What Time is It?

December 11, 2014

Watches, watches everywhere! This year I trained/ran with the following:

  • Garmin Forerunner 15
  • Timex Ironman 50 Lap
  • Polar Heart Rate Monitor

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I am starting to prefer my Timex over my Garmin. 

Garmin Forerunner 15


Image: Garmin

I started using the Garmin again during the spring 2014 season.  There was no real reason why I stopped using my old Forerunner….probably laziness (charging that watch is sooo much effort).  As a quant nerd I do love all the data that comes with the Garmin and its software, Garmin Connect.  During marathon training it was nice to wear the Garmin in the event I changed my route – I would know my total mileage without guessing or mapping my run manually online.  However, I found that I was constantly looking at my watch to view the total mileage.  I would  watch the mileage slowly creep up…8.0, 8.1, 8.2…. it was a bit painful.  This didn’t really  happen until marathon training happened – so it could been a combination of factors – longer runs, unmotivated days, heat.

Timex Ironman 50 Lap


Image: Timex

Until this spring I primarily used my basic Timex Ironman 50 lap watch during my races/training.  I started using this watch when I trained for my first marathon using the Galloway method – it has an easy interval setting.  I never have to worry about charging it or losing battery life (which the Garmin did during my marathon).  I also like the satisfaction of pressing the split button whenever I pass a mile marker.  However, the memory count is limited and I have to record my splits manually.  For long training runs I would not be able to capture accurate splits unless I memorized all the mile markers (even that would not be 100% accurate). For shorter runs my pace is more consistent so it was easy to track mileage that way.  The nice part of using this watch is that I was not counting down between the miles and running has been more enjoyable as of late.

Polar Heart Rate Monitor


Image: Polar

I started using my Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor last fall when I was tracking my calories burned.  During races I would wear it with my Timex as well (yes I got strange looks wearing two watches).  By the time I ran the Love Run Half Marathon in March I knew my pace equated to about 170-180bpm.  I know some people swear by HRM training (level of effort), but I haven’t really researched that but have a general idea about what it is.  I also did not have to charge the Polar FT4.  I stopped wearing it when the watch could not connect with the sensor.  It worked out well because I did not want to deal with a the strap chaffing me during the summer training runs.

For now I think I will stick with my Timex and reintroduce my Garmin in a couple of months.  I think I just need to have the willpower not to look at my mileage every minute or so! 

What type of sports watch do you use?

Have you ever used HRM training?

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