There was a time when a sport watch could only offer time and heart rate, and offered little additional value.  But with the explosion of GPS-enabled devices, modern triathlon watches are quite advanced and can help any athlete train with more accuracy.

The watchmakers have turned the simple watches into complex fitness tracking tools that you can wear right on your wrist.  The problem is, the market is saturated. Which ones are best?  How do you know without getting caught up in all the technology? How much money do you need to spend on a sport watch? Here are some of our recommendations:

  1. Garmin Forerunner 920XT

This most popular Triathlon watch of 2016 is still top of the list for 2017.  It’s smartphone compatibility and connectivity (including emails and texts), Garmin Connect Mobile App, swim metrics, pace and stroke count, all-day activity tracking, stride length, and total steps per minute puts it in the popularity bucket.  It’s got a stopwatch, heart monitor, distance calculator and stroke count.  However, it’s extra features may be unnecessary; and the price tag a bit high at $450.

  1. Tom Tom Multi-Sport Cardio

The best part of this watch is its heart rate monitory which is the most accurate we’ve seen. Its simple design is attractive; coupled with its detailed activity tracking makes this Tom Tom a watch not to pass up – especially at the $250 price tag. Although not smartphone compatible, it is Bluetooth enabled. It has a very large display and its tech features five training zones.

  1. Ironman Rugged 30 Full-Size

This digital watch that will give you 30 lap memory recall, 99 lap memory count, 100-hour chronograph, and a 24-hour countdown timer. One of its best features is that you can remove gear and features that you don’t want to use. But this classic phone doesn’t have smartphone connectivity or Bluetooth and retails for a mere $55.

  1. Polar V800 GPS Sport Watch

The large display on this watch monitors everything from your run cadence, heart rate, distance and speed, and has Bluetooth. It also has a smart coaching platform which will give you strong analytics about your training load and how it affects your performance and recovery. Also, your smart coaching can accurately track your profile and determine how your running performance has evolved over time. It also has a a barometer, accelerometer, 50 hours of battery life, a resistant gorilla glass window, and USB connectivity and compatibility with MAC and Windows. With a $500 price tag, you can be there is also smartphone connectivity.

  1. Magellan Switch Up

The Magellan Switch Up can track your run cadence, distance, speed, elevation, and water resistance. It has the Activity Pacer, which is its own take on Garmin’s enabled tracker the Virtual Partner. The Switch comes with an extra battery, doubling your battery life to 16 hours of performance and retails for $250.

  1. The Moov

Retailing at only $60, the Moov pairs with Bluetooth and smartphone, is water resistance, has up to 6 months of battery life, smart coaching that analyzes your workout in real time, and cadence and run tracking. You can personalize your profile in order to tweak your swim, run, or bike performance.

  1. Garmin Forerunner 935

This Garmin gives an added boost to its swimming component. Lots have stayed the same, such as the metrics tracking, heart rate monitor and activity progress; but the design is much slimmer and deeper water depth. However, this 935 has no touchscreen, it’s all old school buttons which doesn’t make the watch look that modern for the hefty $500 to $650 price tag.

Don’t get fooled into buying the fancy Triathlon watch with all the fancy features if you can’t make them work for you. Pick a watch that’s going to work for you and help you with your training. Still feeling overwhelmed with which watch to buy and what all the features mean?  Contact me and I can help you decipher the meanings.

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MJ Gasik started competing in the sport of triathlon in 2003 and has completed 12 Ironman distance races including the World Championships in Kona, HI. MJ is a USAT Certified Coach, Ironman U Certified Coach, USMS Level 4 Certified Coach and is the founder and owner of Tri Right Coaching. MJ has coached hundreds of athletes from beginners through elite to personal bests in distances from sprint through Ironman.

3 COMMENTS

  1. You are incorrect about the V800 smartphone connectivity feature. It has all the smart notifications today’s watches offer. Plus adjustable battery life to 50 hours.

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