Thursday, August 1, 2013

Birthday Gift

After lusting after GPS watches for months, I think I have finally made a decision as to which watch I'm going to get. Since I'm turning 31 in a week, Pete will probably get it for me for my birthday as he has no idea what else to get me (after 13 years how can he NOT know??? lol) so that makes it even better.

If you're one of the lurkers readers of my blog, you know that I've been wanting a Garmin Forerunner 10 - and when they released it in purple I had my heart set on that color. As we all know I'm not a very advanced runner at all so I just need something basic. One of the main reasons why I didn't take the plunge and purchase the watch was because I live in Wisconsin. Some people run with snow on the ground - I'm not one of them. We got a treadmill so we can stay active when it's snowy and icy outside. A GPS watch isn't going to be very useful when you're on a treadmill.

That's where the TomTom Runner comes in. It is more expensive than the Forerunner 10 ($169.99 vs. $129.99) but there are some important factors that make the price difference okay for me. The first thing is that it has Bluetooth - I can pair my Polar H7 heart rate monitor with it. VERY cool, I wouldn't be able to do that with the Forerunner 10... I would have to buy a more expensive Garmin with a different HRM included, or wear my Polar FT7 watch to get my heart rate. Two watches at once? No thanks. Another big plus for me is the fact that the TomTom has an accelerometer, so it will still give me distance and average pace even if I'm on a treadmill. The awesome DC Rainmaker did an in-depth review on the TomTom (if you are a runner into tech stuff and are NOT reading his blog, you need to start - it's the best, period) and he found that the TomTom was pretty accurate on the treadmill as long as you maintained a consistent pace. I'm cool with that as I'm pretty much incapable of sprinting at this point, haha.

I'm not going to lie - another factor is the fact that the TomTom is just prettier than the Forerunner 10. It is. Check this out:

TomTom has also announced that they will be coming out with different bands that you can purchase for the watch. Wide/slim options and different colors. So I can color coordinate it with my outfits? Whaaa? That's music to a girl's ears, people.

There are negatives to the watch. According to reviews, the website sucks. It doesn't give nearly enough data and it's just clunky and basically beta, which is pretty lame because they should have had that figured out *before* the release date. But TomTom has great customer service, they are listening (and responding) to the needs of the customers and have already been making improvements to the firmware and are in the process of making website improvements as well. This isn't a huge issue for me because you can export your files and load them almost anywhere - even the Garmin Connect website, if you want. The big negative for me is that it doesn't give lap pace right now - just an average. I want to see if I ran 8:30 the first mile, 8:15 the second... yes, I'm dreaming LOL. From what I hear/read this will be coming down the pike, so I'm cool with waiting a bit.

More positives for the watch - the GPS locator is crazyfast. You don't have to wait minutes for it to locate you before you can start your run... I should be able to walk to the end of my driveway and just start running. The fact that the watch is Bluetooth compatible has me hoping that eventually it could be paired with phones - how cool would that be? They haven't announced if this will be happening but a lot of people are talking about it so hopefully TomTom is listening. The watch has a 10 hour battery with GPS on, which is TWICE as much as the Forerunner 10. With the GPS off the watch will last 60 days between charges, if you're inclined to wear the watch as an everyday watch.

They have a Multisport version of the watch for those of you that want something for swimming and cycling as well - that one is priced at $199.99. They also have ones for sale with heart rate monitors included, for a higher cost. For a beginner runner like me, the positives outweigh the negatives and I'm willing to take a chance on this new watch. Once I get it and have a chance to test it out a bit I'll let you know what I think!

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