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Timex Ironman GPS: Global Trainer & Run Trainer Reviews

Posted May 21 2012 10:20am
Test run to the top of a mountain? Check!

On my 14th birthday, I woke up early and ran to the breakfast table, eager to open my gifts before school.  What would it be ? New clothes? The latest Alanis Morisette CD? Whatever else I liked when I was 14?  Nope. None of the above.  It was a Timex Ironman chrono watch.  My dad swore up and down that it was the best watch out there. I hid my utter disappointment at the time that I got a lame watch for my birthday (I was hoping to rock the latest Abercrombie and fitch gear or whatever else was hip back in the 90's), but as it turned out, my dad knew what he was doing.  That watch lasted FOREVER, and was a staple to my wardrobe/sports training for the next 5 or 6 years.  I had to replace the band long before anything else on the watch stopped working. So needless to say, I already stand behind the quality of Timex products.

These days, however, the bells and whistles are far greater than the early Ironman watch I owned.   So I was very excited when Timex offered to provided me with two of their Ironman line GPS models to review. 

I'll be honest: my reviews of these types of products do not go into great detail about the tech side of the gear. As a mom on the run (literally) my reviews consist more of: does it fit? Does it withstand to my 3 year old stealing the watch and pushing all of the buttons at the same time and then throwing it across the room?  Is this a realistic product for me to use day to day?   I'm happy to say that with the Timex products, the answer is "yes" to all of the above (seriously, Kain did some quality control testing of his own on the Run Trainer...sigh)

Special Features:
  • GPS-Enabled Watch Measures Pace, Speed, Distance, Heart Rate and More in Real-Time.
  • SiRFstarIII GPS Technology Requires No Calibration
  • Customizable Screen Display Show Up to Four Windows of Information
  • 20-Workout Memory with Dated Summary Records up to 1000 Laps of Information
  • Battery Recharges when Connected to USB Port or to any Electrical Outlet with Included AC Adaptor
  • Comes with Timex Flex-Tech™ Digital 2.4 Heart Rate Sensor
  • Compatible with Timex Foot Pod sensor using ANT+
MSRP:  $360 (with HR monitor)

What I say:
size comparison: Motorola Motoactv, Timex Run Trainer, Timex Global Trainer, Garmin Forerunner 305

 The watch is also waterproof, which totally solves the swimming issue. I hated that I could never take trusty coach Garmin into the pool.  The multi-sport function is easy to use.  And conveniently, the Global Trainer comes with a bike mount that easily and securely snaps onto your bike's handle bars (a little trickier to find the right spot when you have aero-only, but I had no problem snapping the mount onto the side)

I love the soft heart rate monitor strap (as opposed to some that are stiff the entire length of the front chest strap).   I had zero issues with heart rate monitoring or losing signal, and could comfortably wear the chest strap for hours at a time.

soft Timex strap (top) vs. stiff Garmin 305 model

I will be honest, call me old school but I prefer buttons over touch screens of some other brand's newer models.  There is no accidental stopping of the timer, hitting the lap button, etc. if you brush the screen.
Lastly, I appreciated that when you power off the watch, it is now in "time" mode, as a standard watch. Convenient!
Special Features:
  • GPS-Enabled Watch Measures Pace, Speed, Distance and More in Real-Time
  • Fastest and Most Reliable Signal with SiRFstar IV™ GPS Technology
  • Highly Customizable, Easy-to-Read Screen Shows Three- or Four-Lines of Data
  • Interval Timers, Alerts and 15-Workout Memory
  • 8-Hour Battery in Full GPS Mode; Recharge with Included USB Cable
  • Comes with Timex Flex-Tech™ Digital 2.4 Heart Rate Sensor
  • 50-Meter Water Resistance
  • Compatible with ANT+ Foot Pod Sensor
  • Easily Customize Watch Settings on a Computer
  • Review Maps and Performance Online
  • INDIGLO® Night-Light with Option for Full-Time Illumination
Let's lump likes & dislikes together for this one: My huge dislike was that it took me FOREVER to figure out how to work this thing, switch functions, etc, and the owners manual was seriously lacking in helpful information.  That said, once I figured it out, I LOVE this watch. It is smaller than the Global Trainer, which is great for me and my freakishly small wrists.  Once I picked up GPS satellite, I never lost it, even through deep trails.

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