Watch Love Part Deux--guest post from trail running athlete Ashley Arnold
The running community has an interesting split—the GPS and data-tracking believers, die-hard mileage and altitude followers and then the “purists” as they say, the runners who refuse to track anything at anytime. To these “purists,” I say, why does having a GPS watch mean that you are no longer pure? Your still out there running miles, and isn’t that what it’s all about? For purists, isn’t it about enjoying the mountains, the trail and the idea of pushing your body? To these people, I say, simply knowing more about your run, doesn’t mean you are losing your purist roots. It just means you’re learning more about the landscape.
Look, I’m a purist. There, I said it. I’m a purist who loves wearing GPS watches. Like so many trail runners I know (some of which refuse to wear a GPS for this reason), I love running in the mountains because it’s a way to submerge myself in the landscape. And the thing about a GPS, specifically the Ambit2 S, wearing it on my runs allows me to learn so much more about the land I’m traveling over than a simple chrono function watch, or nothing at all. And not only is it good for running, it’s good for simply traversing mountainous terrain whether that be hiking or mountaineering. Heck, I even wear it camping (good to know the temperature and altitude. Why not, right?)
And while many of you have probably heard this information before, here’s the thing about Suunto’s Ambit family. And listen closely. I guess I’m going to list many things, still, these are the reasons this GPS watch is better than anything out there:
- The battery lasts for a long time (15 to 50 hours depending on how many functions you’re using at once and whether you have the GPS set to refesh every second or every minute.) For ultra trail racing or even long days hiking or run/hiking or running, this is awesome. Awesome. … Especially if you’re prone to getting lost, which brings me to reason number two.
- Take advantage of a full-featured GPS that offers route navigation complete with the ability to program waypoints (throw down your bread crumbs!) that you actually store in the watch in order to ensure you accurately navigate your way home.
- FusedSpeed, an accelerometer integrated GPS. Yeah, but what does that mean? The watch combines a GPS reading with an accelerometer to fill in the gaps when a GPS signal isn’t available. This is essential for tracking distance in wooded areas where signals sometimes fall short.
So, I encourage you to test out a GPS heart rate watch from the Suunto Ambit series. Even if you are a purist.