Very early days but I'm looking at a couple of local routes which go off-road so are a wee bit tricky to map. I've heard of watches which can tell me my time and distance run but, crunch time, are they expensive and/or reliable?
Try Sweatshop. I know they have a deal on some Garmin 201's in Runners World. 75.00 over 150.00. I think you can get a Navman from them too. I know the one in York had some on offer around the London Marathon time. I have had a 201 for ages...I love it. Some people think it's bulky compaired to the newer one but...hey...creature of habit...I like it. Go to their website you might be able to mail order one.
I have a Forerunner 201 and love it - picked up second hand on ebay for around £50. You can get others, which are based on a footpod but you can't map the data of these but will tell you distance and pace etc. Have you got an ipod nano? You can get adaptors and senors for these and turn your nano into a speed and distance monitor - the kit costs around £20.
Ah ha, inspired answer! Thank you SE, my son has an Ipod nano. There might be some scope for negotiation here, especially since £20 is much more in budget; now, if I can just find him in the gloom of his bedroom....
You will also need something like an istrap or a shoe pouch as the ipod sensor was originally designed to work with Nike shoes (they have a special compartment under the insole) BUT there are products out there that will allow you to use the senor with other brands of shoe ranging from £2 - £5.
Personally, I prefer the GPS systems like 201 or navmens. The IPOD piece like the Polar rs200sp work off velocity. Sometimes I find them not as accurate if terrain changes from hills to flats etc. But the price is better if you already have a nano.
ive been using the nike+ on the ipod nano for last 6 weeks or so, very accurate, usually about 0.2 miles off on my 5 mile runs. could calbrate it better, but cant be bothered going to a track. also find it handy in the way that it tracks your runs on the computer, and shoes you a graph, when you slowed, speed up etc etc, and acts like a personal trainer.
Had a laugh with my Nike+ thing last night... i'm of the opinion that it's more of a pedometer than a force/velocity measuring 'thing'. Normally it underestimates my runs, (I compare the ipod against different route planning sites), whereas last night it managed to measure my 4.3 mile run as 7.2miles, last time I ran the route it measured it as 3.8miles.
Technology eh? Fantastic!! I'll soon be looking at a garmin or similar that uses GPS instead.
Ravi, not sure about the future technology of mobiles as a whole, but it's easy enough to get sat nav on your phone already (well smartphones at least), so I'd imagine it's just a case of programming some software to use the same technologies for a kind of running gadget.
How are we doing...I do like the thought of running but it is too cold at the minute to even entertain the thought of it but I guess I will soon get over it and be able to get out and do a few miles...what do you say?