What Smart Watch Do Marathon Runners Use? Competitive Runners Watches




Affiliate Disclaimer

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It supports the website. So, Thank you. ❤️

Smartwatch is a very convenient device for marathon runners because of its high-end performance and features. The watch helps a marathon runner in various ways, especially with its fitness tracking feature. 

Smart Watch Do Marathon Runners Use

The watchmaker industry comes with numerous types of the best watches for runners for increasing their running performance. Those watches are built for marathon runners. 

Here is an article on my website that you must read, its about the Best Smartwatches & Foot Pods For Running On A Treadmill.

Without any delay, let’s see the watches that marathon runners love to use!

Why Do Marathon Runners Use Smartwatches?

The most important thing about sports and fitness is motivation. Most of the athletes of today were inspired by the famous athletes who were doing something special when growing up.

We relate the most to an athlete when we see something similar in that athlete. That becomes a source of motivation for us to do the same and try to achieve the same kind of success as that athlete.

The legendary Eliud Kipchoge preferred the Garmin Forerunner 920XT

Of course, not everyone becomes that successful, some of these attachments are only to the extent of watching sports. However, the majority of amateur players tend to follow the pros, very closely.

This is because of their constant thirst to become better, maybe turn pro, and also because they are not only sitting and supporting their favorite athlete, they are actually trying to be more like him, by replicating or trying to replicate what he/she does in the field.

Here is an article on my website that you must read, its about the Best 11 Hybrid Fitness Watches & Smart Watches with Second Hand for Seconds display.

It is very common especially among the amateur runners to learn from, and imitate the pros they look up to.

Be it marathon running or sprints, it is important to see what kind of equipment is used by such runners.

There are a lot of reasons behind this, first one being motivation, another is usually the fact that they are the best in their field, so their judgment of equipment is definitely going to be better than ours.

So, today, we will be exploring what kind of smartwatches are used by competitive runners. This not only includes the marathon running but also sprints. We will also look at some of the famous marathon runners and the watches used by those marathon runners.

Our focus is only going to be on watches that are ideal for running conditions. This means that our interest is not in triathlon watches, rather it is only on watches that deliver the right kind of data needed for running.

For this purpose, it is important to get a watch that will track your heart rate, GPS in real-time, plus other metrics like pace, cadence, vertical ratio, etc.

For marathon running, the most important things to consider are; battery timing during GPS usage, accuracy of the metrics being calculated by the watch, actionable metrics (this includes heart rate monitor, altitude calculator, and some navigational features can be very useful too), comfort, also is probably the most important consideration.

What Smart Watch Do Marathon Runners Use? The Pros Picks

This brings us to the real question, which product is used by the famous marathon runners? There was an online survey conducted on the same question, 3 years ago.

The consensus was that the majority of the athletes at that time did not use smartwatches, especially for marathon running. However, the trend was that most of them were joining the tide and were beginning to use technology, more.

However, currently, Amanda Nurse, who completed the 2016 Olympic Marathon trials and also finished the Boston marathon while being 13 weeks pregnant, has been known to using Garmin products for marathon running.

She was interviewed and admitted to using the Garmin Forerunner 235. More famously, Eliud Kipchoge, regarded as the world’s greatest marathoner at one time, said in an interview that he used the Garmin Forerunner 920XT.

That is a pretty big compliment to Garmin and its products. Ben Flanagan, who took home gold in the Canadian National 10,000m Championships, is also a fan of Garmin. He uses the Garmin Fenix 3. It’s about time he upgrades on that!

Aisha Praught Leer who represented Jamaica in 2016 Rio Olympics is a user of the Polar Vantage V, while the world record holder for the four-by-one-mile relay, David Ribich uses Garmin Forerunner 945.

So, I guess we can conclude that Garmin knows a thing or two about making smartwatches!

Let’s talk a bit about the most popular brands and watches for runners!

List Of 6 Best Smartwatch For Marathon Runners Reviews

Marathon runners and athletes need some special features in their smartwatches that help in their activity. And all of the watches that we have listed here come with these effective features.

1. Fitbit Versa 4 

This makes the list only on the basis of being cost-effective. Some users have reported it to be quite accurate in its metrics, which is a surprise considering the Fitbit Versa 4 was made only for casual runners and people who focus only on normal workouts and do not plan to go overboard like the pros.

It has a wonderful screen, and it is very comfortable to wear, too. Fitbit Versa 4 is a better option if you want to stay within that family of smartwatches.

The heart rate monitor seems to work more accurately once you start an intense activity, and lags during lower intensity sessions. It has altitude calculation, as well, it will count flights if you climb some steep slope.

Probably the best feature of the Fitbit Versa 4 is the fact that it tracks your sleep, as well. Not just the amount of sleep you have had, rather the quality of sleep, differentiating your REM sleep, light sleep, and deep sleep.

Sleep is, after all, an important thing to track, especially, for an athlete. It not only recharges you, but good sleep is also a sign of better health and that is one of the most important traits for an athlete.

2. Garmin Forerunner 245

This is Garmin’s bestseller with the best reviews from its users, it is the complete smartwatch for runners.

Garmin excels in making smartwatches, especially, for physical activities. That is one of the major reasons why you will find Garmin watches on every smartwatch list.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 has an amazing battery life. It also comes with the latest generation heart rate monitor.

This is something that is not added in the older versions of the Garmin, that is one of the major reasons why you should opt for the Forerunner 245 if you are currently looking to buy a smartwatch for running.

It is basic advice to opt for a smartwatch that is technologically superior to the rest, considering one does not always upgrade on their watches. It weighs less than 40g, which is a lot less than most watches that seem to offer the same kind of specs.

That is a huge plus to the smartwatch considering it is comfortable and light to wear. That is ideal for marathon running, of course.

It may not offer the same range of metrics that are offered by the Polar Vantage V or the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro, but for its price, it’s a monster.

It also supports the Garmin Coach, which is a training guide, that will train you up to half a marathon, within a certain time limit. That is certainly one of the major pros of having a Garmin, their apps are fantastic!

3. Polar Vantage V

Polar Vantage V is a brilliant piece of technology. It competes with the likes of the Garmin Forerunner 945 and the Suunto 9 Baro, but at the same time, it is cheaper than those two.

The touchscreen on this bad boy is pretty big and fabulous, and is protected by Gorilla Glass lens and has nine sensors on its back making it just under 70g in weight.

This gives you the assurance that you are wearing something, at least. It has a good battery timing, around 40 hours during training, which means even for pros it could last a week on two charges.

The downside is probably with the extra buttons, they may seem confusing and excessive in the beginning, but it is all about getting used to them. Like most Polar watches, it refuses you to allow to blend in, it will make you stand out!

4. Garmin Forerunner 945

On the outlook, it looks almost exactly like the Forerunner 935, but it’s the insides where it has been changed. It comes with a Sony GPS chip, the new Elevate HR sensor, which works extremely well even under wet conditions.

The battery life manages effectively on GPS, too, which is a huge upgrade on the 935. It has some really good features like accident detection, PulseOx, Training Load Focus, live event sharing, etc.

These do not necessarily feature that would appeal to pros but Garmin’s focus with the 945 is making its best product appealing to the casual buyers as well.

5. Amazfit T-Rex Pro Smartwatch 

The watch comes with more than 150 sports modes. It is a military standard certified watch. You can use the watch for all sports. In fact, the watch is perfect for marathon running. Moreover, it will track the speed of your running. 

The battery life of the watch is very long-lasting which is around 18 days. As a result, you can enjoy your full sports training days. You can measure your heart rate while running or doing activities. 

6. SUUNTO 9 Baro

The watch will work in an excellent way for marathon runners. Indeed, it is an adventure watch that has 80+ sports modes. In addition, it comes with a premium GPS for sports and accurate navigation. You will get approximately 170 hours of battery life. 

It is a very powerful watch indeed. Hence, the watch is specially made for athletes. You can do racing, running, cycling, extreme adventures, and more with the watch. Moreover, you can connect the watch to the sports app easily.  

Best Smartwatch For Marathon RunnersBuying Guide 

If you are a runner, then you need to find a smartwatch that is the best for your running performance. Hence, for selecting a smartwatch, you need to keep some facts in mind which are:


Especially running watches need to have a large screen with good display resolution. You should choose a display that has a gorilla screen. Moreover, the screen must have water and stretch resistance to protect it. 

Battery Life

You should go for a smartwatch that has longer battery life. For this, you can do as much training as you can without worries about the battery of your watch. 

Running Features

The smartwatch you choose for getting the best running performance must have running features. Because you can know your running speed from your wrist throughout the feature. 


A premium GPS navigation system will be an important feature for you. You will know where you are through it. If you go too far away by running, then you can get back to your destination easily. 

Fitness Tracker

A good running smartwatch will have several types of sports modes. As a result, the watch can give statistical data about your running performance after tracking your every step. 

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

For your further inquiry, you may check out this section of the article. Here, we are going to answer some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Smartwatch For Marathon Runner.

Do Runners Prefer Garmin Or Apple Watch?

Answer: Garmin watches are specially made for runners. So, runners will prefer the Garmin watch instead of the Apple watch. 

Which Is Better For Running, Garmin Or Fitbit?

Answer: Garmin has several features which are made for athletes. As a consequence, the Garmin watch is better for running. 

Will Apple Watch Ultra Last A Marathon?

Answer: Apple Watch Ultra will last a marathon. Because the Apple Watch Ultra can last around 12 hours which is enough for doing a marathon. 


Smartwatches are very beneficial to make the training time interesting for runners. It will help you to evaluate your performance. After using a running smartwatch, you can easily find out where you are lacking for a marathon run. 

The watch will work in an essential way to build you for becoming the best marathon runner. As a result, you can get the success of athletes throughout the watch. 

Another post that will interest you is about the 12 Best American-Made Smartwatches And Sports Watches In 2023.

Latest Posts

  • 9 Best Wearable Smart Jewelry With Panic Buttons & GPS For Elderly That Can Call 911

    9 Best Wearable Smart Jewelry With Panic Buttons & GPS For Elderly That Can Call 911

    In this post, I will give you some of the best wearable smart jewelry devices for the elderly with panic buttons and GPS that can call 911. Modern technology has introduced a lot of convenience and facilities into everyone’s lives. Not only has it made some of our routine tasks and jobs simpler and much…

    Read more

  • Best 7 Square Smartwatches In 2024 That Look Great On Your Hand!

    Best 7 Square Smartwatches In 2024 That Look Great On Your Hand!

    If you are looking for a good square smartwatch, this guide is for you. Square watches have always been a popular choice due to their distinctive and classic appearance, setting them apart from traditional round watches. Considering the popularity of square smartwatches, many smartwatch companies offer square smartwatches in their collection, and in this guide,…

    Read more

  • Smart Watches & Fitness Trackers Without Nickel And For Sensitive Skin

    Smart Watches & Fitness Trackers Without Nickel And For Sensitive Skin

    If you are looking for hypoallergenic smartwatches and fitness trackers that don’t have Nickel and are safe for people with Sensitive Skin, this guide is for you. It’s 2024 and fitness trackers are more popular than ever. These days most people use fitness trackers to track their fitness and it helps them to stay on…

    Read more