As a frequent reader of DC Rainmaker, I knew that would be my first stop when looking at watches as he conducts extensive reviews of different watches and monitors. In essence, if you want to know anything and everything about endurance sports technology gadgets (watches, power meters, software, etc.), this is the place to go. Over the last few weeks I'd looked at several possibilities including a new release from Adidas that looked very promising with a built-in music player, but all of the devices seemed to be lacking in one area or another. Finally, it came down to two choices: The TomTom Multisport, or the Garmin 310xt.
The TomTom Multisport watch had a number of features that I really liked including the fact that it was super fast when connecting to satellites. I also liked the idea of a device that was bluetooth enabled for connecting to HRM and Cadence sensors. In fact, if money were no object, I would have likely gone with this set up. But to get the watch and accompanying items, I was looking at a price of around $300.00, which was a bit more than I wanted to spend at the moment. Another consideration (albeit a smaller one) was the 10 hour battery life on the Tom Tom device. While it will be extremely rare that I'd want something with a longer battery life, the reality is that I do hope to do an Ironman or another Ultra at some point, and while I'd be pleased with a sub 10 hour time in either event, that is highly unrealistic. A longer battery life was something that I'd have to consider.
|Sensor comes with everything you see here. . .|
|Good speed, but too much post run pain!|
Perhaps you've had the opportunity when flying to get an "upgrade" to first class. Or maybe when you checked into a hotel room they were able to "upgrade" your room to a suite with a balcony. Or an even better description might be when you've purchased your first new car, and pleasantly discovered that the heater, air-conditioning, and stereo all work perfectly. Such a difference compared to what you were driving before, no? That's how I feel about my new watch. It's been a great upgrade. From the moment I first began setting it up, it has been, well, just better. Faster than what I had been using by far. Both in terms of finding satellites (it's even finding them when I'm inside), connecting to HR strap and sensors, and certainly downloading data. In fact, while testing the speed and cadence sensor downstairs, it even transferred the data back upstairs to the computer where I had left Garmin Connect open. When I went to upload the data into my BT training log, it was done in a matter of seconds. I used to have time to go get a cup of coffee while waiting for an upload.
Being able to track Heart Rate is probably the thing I most excited about however. Through the first part of the year last year, I used Heart Rate as a key training component. Without a viable option for this the last several months, I've relied more on RPE (rate of perceived exertion), which is helpful, but harder to analyze from a data perspective. Between Garmin Connect, Strava, and BT, there are endless ways to analyze the numbers more.
To be sure I've only scratched the surface with the watch, and I know that I will want to try some other things with it, as I get more workouts logged in. Until then, I will continue to enjoy my upgrade!