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Long gone are the days of plotting a route or a routine blind, guessing at the distance run or cycled, the calories expended or speeds achieved. Today, even amateur athletes have access to Olympic-level data. And we’re almost as competitive with sleep, tracking our rhythms and ever striving for better/more/deeper. Fitness trackers are the keepers of all the crucial stats—sleek, stylish smart watches capable of reading performance information and helping us work towards our goals, be they vertical or horizontal.

Fitbit

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The first thing to figure out in buying a fitness tracker is what your needs are—and what your level of tech-comfortability is; not everyone wants or needs to know the most in-depth details of their own blood oxygenation. Some gadgets, while offering a lot of data, may prove overwhelming. And a device that links that to many other apps will also run more slowly.

Fitbit

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If you’re training for long-distance endurance events, like a marathon, battery life will also be crucial. Check how long your fitness tracker lasts when using important apps and functions, such as GPS, not only how long it lasts when at rest.

Willful

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Do you want to be able to workout uninterrupted, or do you need to know if people are contacting you—and do you need to get back to them? Some Fitbits and smart watches will simply alert you of emails or texts, while others will enable you to briefly respond.

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