Gear Reviews

Why I am Ditching My Multisport GPS Watch

Companies like Garmin, Polar, Suunto, Timex, and others wanted to tap into the multi-sport market by coming up with a dedicated multisport watch to track your race from start to finish.

Garmin came up with the 310xt, then 910, and now the Garmin Fenix2. Sunnto has the Ambit 2. Polar has the V800 GPS watch, TomTom also jumped on the bandwagon, and let’s not forget the Timex GPS Global Trainer multisport watch.

This is all great and the innovation behind them is really amazing. I have been using the Gamin 310 for many years and it worked for the intended purpose.multisport-watch

However, I feel all these watches lack something. It’s either they are too bulky, has too many bugs, or lack to provide me with the sport specific data that I need. I really don’t know what it is, but can’t find myself gravitating towards them.

I am sure you know or heard the saying: to be good in this sport, it’s better to swim with the swimmers, bike with the bikers, and run with the runners. So why not do the same with the gadgets???

So, this year I am moving away from the mutlisport world and decided to give up my beloved 310 and ditch the multisport watch idea all together.

So, what drove me to make this decision?

I think the short answer to this is my need for data and style. Yes, Garmin 310/910 can provide you with more data than you probably can put your head around. So to better answer this question, I am going to take you through my training and racing.

suunto-ambit2s-collection-270x475pix-newIn Training:
Swim: I used to not wear a watch. Swimmers don’t wear a watch. You are suppose to use the pace clock. But Garmin came up with the Garmin swim and decided to give it a try. The watch is simple and small which I like. I can wear the watch all day without getting much attention. Try doing that with the Garmin 310 or 910.

I don’t do much open water swimming and if I do, I will have the distance planned out before hand or just a time specific swim. Plus the 310 and 910 don’t really work that well in OWS anyway. You can always use any GPS watch and put inside you swim cap and track your swim that way.

In Racing, I have been wearing my 310 just so I know how long the swim took when I exist the water. But as far as data, there is nothing meaningful you will find. The GPS is all over the place. If I want to know my swim time, a simple stop watch will do just fine.

Bike: I was more intrigured to get a bike specific computer so I got Garmin 500, now I have the 510. I love the cycling specific data these computers have. The 310 and 910 are good but really can’t compete in this area.

In Racing, I never even looked at my Garmin 310 on the bike. I never even uploaded the bike segment from my 310. So the Garmin 510 is all I need and don’t need anything on my wrist on the bike.

Running: This is really where I used my Garmin 310. Used it for all my outdoor runs on training and racing. However, I didn’t like using it indoor because I didn’t want to look like a dork with a giant orange brick on my wrist.

The other benefit of having a multisport watch is to track your T1 and T2 times. How nice! I find myself always forgetting to press the lap button when I enter t1 and t2 so those times have been always, always been wrong.

So looking at my daily training and need for racing, I really don’t need a multisport watch. What I really needed is a run specific watch.

This is where I decided to get myself the Garmin 620, the ultimate running watch designed for runners. The watch looks good, very light, and water proof so I can have it on during a race if I want to track my swim time. I can use it on the treadmill as well which was a big sell for me.

So if you are thinking of getting a multisport watch, really think why and how you are going to use it. If you are sure this is all you will use for all your training and racing then go for it. Also, it is a lot cheaper to get a mutlisport GPS watch than three different gadgets. However, if you find yourself like me getting a bike computer, and hate wearing your multisport watch, then why not just get yourself a sport specific gadget?

 

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5 Comments


  1. Craig Davidson

    June 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    If you are just using a GPS running watch in a triathlon, when do you put it on and ‘locate the satellites”? At the very end of the bike? And, if you have a multisport, do you wear it in the triathlon from start to finish?

    Thanks in advance for any help!
    Craig Davidson

    Reply

  2. Tariq Ali

    July 2, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Craig, sorry for late reply!
    Yes, as I am coming toward the end of the bike leg, I turn on my running watch and let it locate satellite. Luckily with the 620, that process is much quicker now and it usually find satellite in few seconds.
    With the multisport watch, you turn it on with the swim, and press lap for each leg and it will go from swimming to T1 (if you have that enabled), the bike, T2, and finally run mode.

    Reply

  3. Pfeffer

    July 19, 2015 at 3:29 am

    Hi, I’m really looking for a multi-sport watch so I was wondering if you had made up your mind? I am looking into the Garmin 920 and I cannot justify the price tag what do you think?

    Reply

    • Tariq Ali

      July 19, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      I ended up getting the 920 this year and love it. My only issue with using the 620 was the better life for an ironman.
      Checkout 3Dealz.com for coupons and get in their newsletter. From time to time, some online stores offer 20% off discounts that works on the 920.
      You can also get it from CleverTraining and get 10% off if you become a VIP member http://3dlz.co/1CQ95SC . Just search for DCR VIP and you will get a code once you become a member that you can use on the 920 and get 10% off.

      Reply

      • Pfeffer

        July 19, 2015 at 5:52 pm

        Aww thank you so much you have no idea how much this helps. Happy training and racing

        Reply

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