Triathlon Training Tool: Sport Watches

triathlon training toolsWhen you’re training for a triathlon, it’s all about work, work, and more work. It takes heart, time, and dedication to train on three different events and practice all of them together so you’re ready when it comes time for race day. But doing it intelligently and getting the most out of your training is easier now with all the tools available to gather data about your training. For the ultimate in training data collection, check out the Suunto lineup of data gathering watches.

Suunto, a Finnish company that specializes in compasses and watches, has two models of the Ambit 2, either of which can be a fantastic addition to your training arsenal. This really in-depth review will give you all you need to know about the specifics but it might be overwhelming to those new to sport watches that use integrated sensors. Here are the basics to look for in a data gathering sport watch:

Easy Integration

You want a watch that easily pairs with sensors, like a heart monitor, shoe sensor, or bike sensor. Most sensors run on the same technology, but you can’t always integrate different brands. Suunto watches, for instance, work with just about any sensor. Suunto sensors, however, use their own system that won’t pair with other watches.

When you’re looking for sensor pairing watches, be sure to check what you already have that might work with the watch, like a sensor you use with your smartphone. You can also save some money by buying sensors from a cheaper brand that will work with a better watch brand. Just make sure they’ll work together before you buy with that plan in mind.

In-Watch Sensors

There are a lot of different ways watches can track your performance. Some use accelerometers to detect your arm swinging pace. Some use GPS. The best use both. When you’re outside training for your triathlon, an accelerometer doesn’t work particularly well by itself to judge how fast you’re moving because the formulas aren’t based directly on your movements all the time. What’s more, if you rub sweat off your face, it’ll mess with the data.

GPS systems are great because they are very sensitive to changes in pace, direction, and location — but they can be costly. GPS systems don’t work inside on a treadmill so having both is vital for those who train indoors and out. If you can afford it, look for a watch with both.


If you’re using a watch to get fit, make sure it fits your arm — and your tastes. Fit is very important to get the most out of your watch. If it’s jiggling around on your arm, is uncomfortable, or looks ugly and you hate it, you won’t use it. Making sure you have a fitness watch that will work for you is important. Watches that don’t fit will also not gather data with accelerometers correctly. Going and trying on different watches is key to getting one that’s right for you.


We carry Suunto products at Uncle Sam’s in Evelyn Hills. Come in and try them on for size. Sport watches that are integrated with different sensors are vital tools when training to make sense of what you’re doing but getting the wrong one can be discouraging. Let us help you get the right one for you!

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