I found that the GPS antenna needed about a minute to get a fix. You can activate it when you start running, but you won’t actually record any data till a fix is achieved, so my solution was to sit the antenna out in the open while lacing my shoes and doing a little stretching. No great time loss there. With a fix achieved, strapping the antenna to my arm with its Velcro band took a couple of seconds.
Next, pressing a button on the watch initiated reception from both the GPS antenna and the heart rate monitor. The final step is pressing a button on the Data Recorder to get it to obtain a signal from the GPS antenna and heart rate monitor. The Data Recorder has just one button and one light, which flashes intermittently if it is receiving from both devices. The recorder is small enough to fit into the pocket of my running lycras – it’s triangular in shape, with each edge about 5cm long. There’s a belt clip and lanyard if you’d rather use these, or if you run with a bumbag, it’ll go there.
The watch has all kinds of fancy features built into it. It’ll show various combinations of information on its three-line display during training, including current pace, speed, heart rate and distance travelled. It can be set to start recording when you move, and stop when you stop – I found this really useful as it meant time waiting for traffic lights to change was not recorded as ‘run time’ meaning speeds per km were more accurately delivered.
You can manage heart rate zones using presets or user configured ratios. The watch can be set to beep when you go outside your zone and record the amount of time you stay within it. It’ll do lots more too, like working out your average heart rate, taking forced split times every mile or kilometre (whichever you prefer to use), and allowing you to set separate speed and pace limits, again beeping if you go outside them. There are 100 lap timers built in, a three mode countdown timer (useful for speed sessions), and plenty more features besides.