Chasing 42

Life, the Universe, & Running

Archive for the tag “Suunto Ambit”

Taking the Plunge: The Garmin 910xt

I’ve been researching possible GPS watch replacements for my Garmin 405 for quite some time. The 405 has treated me quite well, and was the first GPS watch I ever owned. Hanging out in the memory of my 405 is over 5,000 miles of running memory, and by association, the history of my evolution as a runner. However, as my running distances have increased, the battery in the 405 just hasn’t been able to keep up like it once did, and it was time for a change.

For quite a while, I had been dead set on changing directions and going with the Suunto Ambit. The battery life, along with the open-source software made it an exciting choice for this tech junkie. However, the more I read reviews and analyzed the performance data, the more I realized that the Garmin 910xt was a better choice for me. I’m a huge fan of the wireless syncing capabilities of the 405 (via ANT +), and the 910xt shares this feature. The Ambit requires use of the USB cable, which is also used for charging and would have been logistically annoying. The 910xt also syncs seamlessly with my Strava and Dailymile accounts, whereas the Ambit would have required downloading the .gpx file and then re-uploading it into the applications. These little differences make all the difference for me!

Prior to unboxing!

Prior to unboxing!

I now have a solid 20 hrs of battery life on my wrist, which should get me through most runs I’ll be doing in the near future, and I can extend it even further if I turn off the GPS and pair it with a foot pod, which is great. I was never a huge fan of the touch bezel on the 405 (neither were others, hence the quick change by Garmin), so I’m quite pleased with the ease-of-use buttons on the 910xt. In addition, the display is nice and big, without seeming like I’m wearing a computer on my wrist, and they kept the profile slim enough that it isn’t out of the question to wear it for everyday use as well.

The inaugural run :)

The inaugural run 🙂

I’ve squeezed in two runs this weekend, and I’m excited for the miles this watch has ahead of it. I’m fairly certain that the beautiful epicurean, a budding runner herself, is excited by the fact that she is inheriting the 405 as well. Needless to say, we are now a happy GPS-enabled running household!

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Tech Lust & Cyber Monday Sales

I’ve written before about running sans-music, but still needing to track my stats. My Garmin 405 plays a huge part in this obsession. I bought it about 3 years ago, shortly after I started running seriously, and it has been a faithful companion. I love the wireless syncing capability, and it has a small enough profile that I don’t feel like I’m wearing a computer on my wrist! However, the touch-sensitive bezel has always been a bit “touchy”, so to speak. In addition, the battery life has gradually decreased (or have I just gradually upped my distance?). At any rate, the battery no longer lasts for more than 5 hours, and certainly doesn’t stay with me long enough to accurately track an ultra-distance race or training run.

Despite its current shortcomings, I’ve managed with my Garmin 405, but I’ve been doing more and more research for a replacement watch. I consider myself a bit of a technophile, and as such, I spend a lot of time reading technology blogs and other websites, and I stay up-to-date with the latest products. The result is a very specific set of requirements:

1. Long battery life (at least 10 hours, preferably even more)

2. Easy syncing with my computer and online tracking systems (Strava, DailyMile)

3. Compact size- I know it’s not going to be a tiny watch, but I don’t want it weighing me down either!

4. Durability- I want it to have an element of ruggedness so I can trust it won’t fall apart after one fall on the trails

5. Data Customization- I won’t pretend I don’t like the bells and whistles so the more data and more customization I can get, the better!

6. Eye-Catching- I own an iPhone, iPad, and Macbook Pro in large part because of the aesthetic of the hardware and software design, so I want my watch to possess a similar style.

As such, my tech lust is currently directed at the Suunto Ambit. This watch seems to have everything I’m looking for, and all of the reviews I’ve read are incredibly positive. The only downside is the cost. Alas, this means spending some time saving up, but it will assuredly be worth it. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, this watch didn’t find it’s way into any Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals. However, plenty of other running and fitness gear certainly did end up on the receiving end of some deep discounts!

Tech lust at its finest!

In previous years, I’ve enjoyed the hunt for great deals during Black Friday, particularly because I love finding the perfect gift for someone. However, I suppose I’ve mellowed a bit, but I’d much rather sleep in the day after a delicious Thanksgiving meal with friends and family, and sip my coffee in the morning with a good book in hand. This year, I did exactly that.

*Stepping on soapbox

In large part, I also find it a sad comment on our society that stores are opening earlier and earlier, to the point where Thanksgiving can’t even truly be a day to spend with family. This is, of course, disproportionately true for those folks working at these retailers, often without the option to take the day off because they need what little money they are being paid in the first place.

*Stepping off soapbox

Although I don’t enjoy the hunt for deals in brick-and-mortar stores nearly as much anymore, there are more and more deals to be found online. This has given birth to Cyber Monday. With my fellow runners in mind, I’ve pulled together some great deals on running gear of all sorts. For those looking for a gift for the runner in your life, or for some gear to help prepare you for winter running or the next race, there just might be a deal out there for you…in fact, I’m fairly certain! Happy hunting 🙂

14 Essential Holiday Gifts for Runners- Active.com

ZombieRunner- one of my favorite online running stores!

Top Sports and Outdoor Sales

Running Warehouse

TriVillage.com- 20% off most running gear!

DC Rainmaker- great blog overall, with listing of Black Friday sales, many of which are still in effect

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