The invention of the sports watch has totally changed the way athletes train for virtually any sport. When I think about how sport watches have totally revolutionized athletic training, Im just completely blown away.
Sports training of the past required the athlete to carry a stop watch, or have someone train with him to carry the watch and push the start and stop button. And, the stop watch function was just about the extent of the old training watches.
Not so with the modern sports watch, however, where every conceivable feature known to help in athletic training can be readily engineered into sport watches.
These relatively new (within the last 30 years), affordable, and convenient sport watches have enabled literally millions of athletes to train alone for a place on athletic teams. In years gone by that would not have been possible because, frankly, the average athlete just didn’t have access to a stop watch. Many sports watches are sports specific, that is they are engineered to help the athlete improve and improve both physically and excelperformance wise in their chosen sport.
From track and field to triathlons the sports watch is today considered a very necessary personal training aid. For example, if you are a triathlete, take a look at the Timex Ironman sports watch. This sport watch has specific Ironman ready features that will easily take you from your practice workouts to competition day.
It has 3 different time zones plus daily, weekday, and weekend alarms, which makes completing your workout sessions a breeze. The Ironman sports watch is water resistant and will keep on ticking through swimming laps and even rainfall. Additionally it has over sized digits on the watch face that are easy to read at a arms length and at a glance while practicing any sport including running and swimming laps. This particular sports watch comes in a 30 and 100 lap models, and is sure to be the prized possession of any athlete aspiring to compete in a triathlon.
If you’re running trails, through woods or over obstacle courses, the Timex Expedition Trail sports watch is a terrific and smart choice. The 100 hour chronograph that highlights a lap or split option is a must have feature, and the lap counter can track up to 99 laps.
The 24-hour countdown timer on this Timex sport watch has a countdown/stop and countdown/repeat mode for that helps you measure your various lap performances. Like the Ironman sports watch, it too has three alarms that can be set for day, weekday, weekend, and week and it comes with five minute snoozes.
It has two time zone settings, so you will never have to worry about calculating the time difference. I live in the southwest, and Im always forgetting whether California is earlier or later than us, so I particularly enjoy the time zone feature on this sports watch model.
The Expedition sports watch has a tough resin case and the durable rubber strap stands up to heavy use during your outdoor workouts and competitions. From Timex, there is also a Ironmans womens sports watch for the women triathletes. Its the Timex Womens Ironman Triathlon SleeK 50-lap watch, and it features quartz movement, training log to store workout history, 2 interval timers, 3 alarms, and Indiglo night-light, and it is water-resistant to 330 feet (100 M).
Believe it or not, Timex also has a unisex sports watch. It is the very popular Timex Unisex M Ironman Sleek Digital Resin Strap Watch. This sport looking watch has all the features of the Timex Womens watch above and it allows for multiple interval timing.
Users love this feature as it lets you alternate intervals; you can run for a certain number of minutes and then walk for a specified number of minutes while sounding an alarm after each interval.
Heres what Anna Hamel, the traveling biker from Birmingham, Alabama had to say about this terrific little personal training aid,
From the pool, to the bike, to the run; this sports watch does it all. Even when not racing this watch is a great daily wear and easy to navigate through all the options. Multiple time zones and alarms make it easy as a travelers watch and fits small wrists nicely.
All of these Timex sport watches can be purchased for under $60 and some can be had for as little as $34. Not bad pricing for all of those keen features, is it.
The sports watch favorites all come from four leading sports watch manufacturers, Garmin, Timex, Polar and Suunto. We’ve already looked at sports watches from Timex, but well look at sport watches from each of these other leading sports watch manufacturers.
Garmin is king of all the GPS watches. It makes the Forerunner GPS watches, which are popular with geocachers, cyclists, triathletes, runners and rowers. The Garmin Forerunner sport watches come engineered with some extremely useful sports watch features. And, lets make one thing perfectly clear, Garmin has gone to great lengths to ensure their sports watches readily meet the specific needs of athletes no matter what the sport.
If you don’t require a GPS, the Forerunner 50 is a great entry-level heart rate monitor that also measures speed, distance and cadence with a Foot Pod unit. And, it also supports a bike Speed/Cadence Sensor, which makes it an intelligent choice for triathletes and cyclists. Of all the Garmin Forerunner models, the Forerunner 305, which does support GPS, is probably the favorite and possibly the best all around sports watch in the Garmin line.
Moving on to the Polar sport watches, while the RS800CX is the undisputed king in terms of including absolutely everything both an athlete and sports scientist could ever wish for, its expense probably prohibits the average athlete from owning this sports watch with all the bells and whistles. However, Polars RS400/SD delivers most of what an athlete could want and with 99 exercise files, has plenty of memory storage capacity for the average training athlete. The RS400/sd sports watch does not support the Polar GPS pod, but does support the S1 foot pod device, which allows the athlete to track speed and distance.
Polar was the first to make a wrist strap on heart rate monitor, and its engineers have continued to build on that early success with its exceptional sports watches of today.
Last, well look at Suunto, a Finish based company that is famous for its Suunto Training Watch. It also is widely recognized for making great heart rate monitors and for its running sports watches, which includes the T3C, T4C, and T6C. Of these, the T3C is the least expensive while the T6C is the most expensive.
Suunto is credited with being the only sports watch manufacturer that supports “Training Effect”, a feature that can tell you if you’re pushing too hard or too little during your workout. This feature basically guides you into the correct zones for optimal performance and training.
The Suunto Training Sport Watches also display real-time heart rate and calories burned, countdown and intervals timers, zone training and stopwatch with splits and laps and session history storage. The display screen is easy to read from an arms length away, which enables you to see the display at all times during your workout.
Probably the favorite sports watch from the Suunto people is the T6C as it has 30 logs of session memory capacity compared with only 15 in the T3C and T4.