Gear Review: Timex Run Trainer

There comes a time in every runner's life when they finally break down and buy a GPS watch. And, almost immediately, they wonder how they ever trained without one.

The GPS watch business is booming, and a lot of options are on the market from many different brands. That includes industry giant Timex, which has designed GPS watches for runners, triathletes and cyclists over the last few years. One of their most recent products is the Timex Ironman Run Trainer, a GPS-enabled device that combines all the cutting-edge tools that runners rely on, with a sporty design that runners can feel comfortable wearing while training.

More: 10 Steps to Start Running

Feel

The first thing you notice when strapping on the Timex Run Trainer is that it actually feels like a sports watch that happens to have GPS capabilities, not a GPS device that's trying to pass as a watch for athletes. The GPS technology makes the watch a little bigger than a typical sports watch but nothing overwhelming. It fits on your wrist just fine and is light enough to forget about it if you strap it on tight.

Customizing

The best part of the Run Trainer is how easy it is to customize the watch to be exactly what you want it to be.

Among the values that can be displayed during your workout are altitude, cadence, calories, distance, heart rate, lap number, lap time, odometer, real-time pace, average pace, real-time speed, average speed, total time and time of day. You can have up to four of these displayed at one time.

I am picky, as many of us are, about what I want to track when I'm out on my runs. So the customization is perfect. I like to see my total distance, my total time, my average pace and my heart rate. With about a minute of work, I can set up this watch to show all four values, in whatever order I choose.

More: Target Pace Training

Heart Rate Monitor

Timex also has a heart-rate sensor that syncs with the Run Trainer, and fortunately, setting it up is super easy. I simply strapped the monitor around my chest and then hit the "Radio" button. That button sends out a signal looking for both the heart-rate monitor and the GPS satellites at the same time. It finds the heart-rate monitor in a matter of seconds and takes about 30-60 seconds to find the GPS satellites.

That's it. You're ready to run.

More: What You Need to Know About Training With a Heart Rate Monitor

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