GPS watches for running

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  • GPS watches for running
  • Jamie
    Member

    If doing ultras, then go for the Fenix 2.

    http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2014/03/garmin-fenix2-multisport.html

    …it’s still quite pricey, though.

    superfli
    Member

    Bought an old FR305 about 6 months ago. Its ace. Can be a little slow picking up satellites, but battery life is very good and it works on the bike and running and fairly waterproof. Only £70 on ebay

    Jamie
    Member

    Bought an old FR305 about 6 months ago. Its ace. Can be a little slow picking up satellites, but battery life is very good and it works on the bike and running and fairly waterproof. Only £70 on ebay

    Ain’t going to be 12hrs good, unfortunately.

    the teaboy
    Member

    I’ve had a Garmin FR205 for about 6 years. It has been brilliant but terminally died last week.

    Battery typically lasted ~10 hours.

    FR220 arriving in the post today, hopefully.

    +1 for the FR220. I got one a couple of weeks ago and it has been brilliant. Can now track both running & biking on Garmin Connect.

    bluebird
    Member

    Can now track both running & biking on Garmin Connect.

    How does this work? Do all the activities come in as running and then you reassign some of them to cycling?

    How does this work? Do all the activities come in as running and then you reassign some of them to cycling?

    Apologies, i didn’t make clear what i was trying to say. I also own a Garmin Edge 800 and use this for biking and also used to use it for running by just holding it in my hand. Did the job well enough but not ideal. Bought the FR220 and now upload the running stats from it and the biking stats from the 800.

    Duffer
    Member

    I’m in the market for the aforementioned, to record how slow i’m running. Anyone got any good / bad experiences? I’m intending to enter my first Ultra later this year, so i need good battery life (12hrs plus, ideally).

    After some google fu, i’ve identified the Suunto Ambit 2R and the Garmin Fenix 2 as contenders. Any others i should consider?

    Duffer
    Member

    From the DC Rainmaker site that Jamie linked to earlier:

    The Garmin FR220 does not contain a cycling function, nor any way to connect to speed/cadence sensors while cycling. It does however contain the ability to switch the display metric from pace (usually displayed as minutes/mile or minutes/kilometer) to speed (i.e. MPH/KPH). You can do this via the the Settings > Activity Settings > Data Screens menu, and then within one of your data pages you can select the data field you want to change and change it to Speed.

    At this point the unit will display speed (MPH or KPH depending on your preferences) as one of the data fields.

    The only challenge with this particular workaround though is that by default the workout will still be uploaded to Garmin Connect as a ‘Run’, rather than a ‘Bike’ workout, which means that it’ll incorrectly trigger both PR’s on the unit (i.e. fastest 5KM) as well as incorrectly triggering those on Garmin Connect.

    On the Garmin Connect side however you can go ahead and modify the workout type to be ‘Cycling’ which will then address the issue there. On a subsequent synchronization it’ll pull that PR information back down to the watch.

    Unfortunately, the FR220 is priced too close to the Ambit 2R for my liking. Unless there’s some good deals out there that i don’t know about? They are both about £210 on Amazon.

    Jamie – I do like the look of the Fenix, but it’s priced closer to £300 when you factor in the HRM.

    McHamish
    Member

    I’ve got the Ambit 1…works fine for me.

    My only gripe is it sometimes takes a while to find a satellite. After warming up, I can end up spending the best part of 10 minutes waiting for it to connect.

    Premier Icon wonkey_donkey
    Subscriber

    i used my Time Ironman for an Ultra last year, and will again next month. Carried a USB recharger thing with me anyhow to be sure.

    review here DC Rainmaker Timex probably a couple of years old now so you may get it cheap. Can use it on the bike too.

    None of these things are perfect in my experience but the Timex works ok.

    McHamish
    Member

    oh and one irritating thing is that you have to lock the buttons after pressing start.

    The Start/Stop button is on the side towards your hand so if you’re not careful you’ll end up stopping or pausing your journey without realising (I did a 25mile wiggle event and half way round realised I had paused it at about 8 miles.

    So starting a run or ride involves pressing start, then holding the lock button for 2 seconds.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    Every time I’ve looked at the cost of those watches, I’ve thought carrying my phone in a back pocket isn’t as bad as I thought. Bluetooth LE HR strap from Amazon for £35, old iPhone 4s, extension battery if needed about a tenner off t’Ebay.
    Especially if ultra training. Might end up a long way from home needing a lift back, phone would be handy anyway.

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Subscriber

    I’ve got an Ambit 2S, I think the battery is the same in the 2R – you can get about 8 hours out of the battery on high GPS sensitivity, to run an ultra you need to set it to lower updates – which means your distance measurements are going to be less than the real distance. Not a huge problem, more of a slight annoyance. (To give you an idea of the difference, I did a 102km ultra, and the GPS data shows 99km).

    I used to have a Garmin FR210 – nice watch, although not fully waterproof, but the HR strap used to rub me raw: at the end of the Madrid marathon my chest was bleeding from the area at the bottom of the strap. The Suunto strap is much more comfortable. So just for that alone I’d say go with Suunto.

    Other points – the Ambit 2R (and 2S) can estimate treadmill distance using the internal accelerometers, no idea if the Garmin can. It also looks like a watch (unlike the Garmin 910XT, for example), which may or may not be important to you. The Movescount site isn’t bad, although I usually end up uploading the runs to Endomondo. (Downside: Suunto doesn’t support linux, and there’s no direct import into Endomondo (unlike Garmin)).

    The original Fenix has a terrible reputation, my local shop has said they will never, ever stock Garmin again after the trouble it caused them. No idea if that is true for the Fenix 2, though.

    Interesting mogrim, thanks for the typing that. The Ambit2s is on my to buy list, especially now there is native Strava support.

    I like the swim options, both open water and pool length, as well as the running functionality, most likely keep my Edge for the bikes though.

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Subscriber

    Interesting mogrim, thanks for the typing that. The Ambit2s is on my to buy list, especially now there is native Strava support.

    I like the swim options, both open water and pool length, as well as the running functionality, most likely keep my Edge for the bikes though.

    Native Strava support??? Didn’t realise that! I might actually have to logon again.

    Edit: just logged on, can’t see Suunto support?

    On the bike I’d definitely keep the Edge, the buttons on an Ambit aren’t anything like as easy to use as the ones on a proper bike computer. The screen’s probably superior, too.

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Subscriber

    See here, its done via Movescount

    http://www.movescount.com/connect/strava

    Cheers, done 🙂

    Duffer
    Member

    Shirley, even without the native support you can just export the .gpx files manually?

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Subscriber

    Shirley, even without the native support you can just export the .gpx files manually?

    Yeah, that’s what I do with Suunto -> Endomondo. But it’s a faff, and Garmin has a native client which is so much easier.

    And don’t call me Shirley 🙂

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