I’ve always fancied some sort of digital fitness monitor, harbouring vague ideas that strapping electronic kit to myself and recording this and that about my physical jerks would help encourage me to get fitter and stay that way longer.
I’ve pretty much always done some sort of running, and have even got fit enough to run a couple of marathons, so when Timex offered me the chance to look at its Bodylink System I decided the offer of a digital training partner was too good to refuse.
It’s up to you how much of the Bodylink System you buy. There are four elements if you want the whole caboodle as reviewed here. There’s a watch which acts as the information hub while you are training, a GPS antenna that you strap to your arm, a heart rate monitor that you wear around your chest and a data recorder that can sit in a pocket.
I found the whole bundle on sale in various combinations at UK online retailer www.heartratemonitor.co.uk. At that store, the full kit minus the Data Recorder is named the Timex BodyLink 5E671 and it costs £184.95. Adding in the Data Recorder is an extra £50. You can also buy a bike mount, which might be a good idea if you are keen on using cycling as part of your training regime. I didn’t try this, but at just £7 it’s hardly going to break the bank, considering the overall cost of the rest of the kit.
The first point to note about all this kit is obvious really – with four separate bits to sort out before you start a run, getting out of the front door requires a little extra effort. If your de-motivators include the bother of getting changed for running – or whatever kinds of exercise you do - the Forerunner 301 from Garmin, which Riyad recently reviewed, might be more appealing because of its all-in-one design.
In fact, though, putting the kit together quickly became part of my routine. You strap on the heart rate monitor as part of the process of putting on training gear. The two things that take any real time are getting a GPS fix and setting up the data recorder.