So last year I was in the market for a GPS watch, especially after I missed my PR at the Long Beach Marathon. I found myself fiddling with my RunKeeper app throughout the second half of the race and missed my goal by four minutes.
So I read the different reviews and was waiting until the Garmin 900XT came out, until I received a Active Schwagle alert that I could get the Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS with a 65% discount through Heartmonitors.com. Since it had most of the features I was looking for (bicycling, running, and if I ever do get the gumption to do a tri, a swim function), I jumped on the deal. I mean I was looking at spending over $300 more for the Garmin.
I will say, the watch in itself is great! One of my personality flaws is that I over-analyze everything to death and this watch allows me to do that. With the recent hardware patch, I find that the GPS is locked within a minute or two and it stays locked for the duration. As with most triathlon watches, it does have both a performance and multi-sport levels. Also, it has no problems picking up any ANT devices. My watch came with a heart monitor strap, which I use without too much problems, but it will also pick up any of the cycling devices you need.
The uploading is a simple process, while still requiring you to tether the watch through a USB connection. It will also hold a charge pretty well. I have run for several hours and it has plenty of battery left. In fact I may charge it once a week, while I put in 5 runs and 30+ miles on it.
The size and profile of the watch is big, especially in comparison of other GPS watches. I have skinny wrists so it does look huge on me.
One problem though that I have had, and it happened again to me today, is that occasionally it will pick up and lock the GPS; however, it doesn’t track the mileage. To fix this problem, you have to reset the GPS and then start your run. The key here is taking notice before the run. There has been a couple of times, like today and including my first 50K, that I did not check my watch and ended up not getting the mileage associated with it. So, and especially before a big run, make sure that the mileage is tracking.
So the biggest issue that I have with the watch, though, is that it uses a .pwx extension and Timex has an agreement with Training Peaks which has meant that you either use their high priced training software or find some back water software fix. Map My Fitness is just starting to allow the proprietary program and you can now upload to Strava or Endomondo using this site to convert the .pwx file to a .tcx file; however, you might as well use a site like RunningAhead.com which does allow you to upload that extension.
I mean I am sorry, I am cheap! I am not going to spend a lot on a watch only to then spend more on a training program that I can get for free somewhere else. There basic site is fine, but if I really am going to use all of the capabilities of the watch I need more.
So would I recommend the watch? I sure would!! This is my first GPS watch I love it. That said, if you are a Garmin or Polaris loyalist I wouldn’t recommend the jump.