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Need a running watch? We have the pick of the best training buddies

Josie Cox tests the latest tech-packed gadgets you need to keep on track with your exercise goals

Wearable technology has evolved in leaps and bounds since the days of the cumbersome pedometer that could be strapped to your waistbands but inevitably ran out of battery ten minutes into your run. Watches and other devices have become smarter and more sophisticated and the market is now jam-packed with price tags to match most budgets. Here are our top picks.

1. Fitbit Blaze: £139.95, John Lewis

The Blaze boasts all the same features as the Charge 2, but this one has a bigger screen and also offers a special function called "Fitstar", which essentially transforms it into a mini-personal trainer on your wrist, with instructions for your work-out flashing up on-screen. If you want to blast your abs and transform your run into a whole-body workout, then Fitstar is your friend. the Blaze also allows you to turn off incoming call alerts if you don't want to be disrupted when you're running.

2. Fitbit Charge 2: £119.95, John Lewis

This is a great model for people who are looking to incorporate more general exercise into their lives. It's very easy to use and continuously monitors your heart rate, step count and sleep, tracks calorie and water intake, reminds you when you haven't moved for a certain period of time, and also has a function that provides guided breathing sessions for relaxation. It records distance, pace and time, but in order to get more granular details, like a map of the route, you need to log on to the app (available on iOS, Android and Windows).

3. Garmin Forerunner 35: £169.99, John Lewis

Visually this looks a little dated and the screen is monochrome and not touch sensitive, but what it might lack in design it tries hard to make up for in function. It hasn't got the ability to track things like stride length but it does offer a great overview of stats while you're running and gives you the ability to switch between various screens to very easily monitor distance, time and pace, heart rate zone and current heart rate.

4. Garmin Fenix 3 HR: £333.07, Wiggle

One of the pricier models and a veritable treasure trove in terms of function, the Garmin Fenix 3 is an all-rounder. It may be able to do plenty, but wearing it can feel like a bit of a workout in itself. It weighs 82g and stands 16mm from the wrist, making it much chunkier than many other watches, so not ideal for the delicate-wristed sportsperson. But it packs a serious punch when it comes to functions: motion sensors, an electronic compass and heart rate monitor, are just some of the strings to its bow.

5. Suunto Spartan Sport: £399, Cotswold Outdoor

This is another fairly bulky model, but the classic-looking face gives it a much more elegant feel than some of its competitors, and makes it just as wearable to work or dinner as on the track. It steps up to the challenge of providing simple and efficient no-nonsense tracking. It has a colour touch screen, a compass and about 16 hours of battery life while in training mode. Its GPS is reliable and offers tracking features for more than 80 sports.

6. Polar M200: £129.50, Polar

A lot can be said for simplicity when it comes to running watches and, for this reason, the Polar M200 stands. Durability is the first thing that comes to mind, so it might not be a natural accessory for a black tie event and doesn't have the most comfortable strap on the market. It's not touch screen and just has two buttons, but it's instinctive to use. It tracks all the most important measures by GPS and we were impressed by its accuracy.

7. Apple Watch Series 2: £369, John Lewis

This doesn't pack in all of the advanced features that some of the more specialist watches have but it makes up for it in style and ease-of-use. It's also a brilliant activity tracker, a communications device, notifications centre and normal timepiece. It now boasts waterproofing and an in-built GPS so you don't need to carry your phone along with you.

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