TomTom Multi-Sport GPS Watch

TomTom-Multi-Sport-range-colours

We’ll print Tom Tom’s notes in full first so if you want to skip to what we think, scroll down to just past the next image.

They Say - Stay motivated and reach your training goals with the TomTom Multi-Sport GPS watch. Get easy access to the information you need to track your progress and boost your performance. Sync, analyse and share your stats on popular sport sites or apps.

Designed for Athletes

  • Extra-Large Display - Extra-Large Display – See your key running, cycling and swimming stats at-a-glance. View on a high resolution and high-contrast display.

  • Ultra-Slim Design - Ultra-Slim Design – Train with a lightweight watch designed for multi-sport athletes. The slim design comfortably fits all wrist sizes.

  • One-Button Control - Navigate easily through menus with the intuitive One-Button Control. Get started quickly and keep moving with easy access to watch functions and your key stats. Watch the How To Video

  • Super-Tough Display - Train with a durable, scratch-resistant display. Super-tough scratch and impact-resistant display stays easy to read, run after run.

  • Vibration Alerts - Stay focused on your activity with vibration alerts. Hear beeps and feel vibrations to get milestone, lap and training alerts, even when listening to your music.

  • Multiple Comfort Strap Options - Customize your watch to suit your style. Choose from a variety of Comfort Strap colors and shapes and to suit your taste or mood. Watch the How To Video

Track Your Run, Cycle and Swim

  • Indoor / Outdoor Running - Indoor / Outdoor Running – Track time, distance and pace outdoor or on a treadmill.

  • Cadence/Speed Sensor* - Monitor your cadence* as you ride. Measure your peddle strokes in real-time to help you perform at your best. Mounts easily to your bike to track your speed and distance, indoors and out. *optional accessory

  • Bike Mount - Bike Mount – Place your watch in the best position for cycling. Use the specially-designed bike mount to help you easily see your stats at-a-glance. Watch the How To Video

  • Swim Sensor - Track your swim metrics in indoor and outdoor pools. See your key swimming metrics, including efficiency, strokes, stroke type, lengths, distance and speed. Watch the How To Video

Graphical Training Partner

  • Train more effectively with full-screen graphics - View your training performance at-a-glance with three unique graphical training modes.

  • Race - Race: Compare your current performance against a pre-set distance and time.See in “real time” how you are doing, so you can push yourself to improve. Watch the How To Video

  • Goal - See that you are on track to achieve your goals. Set a distance, time or calorie goal and check your progress in a simple full screen graphic. Watch the How To Video

  • Zone - Pace yourself: Instantly see if you are in the right training zone. Set a target for pace or heart-rate* and see in a simple full screen graphic how you are tracking throughout your activity. *Heart Rate Monitor optional accessory. Watch the How To Video

Train Anytime, Anywhere

  • Indoor Tracker - Track your run indoors and on a treadmill. The TomTom Multi-Sport’s built-in sensors count your strides so you can monitor your pace and distance. Watch the How To Video

  • Waterproof up to 165 feet / 5ATM - Train in all kinds of weather. The TomTom Multi-Sport is waterproof up to 165 feet / 5ATM and as weather-ready as you are.

  • Up to 10 Hour Battery Life [GPS Mode] - Train more, recharge less, with up to 10 hour battery life [GPS Mode].

  • QuickGPSFix Technology - QuickGPSFix Technology- Get out on your activity faster. QuickGPSFix helps your watch find your precise location quickly so you can start your activity.

Connect Easily

  • Desk Dock - Charge and sync your watch. The Desk Dock connects to your PC or Mac easily, quickly and reliably.

  • Multi-Platform Compatibility - Sync, analyse and share your stats on popular sport sites or apps. Easily upload information about your activity to track progress against your goals. Learn more about TomTom MySports and data compatibility. Watch the How To Video

  • Bluetooth® Smart Connectivity - Bluetooth® Smart Connectivity – Connect to sensors using the latest wireless technology. The TomTom Multi-Sport uses Bluetooth® Smart Technology to connect to the TomTom Heart Rate Monitor*, Cadence Sensor* and other compatible Bluetooth® Smart accessories. *Optional accessories.

  • Heart Rate Monitor - Measure the intensity of your workout. Use the optional Bluetooth® Smart Heart Rate Monitor* to understand if you’re training within the right zone for weight control, performance or speed. Speed up or slow down to stay in your training zone. *Heart Rate Monitor optional accessory.

TomTom-Multi-Sport-SERIES_MI_470x350

We Say – I’ve had bad experiences with GPS sports watches in the past. They took 2 or 3 days to master – a day of that was usually learning how to switch the thing on and connect it up to it software – and even after that they had a tendency to beep frantically when they weren’t meant to and fail to pick up the heart monitor signal. As a result of those experiences I haven’t bothered to use one for a few years but this year I’m in training for a spring Marathon (Brighton) and since my training hasn’t been going too great so far I thought I’d give this Tom Tom watch, together with their heart rate monitor, a try.

Luckily for me (I’m not the most patient, tech savvy person) this watch lives up to it’s claims of being easy to get my head around. I got it through the post this morning, downloaded the software in 5 minutes, plugged the watch straight into my computer and it basically did the setting up and locating of GPS for me. I took 30 minutes to read the online manual, got a rough feel for it, then went running to test it out. It was unbelievably easy to use. I put it on (the strap wasn’t fiddly and fitted over my thermals and coat easily) stood outside, pressed the button to the right once so that the display said ‘Run’, then pressed it again to locate my position by GPS and to pick up the heart monitor signal. It completed those 2 tasks in about 15 seconds, then the message ‘Go’ came up on the screen and I was off.

I had running gloves on but still the button was easy to operate, even at speed when my fingers were jumping around all over the place. You press it at the top or bottom to scroll through the features such as duration, distance covered, pace, heart rate, calories burnt and more and to the right then scroll for the more in-depth menu. Simple. There are of course many different options which I’ll go into later but on this first run, I was just feeling my way and getting to know the kit.

I found myself running faster than I usually would. I think this was simply because I knew it was timing me, I was against the clock and that spurred me on. It didn’t feel like I was in a race, but it didn’t feel like I was having a gentle run along the seafront either (which sadly is how it generally is for me). It was more like having a running partner alongside to gee me up, except I didn’t have to wait for them to turn up at my house and then get annoyed when they didn’t turn up on time/at all.

Generally when I train I run slow-ish but when I run races I just go for it. I’ve never learnt much about pace, or how fast I should be running in order to achieve a certain finish time. My ignorance has served me ok in the past, I do a sub 40 minute 10km and a 3:13 marathon, but I do want to improve now if I can. I put so much time into my training it would be good to get the best results possible.

Now I’m sure that once I get to know the science behind training, and this watch has inspired me to learn more, then I’ll be able to look at the watch and say to myself ‘hey, my heart rate is too low or high, I’ve got to adjust’, or ‘I’m only doing a 5.35 minute km pace, I’ve got to up it’, but today I just used it for measuring distance. And then when I got back, I plugged it into my computer via the USB cable and it downloaded all the details of my run in about 10 seconds. Here’s what then came up on the screen.

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Then I went onto Runner’s World and looked at one of their conversion charts which told me that at the pace I was running, I was on for a 3.45 marathon, which gave me a shock as that’s really slow for me! I should be training at a higher tempo than that! I’ve clearely gotten myself into a rut and thought I was doing ok because I’ve gone out for an hour and sweated a bit when I got back but really, I’ve just not been doing enough if I want to see my times improve.

So that was day one of using the watch.

Since then I’ve come out to Canada to visit family so the watch has been very helpful in getting to know new running routes and telling me how far I’ve traveled. It’s also been very cold and snowing a lot – I ran through about a foot of snow this morning and it was -23 degrees – and it’s so hard to check my running progress in such conditions. I end up asking myself, am I working hard enough? It’s easy to let yourself off the hook when the weather is testing, I find. I tend to plod along, thinking that it’s a victory to even get out running in such conditions, but in reality I’m probably doing less than I usually would, and should. So the Tom Tom is helpful in these cases. I can upload my data after each run, see the heart rate, see how little, or much, I’ve worked, see my average pace, and all in all start to learn about running in new conditions so that by the time the next run comes around I can adjust my work ethic accordingly and get some serious training done.

I’ve not delved into the watch’s features as much as I would do if I were training on a track, or a route I know well. Conditions don’t allow me that luxury, some days the paths are open and the wind is soft, other days there’s loads of snow or ice and the wind might be blowing at minus 20 so I stick to a route that shelters me somewhat, which may mean the forest where all I can really do is keep going rather than compete against a previous time. So some days I use the pace display if I can get a move on, on others I use the heart rate monitor to measure effort, and then there’s the distance and duration, which can both be used all the time to measure progress.

The Tom Tom internet page stores all your run info so you can see what you’ve done on what days, and also your monthly or yearly duration/distance/calorie totals. I’ve found this inspiring; it lets me know that I’m not nearly as lazy as I think I am!

There’s lots more to come from it I’m certain (I’ll check out the biking and swimming facility when I’m in Sri Lanka later on, and the running programs finer points when I have clear, regular routes to get some speed up on) but at the moment I am impressed. It’s simple to use and the only note of caution I’d offer is that if you use it with the heart rate monitor (which consumes more battery than the watch usually uses on its own) and then don’t plug it into the computer within an hour or so of coming back then it’ll close down and loose all your run info. But get it plugged in and it’ll download and recharge at the same time.

I’m also keen to try out the interval training program, as this is something that the Kenyans I’ve run with in the past swear by – no interval training, no improvement! That’ll come when the snow melts, I guess.

I shall update this review as the months go by, and the ultimate test will come in April when I cross the finish line at Brighton. I know I can run 3:13 on my own but will this Tom Tom watch help me train better so that I can go faster than that? We’ll see.

See the Tom Tom Multi Sports Watch here - http://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/products/your-sports/tomtom-multi-sport-gps-watch/bright-green/index.jsp

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