By Julie Chartrand
If you have read my previous blog post ‘new years resolution gone right’ you know that my quest to live a healthier more active lifestyle and achieving my first 10 km race had the effect of 25 lbs of weight loss.
In 2015 my goal is to run a half marathon. My training is going very well and this venture was not as scary to me as the idea of committing to a 10 km race. With experience, I have grown confident that I can achieve it with training.
Last year I trained for my 10 km my iPhone and the Nike Plus app. I was quite happy using these tools. I enjoyed the music, and felt confident that the data collected was fairly accurate based on race markers and finish times.
Many of my coworkers are seasoned runners and use GPS watches instead of smart phones. They vow that they are more accurate. I was curious and so I jumped on the bandwagon and bought one for myself.
I read read reviews and watched YouTube videos of several products. I compared prices, function and style. A close contender was the Garmin Vivio.
The model I chose is a TomTom Multisport watch in a grey and cyan wrist band. You can use it for triathalon training as you specify if you workout is a run, a bike ride or a swim. Upgraded version included a sera rate heart monitor and one even had a HM integrated in the wrist band.
- Price point approx 180$
- Available in various of “cool” colours
- Ability to sync with Nike plus
I have been running without music since I got the watch and do not miss it. I get lost in my thoughts instead and rather enjoy it.
You can program different types of workouts and goals. You can specify whether it’s an outside run, an inside run or treadmill workout. Your goals can be a distance, a time or you can choose a route you have previously run and race against yourself.
Personally, I love the interval run option. You chose the length of your warm, your interval ‘work’, which can be meters or km, how many times you want to repeat the work and your cool down. My favourite workout is one where you chose your goal pace (a range of your choosing) and the watch beeps and tells you to speed up or slow down to maintain your pace.
So far I have mainly used the running features of the watch. My goal for 2016 is to try out a triathlon. I have my eyes on the Grimsby Iron Girl. That was the main reason I went with the Multisport version. The running GPS watch was less expensive.
The wrist band is comfy and stylish enough to wear everyday. It’s not as bulky as other GPS watches. I find it funny how many 12 yo boys (my son included) think my watch is so awesome. They all think it’s a smart watch.
I find the watch and ‘mouse pad’ very easy to use. As far as my stats, I did not find much difference between my phone and watch. My speed is pretty much the same.
The elevation accuracy is far batter on the watch than on the phone. If I run an out-and-back the elevation curves will be mirrored at the turn around point, as you would expect.. Looking back at my iPhone, my out-and-back elevation curves were never mirrored.
Another great feature of the watch is that it’s water proof. No worries when running in the rain… Truly my favourite time to run long runs…
The TomTom app that you use to download your runs, prior to syncing with Nike plus, in many ways looks like Nike plus… in different colours. You see a map of your run with your km splits at the bottom. It highlights your fastest as well as your slowest run.
The battery life is good. I can run all week on a charge. Maybe I will need to charge it more often when I am running 21 and 23 kilometer runs.
I’m very happy with my switch and look forward to using it as triathlon training tool next year.
Julie Chartrand is my identical twin sister. She’s a mom of 2 boys. She started running 3 years ago. She’ll be running in her first 1/2 marathon on September 13, 2015. She is my biggest inspiration.
What do you use to track your stats when running? An iPhone or smart phone or a GPS watch?
Disclosure: This post has affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a commission on purchases.