Polar RC3 Training Computer, £200

Best GPS running watches
If calorie-driven goals are your thing, the Polar RC3 is for you

It's all about heart rate on the Polar RC3, but there's plenty more on board this svelte 58g watch to challenge the rest. Calorie-driven goals are possible, but the all-important pace and distance also get a look-in on this GPS sports watch.

Sat nav innards produce speed, distance and route - as well as your expected finishing time - while basic navigation is also included. Get completely lost in the woods and a 'back to start' feature will help you re-trace your steps.

Smart Coaching features include a Zone Optimizer mode that adjusts your heart rate zones for every training session, cleverly using your monitored physiological condition so as to accurately stretch you.

At any time you can perform a five-minute Fitness Test to help fuel this feature, or if you're curious about your current condition. All data is uploaded to polarpersonaltrainer.com for analysis.

Garmin Forerunner 610, £200

Best GPS running watches
This more affordable Garmin is a stripped down option for tighter budgets

Garmin make GPS watches for all budgets, and this step-down model - though still pricey - concentrates on the track. Able to measure your heart rate in BPM (the key to understanding running, say many) and accurately produce calorific goals, the 610 is less ambitious that its 910XT brethren.

Weighing 52g and able to operate for eight hours on a run, the 610 features HotFix to attach to satellites quickly (GPS watches that drag their heels for a few minutes pre-run quickly get irritating) as well as Virtual Partner and Virtual Racer options to keep you fit, along with custom workouts.

Basic navigation is possible, and the resistive touchscreen - the only one on the market at the time of writing - is fast and responsive even when wearing running gloves. Read our Garmin Forerunner 610 review for more details.

TomTom Runner, £TBC

Best GPS running watches
This running-centric TomTom will keep you going for 10 hours!

Modern colour screens on navigation watches are still pretty rare despite their proliferation on almost every other gadget, but sat nav aficionado TomTom aims to change all that when it launches two 11.5mm-slim, 50g GPS watches this summer. It's not a touchscreen, but the single button below the clock-face on the strap itself is easy to use and elicits a vibration each time it's pressed.

A Multisport variant for swimmers and cyclists also exists, but this running-centric watch is all about the track. The highlight is its Graphical Training Partner, which offers three modes: Zone, Race and Goal.

Zone vibrates if you're going either too fast or slow, Race pinpoints exactly where on the track you've sped-up or slowed down (compared to previous data), while Goal allows you to run to distance, or calories burned.

The data Runner collects is then funnelled via Bluetooth to a smartphone app, MySports, for analysis. The problem with using a backlit screen, of course, is battery life, though TomTom claim that the Runner will keep going for around 10 hours between charges. A heart rate monitor accessory will also be available.