My beloved Garmin 620 appears to be having a bit of a “tech-strop, toys out of pram” moment which I can only assume is because it’s been moved on to my right wrist whilst I am testing the TomTom Runner Cardio. Yesterday it failed to find a satellite signal, and tonight I grabbed it, ready to head out for my run, to find it had lost 100% of its charge overnight, probably down to a continual satellite search throughout the day which failed due to being in the hotel room classified as “small room – no window”. Luckily tonight was just an easy run, so I wasn’t relying on it for interval pacing, something that the Runner Cardio doesn’t do to quite the same degree.
Yesterday’s run was what I term a “sprinterval” session, and included 6 reps of 1 minute at 10:27/km and 30 seconds at 4:40/km, and once again the TomTom faired well on the heart rate front with an average HR of 162bpm versus the Garmin average of 163bpm (max of 183bpm). As yet I haven’t worked out if the TomTom output shows max HR. I have a feeling that the exported GPX file will have the info but that TomTom MySports doesn’t show it. I’ll do a separate post on MySports once I have played with it and the watch a bit more.
One thing that I did notice was that the Runner Cardio didn’t seem to update the pace quite as quickly as my Garmin when I switched from walking to sprinting. This probably isn’t an issue if you are maintaining a steady pace, but if you are looking to see if you have hit pace during a short interval then the margin of error is greater. Over the course of the session it also measured my overall pace as being slightly slower than the Garmin, at 6:58/km versus 6:44/km. RunKeeper had me at 7:00/km, so who can tell which is “righter”?
As mentioned earlier my Garmin had decided it wanted a break, so as I wasn’t able to do more HR testing I decided to give the “goal” functionality a go. This lets you set a goal for distance, time or calories and then shows you a visual pie chart showing how you are progressing towards your final goal. This was quite cool, but as I use pace as my key training factor I had to keep swapping between the pace screen and progress screen. It would be really good if TomTom could put the pace inside the visual goal chart as that way you’d have a really clear idea of how you’re doing.
I won’t be running again now until the weekend, possibly parkrun & definitely the Severn Bridge Half Marathon, so I’ll be using the time to read the manual and see what other exciting functionality there is to test out!