I wear a Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker. My wife purchased it for me two years ago. It has a ton of features. Beyond recording workout times, pace and route tracking, it also measures heart rate, estimated calories and stress levels. I’m not a super data-driven guy, but these measurements serve me well in managing daily life and workouts. The watch costs $300 and it’s worth it.
I recently competed in an Olympic Triathlon and the Fenix captured all phases of the day; Swim, Transition, Bike, Transition and Run-to-finish times. All with the push of a button. During the Half Ironman I did this fall, I used the Garmin to track the half-marathon course. I could toggle up and down from the map as I ran the course checking pace and distance thanks to a pre-loaded map of the route. The same functions work for cycling. That’s really handy. The only criticism I’ve had is that the Garmin device spazzes out sometimes during the swim. I can’t explain why. It just did it a few times.
Before all that, I used a classic Ironman Timex watch. I always thought those watches were cool. I wasn’t a triathlete back when I bought the first Timex 25 years ago. I wore them because the watches were durable and kept splits well. Over time I had big, fat Timex watches and slim models too. That’s all I needed at the time. Sometimes that’s actually all I do need.
While I like my Garmin and long appreciated the basic functionality of the Timex watches, the world of fitness trackers has diversified. Recently I came across a review of fitness trackers that explains the benefits of many different kinds. I know that my needs and interests are not representative of everyone out there, so I recommend giving this review a look. It’s a rather fun read with a mix of tech, assessments and illustrations.
I found it interesting that there are even fitness trackers that resemble jewelry, as described here by Consumers Advocate:
“Made of stainless steel, Bellabeat products are fashionable wellness trackers that double as jewelry, either as necklaces, bracelets, or clips. These hypoallergenic, versatile pieces feature built-in sensors that track your physical activity–including steps, calories burned, and distance–sync with your smartphone, and store all stats and progress on the Bellabeat App.
Bellabeat jewelry, as well as the Bellabeat hybrid watch, costs between $120 and $200. Some of the jewelry designs include Swarovski crystals and natural stones, including rose quartz and onyx.”
They also review the Apple Watch and popular brands such as FitBit.
I’d add one more fitness tracker to the mix, a product promoted by Lance Armstrong on his podcast and YouTube channels The Move. The Oura ring. The thing looks awesome, tracks sleep and other life vitals and regardless of whether Lance doped and was an asshole to people, the guy still fought back against cancer and won seven times at the Tour de France. If he says it works well, it’s worth looking into.
If you’ve found a fitness device you really rave about, let me know. I’m always curious to know what people use to get faster or just look cooler. LOL.
I really like my Fenix 3HR. Good tracking, great battery life and seamless connectivity. Only downside is the altitude and temperature sensor becomes inoperable fairly quickly. Not a big deal for me in light of the functions it does perform admirably. My first GPS-tracking watch was water resistant, but not waterproof, which at the time lead to the bizarre practice of wearing my Timex Ironman for the swim portion of a triathlon and adding a second watch to track my bike and run splits. I was old enough to know better, but enamored with the ‘new tech’. I like my Garmin and I can say that it has helped me improve my training.