, if you want a decent watch to calculate your distance more accurate, go for the Garmin VivoActive 3.
Apple Watch 2 Series Is Overestimating by 13%
Apple’s 3rd generation of Apple Watch (GPS version) has also disappointed when tracking a full marathon by overestimating the distance by 13%. So, instead of running a real 26.2 miles you will run less due to the lack of imprecision.
But iOS users don’t get worry, Apple Watch Series 1 finished with great results overestimate the marathon distance by 1% only. We don’t know the results of the Apple Watch Series 4 but I am pretty sure it did well. Still, who runs a marathon with a iOS device? Most athletes uses other brands when running long distances. Thinking about the Garmin Forerunner/Fenix or the Polar Mxx series just to name a few.
Huawei Watch 2 Sport is overestimate the distance even more. 28% to be exact. So make sure you put this one on your blacklist too! Huawei got words of the bad readings and are telling that test conditions and runner variances can modify the results and they are also committed to a better running experience for his clientele and will keep optimizing their existent and next generation of watches. One step into the good direction…
Ask a Running Specialist To Make The Right Decision
There’s always a running store in your local area and I suggest you ask for their insight to make a clear decision when you want an accurate fitness watch for long runs. More specifically for half-marathon or full marathon. Using a precise wearable during your training will help you ”tune” your pace and give you the right distance to emulate what will happen during race day.
What do you think of Which? test results?
Do you have one of these watches from the list?