Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS

I have trained for and completed in two Ironman competitions (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) and trained with a simple GPS training device for running and a computer on my bike.  When I saw the Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS with a heart rate monitor (I will call it the trainer throughout the review) come up for review, I jumped at the chance to test it.  I was so excited when I received it in the mail and was anxious to charge it and give it a try.

 

There were several features on the trainer that I was attracted to.  The main ones were the Multisport mode, battery life and the ability to download workouts to my computer.  My current running GPS does not have the multisport mode and has a short battery life (approximately 6 hours).  My bike computer can only be used on my bike.  I can use the Timex trainer for my swim, bike and run workouts and the battery life is approximately 15 hours so it will last for the entire Ironman competition in GPS mode.

 

Below are the specs obtained from the website. http://www.timexironman.com/Products/Global_Trainer_GPS.htm#watchtop

 

 

Brand

Timex Ironman

Model

Global Trainer

Watch Size (WxHxD)

56 x 64 x 18mm

Display Size

33 x 20mm

Display Type

1 – 4 Quadrants

Workout Memory

20

Lap Memory

1,000 Total

Multisport Workouts

Yes, up to 5 Events in Sequence

Routes Captured

50

Waypoints Captured

100

Interval Training

Yes, with Optional Heart Rate Zones

Hands-Free Settings

Auto-Start, Auto-Stop, Auto-Split, Auto-Resume

Basic Alerts

Pace, Speed, Distance, Altitude

Alerts with ANT+™ Sensors

Heart Rate, Bike Cadence, Bike Power

Units of Measure

English, Metric, Nautical

Language Support

English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Italian

Watch Data Communications

USB Cable

Workout File Upload

Timex Online Log Powered by TrainingPeaks

Watch Setting Download

Timex Device Agent for PC and Mac

Compatible Operating Systems

Windows XP,Vista, 7 or Newer

Coming September 2010: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or Newer

Battery

Rechargeable, Lithium-Ion

Charging Time

2-1/2 to 3-1/2 Hours from Fully DepletedBattery

BatteryLife

15 Hours – Full GPS Mode

12 Days – Time Only Power-Off Mode

1 Year – Fully Powered Down LCD

WR Rating

50M Water Resistant

Base Package Contents

Custom USB Cable, USB/AC Adaptor, Bike Mount

HRM Package Contents

FLEX-TECH™ Digital 2.4 Chest Sensor, Custom USB Cable, USB/AC Adaptor, Bike Mount

Optional ANT+™ Sensors

HRM, Bike Speed and/or Cadence, Bike Power

 

The first thing I noticed when I took the trainer out of the box was its size.  The display screen and overall size is about 2 – 2.5 times larger than a standard Timex digital watch.  The trainer has three buttons on each side and on the bottom of the front face.  Before I started pressing all the buttons, I hooked it up to the charger.  There are two ways to charge the trainer.  It can be done by a computer or a standard wall outlet.  I hooked up the supplied charger/download clip to the watch.  There is a red dot on the trainer and one on the clip so all you have to do is match the dots and make sure the four metal contacts on the clip are seated on the four metal discs on the back of the trainer.  Once connected the display screen will be in the power off mode and show the percentage of charge.  Timex claims that the rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery takes 2.5 – 3.5 hours to fully charge the trainer from total depletion.  I charged the trainer using the wall outlet.  It was charging for 2 hours and at 55% charged when I fell asleep so I would guess their claims of charge times are accurate.

 

Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS

Display screen is much larger than standard watch

 

Once the trainer was fully charged, I started trying to figure it out.  I used the included quick start guide to familiarize myself with the trainer.  Below in italics is the feature overview from the quick start guide.

 

Feature Overview

INDIGLO® Night-Light with Night-Mode® Feature and Continuous Illumination – The INDIGLO® night-light illuminates the display with the press of the INDIGLO® button. When activated, the Night-Mode® feature illuminates the display with any button press.

For added convenience during low-light conditions, the Global Trainerwatch comes with an option for continuous illumination of the display. See the section on Operational Buttons and Icons for further details.

Performance Mode – Keep track of multiple variables during your workout, including speed, distance, elapsed time, pace, and calories burned.

• Multisport Mode – Incorporate several activities and transition periods into a single workout, and track all of them together.

• Customizable Screen Displays – View up to four workout metrics of your choosing in each of five view screens for either Performance or Multisport Modes, so your unique workout information is always at your fingertips.

• PERFORMANCE PACER – Test yourself against your saved workouts to track your progress and improvement over time.

• GPS – Pinpoint your location and store your favorite workout routes, and save locations as waypoints for later use in workouts.

• TRACK BACK – Calculate a route from your current position to any stored waypoint.

• Computer Integration – Send settings from your computer to your Global Trainerwatch for easy customization, and transfer your workouts to your computer to track your progress.

• ANT+Wireless Sensors – Monitor your Heart Rate to maintain the level of activity that matches your personalized workout needs. Use Bike Speed, Cadence, and Power Meter data to integrate cycling into your workouts.

 

Once I learned about the features I became familiar with the trainers buttons.  Below in italics is also from the quick start guide.

 

Operational Buttons and Icons

INDIGLO® (BUTTON)

Press the INDIGLO® button at any time to activate the INDIGLO® night-light for a few seconds.

Hold the INDIGLO® button for 4 seconds to activate the Night-Mode® feature; the watch beeps to confirm. When the Night-Mode feature is active, any button you press illuminates the night-light for a few seconds.

The Global Trainer watch also has an INDIGLO® feature for continuous illumination. Hold the INDIGLO® button for 8 seconds to activate this feature; the watch double-beeps to confirm.

The Night-Mode® feature and continuous illumination remains active for 8 hours, but you can hold the INDIGLO® button for 4 seconds to deactivate either before 8 hours elapses.

BACK / PWR

Hold  for 2 seconds to turn the Global Trainer™ watch on or off. In any mode, press 8 to go back to the previous item. If you are setting a value or a label, those numbers or characters will be recorded.

MODE

Press MODE to cycle through the Global Trainer™ watch’s operational modes. At any point, hold MODE for 1 second to see the time and date. Release MODE to go back to the screen you were viewing.

UP

In a menu, press to highlight the item above or to the left of the currently selected one.

In Performance or Multisport Mode, press ? to go to the next view screen.

ENTER

Press to select the highlighted item for setting or change. Press 8 to confirm the entry or changed item.

In Performance or Multisport Mode, press and hold 8 for 2 seconds to lock all buttons except the INDIGLO® button. Press and hold 8 for 2 seconds to unlock all buttons.

DWN / STP / RST

In a menu, press to highlight the item below or to the right of the currently selected one.

In Performance or Multisport Mode with the chronograph stopped and reset, press q to display the previous view screen.

In Performance Mode with the chronograph running, press q to stop (or pause) the chronograph. If the chronograph is stopped (or paused), hold q to reset the chronograph (follow the directions on the screen).

In Multisport Mode, press q to transition to the next sport. Hold q to pause the workout. If MULTISPORT Mode is paused, press q to reset the chronograph (follow the directions on the screen).

START / SPLIT

Press START / SPLIT in Performance or Multisport Mode to begin timing a workout. Press it again when the chronograph is running to take a split and to time laps individually.

 

Once I figured out the features and buttons I started the initial setup.  There is a lot of information you can put in the trainer and even more comes out of it.  I am starting out with the basics and will have to spend more time with it to fully understand it and utilize all its features.  It is very easy to set up the trainer.  Once the trainer is turned on with the power button, almost all functions of the trainer begin with the mode button.  For the initial system setup you press the mode button several times until the display shows configure.  Once there the next screen has all the options for setting up your trainer.  Below are the different settings in the configure mode.  These are all personal preferences and your level of training.  Words in italics are from the websites user guide.

 

Hands Free

Hands Free settings control automatic starting, stopping, and splits on the chronograph.

I turn the auto start/stop on so if I have to stop my run to tie my shoe or stop at a traffic light on my bike, the timer stops also so I get an accurate time on my workout since I train by time and not distance.  Once I start moving again the time automatically starts back so I don’t have to worry about forgetting to stop or start it.  You can even decide the speed threshold the timer will automatically start and stop.

Alerts

Use the Alerts menu to set up visual and audible alerts in response to several conditions, including speed and heart rate.

This is a great function if you train in heart rate zones or by cadence.  The trainer will alert you if you fall below or rise above your set zones.  You can also set alerts for altitude, speed, distance and power.

Sensors

Use the Sensors menu to search for, pair, and manage ANT+sensor devices such as heart rate monitors, cadence and speed sensors, and power meters.

You can pair any ANT+ device with the trainer.  The one I received came with a Timex heart rate monitor that paired instantly.  Timex claims you can pair it with other brand monitors as long as the are ANT+ but my old heart rate monitor is not an ANT+ device so I could not confirm this.  I do have a cadence sensor on all my bikes but I have not attempted to pair them yet but will for my follow up reviews.

User Info

Input your personal information into the Global TrainerBodylink® System watch to provide watch text in your preferred language, or in determining heart rate zones, calorie expenditure, and default screens in Performance Mode.

This is where you select your preferred language (there are seven to choose from. English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Portuguese or Dutch) and your personal information.  Gender, weight, height and date of birth.  This information is used to calculate calorie expenditure.

Watch

Adjust settings for the time of day function, including time zone, date format, and whether or not to adjust for daylight savings time.

This is where you decide if you want to hear a beep when you press any button.  If you want an hourly chime, 12/24 hour format, your time zone, if you want automatic daylight saving change and date format.

Alarm

Set an alarm which will sound at the selected times and days. The alarm will sound even when the watch is powered down, so long as the Power Off function is set to SHOW TIME.

Heart Rate

Set up how the Global TrainerBodylink® System watch calculates and displays heart rate zones.

I manually entered my zones from my previous training.  This was easily done in a few simple steps.

Recovery

Select and then set up your recovery timer. Heart rate recovery is only available in Performance Mode when the Chronograph is stopped. A valid heart rate signal is required for the duration of the timer.

I have never used a function like this but will use it when I do interval training.

Bike

Manage profiles for up to five bikes. The Global TrainerBodylink® System watch uses the settings in these profiles to calculate speed, distance, and calorie use.

I love this function because I have three bikes and can move the trainer from bike to bike and keep track of all my workouts.  You can configure up to five bikes.  My wife will have my neck if I buy anymore bikes but I would love to fill up the trainer with five bikes.

Power Meter

Set up how the Global TrainerBodylink® System watch calculates and displays power meter zones.

This function is used on bikes with a power meter.  I do not train with a power meter so I will not use this function but it is nice to know it is available if I ever get one.

GPS

Configure options for the GPS, view device version information, and view satellites. You can also reset the watch and update the firmware from this menu.

I left this on the factory settings.

Units

Configure the type of units the Global TrainerBodylink® System watch uses when tracking performance data. You can choose from English, Metric, and Nautical units.

Modes

Activate or deactivate Navigate Mode and associated functions, and configure power off behavior.

 

I set all my personal settings on the trainer and it was simple to do.  There is a movie and instructions on the website on how to set all your settings on your computer.  I tried making some changes on the computer and move the changes to the trainer but I was unable to do it.  I have an older computer and I am sure that is the problem.  I will try to do it on my wife’s or son’s computer for my next review.

 

Once I set my personal settings I was ready to try out the trainer but before I did, I had to decide what I wanted displayed on the trainer.  There are two training/race screens on the trainer.  They are performance and multi sport.  Words in italics are from the website user guide.

Performance Mode

Performance Mode tracks data for up to 20 workouts and up to 1000 laps. Keep track of multiple variables during your workout, including speed, distance, elapsed time, pace, and calories burned. See data during your workout in five customizable view screens, each with up to four fields for displaying data.

Inside the performance mode there are five customizable screens.  Swim, bike, run, custom 1 and custom 2.  Inside each screen you can split the screen from 1 – 4 data fields.  Below are your choices.

ALTITUDEyour current altitude above sea level
ALTI-INZNamount of time spent in your defined altitude zone
ALTI-MAXhighest altitude reached during this workout
ALTI-MINlowest altitude reached during this workout
ASC-TOTALtotal ascent during this workout
ASC-AVGaverage ascent over distance traveled
CADENCEcurrent RPM of bike crank
CAD-AVGaverage RPM of bike crank
CAD-INZNamount of time spent in your defined cadence zone
CAD-BESThighest RPM reached during this workout
CALORIEScalories burned NOTE: To accurately calculate calories burned, configure the view screen using ACTIVITY SETUP on the Display menu.
DSC-TOTALtotal descent during this workout
DSC-AVGaverage descent over distance traveled
DISTANCEtotal distance traveled
DIS-LEFTtotal distance remaining when tracking back to a waypoint or to a route
HRcurrent heart rate
HR-AVGaverage heart rate over entire workout
HR-PEAKhighest heart rate reached during this workout
HR-INZNamount of time spent in your defined heart rate zone
PACEtime per mile/km at current speed
PACE-AVGaverage time per mile/km over entire workout
PACE-BESTfastest time per mile/km reached in this workout
PACE-INZNamount of time spent in your defined pace zone
POWERcurrent power output
POWER-AVGaverage power in watts over entire workout
PWR-INZNamount of time spent in your defined power zone 

 

PWR-PEAKhighest power in watts reached during this workout
PACERamount of time ahead or behind selected target set in Performance Pacer
SPEEDcurrent speed
SPD-AVGaverage speed over entire workout
SPD-INZNamount of time spent in your defined speed zone
SPD-MAXfastest speed reached during this workout
TIME-LAPtime for current lap
TIME-LEFTestimated time to reach the next waypoint
TIME-STOPtotal rest time during workout
TIME-SPLTtotal time elapsed since beginning of workout
TIME-SGMTtotal time elapsed since the beginning of this activity as selected in Multisport Mode
TIME-EVTtotal time of event including transition and rest periods
TIME DAYcurrent time of day
TIMER-1TIMER-2TIMER-3TIMER-4TIMER-5custom timers which can be set to include multiple repetitions and intervals

 

 

The way you have your screens set up are totally personal preferences.  I have three data screens on the swim screen; distance, pace and heart rate.  I have four data fields on both the bike and run screens.  Because I live in the foothills ofSouth Carolinaand do most of my bike training in the mountains, I have total ascent so I can see how many total feet I climb on a bike ride.  I also have time lap, heart rate and speed.  For my run screen I have heart rate, pace, distance and time lap.  I have not set up my custom screens yet but plan on using one for hiking and not sure what I will do the other custom screen.

Four data fields I display for bike

 

Three data fields I have for swimming

The multisport function is one of the main reason I jumped at the chance to test the Timex trainer.  It allows me to set up a multisport training day or I can record an entire triathlon and only have to touch a button going in and out of transition.  I look forward to trying this function when I do my next triathlon.   Below in italics comes from the website user guide.

Multisport Mode

While Performance Mode tracks performance data for one activity, Multisport Mode links up to five sports together, and manages transitions between sports as well. Choose the performance data for each of up to five sports, and use the transition periods in between sports to prepare for the next activity in the MULTISPORT sequence. For example, use the transition period between MULTI-BIKE and MULTI-RUN to change from cycling shoes to running shoes.

 

Once I have completed a workout or race, I can review all the information on the trainer.  While I am doing my workout, I can only see four screens.  Once done and in Review Mode, I can see all the data in the chart below the user guide information.  What is said in the user guide.

Review Mode

Use Review Mode to inspect the details of your workouts. While Performance Mode and Multisport Mode allow you to monitor at most four workout statistics on each view screen, additional data is recorded during your workouts, and you can view all of this data in Review Mode. You can also view the data for individual laps.

You can view the course of the workout plotted on the map as well, and track back along the workout route to repeat the workout or to find your way back to your starting point.

Data

Description

In Workout Sum­mary

In Lap Summary

TOTAL TIMEtotal time elapsed since beginning of workout

3

DISTANCEtotal distance traveled

3

3

SPLIT TIMEtotal time elapsed since beginning of workout

3

LAP TIMEtime for this lap only

3

AVG SPEEDaverage speed over entire workout

3

3

AVG PACEestimate of time per mile/km over entire workout

3

3

AVG HR*average heart rate over entire workout

3

3

STOP TIMEtotal rest time during workout

3

MAX SPEEDfastest speed reached during this workout

3

3

BEST PACEfastest estimate of time per mile/km reached during this workout

3

3

PEAK HR*highest heart rate reached during this workout

3

3

MIN HR*lowest heart rate reached during this workout

3

3

IN ZONE*amount of time spent in your defined heart rate zone

3

3

ZONE RANGE*heart rate range used to track time-in-zone

3

3

CALORIEScalories burned over entire workout

3

3

CAL/HRaverage calories burned per hour

3

3

ROTATION*total number of times the bicycle crank was turned during the workout

3

3

MAX CAD*highest RPM reached during this workout

3

3

AVG CAD*average RPM of bike crank

3

3

MAX ALTIhighest altitude reached during this workout

3

3

MIN ALTIlowest altitude reached during this workout

3

3

AVG ASCaverage RPM of bike crank

3

3

AVG DESCaverage descent over distance traveled

3

3

AVG POWER*average power in watts over entire workout

3

3

PEAK POWER*high power in watts over entire workout

3

3

 

The chart did not transfer over correctly.  The “3” are checkmarks representing what is seen in summary. Splittime and lap time only show up in the lap summary.  Total time and stop time only show up in the workout summary.

 

In the Review Mode you can also view laps, view on map (it is very small on the screen), track back (if you get lost this is a great function) or delete a selected workout or all your workouts.

 

One of several review screens

Another mode on the Timex trainer is the Navigate Mode.

Navigate Mode

Use Navigate mode to find your position at any time using GPS technology. You can also create a waypoint at any time, saving your current position in the Global Trainer™ Bodylink® System watch memory. Combine these waypoints in any combination you wish to create workout routes. During your workout, view the compass feature to find your direction and speed, and view the map to see where you have been during your workout.

I have not used this mode yet but among other things, I can create a route on my computer and download it onto the trainer or I can create it as I ride or run and add waypoints along the way for future runs or rides.  There is also a compass and a map function in the Navigate Mode.

 

 

PC Sync Mode

Use PC Sync Mode to make setting changes to the Global Trainer™ Bodylink® System watch from your computer. All Global Trainer™ watch settings can be changed from the device agent and downloaded to the watch. You can also upload workout data from the Global Trainer™ watch to your computer for long-term tracking, and use this data with your Timex Trainer powered by TrainingPeaks account to optimize your workout program.

The PC Sync Mode is another major reason I wanted to test the Timex trainer.  It is a great way to review my workouts or upload workouts from TrainingPeaks to the trainer.  It is an easy process.  All I had to do is connect the charger / download clip to the trainer like I did to charge and connect it to the computer.  I then went to PC Sync Mode on the trainer then downloaded the workouts.  Once the workouts are downloaded, sign into TrainingPeaks and click on the date of the workout.  I have downloaded 6 workouts into TrainingPeaks so far and I am impressed how much information is available.  It is equivalent to what is available in review mode on the trainer but it is very easy to read and the map is much more detailed and easy to read compared to the map on the trainer.  Like I mentioned earlier, Timex claims setting changes can be made or changed on a computer and uploaded to the trainer but I was unable to do it.

 

There are couple of other functions available on the trainer that I have not tried yet but plan to for my upcoming reviews.  The performance pacer lets me measure my progress against previously saved workouts or manually entered time and distance.  I like the idea that I will be able to see if my fitness is improving as time passes.  I can also set an interval workout on the trainer.  The trainer allows me to put the number of intervals I plan on doing and at what time interval I want.  There are five custom timer screens available on the trainer.

 

The trainer is water resistant to 50 meters which will be great for knowing how far I swim when I do open water swims.  It also came with a bike mount that allows me to attach the trainer to my bike.  The bike mount is not permanent like the one I currently have on my bikes so I can easily move it from bike to bike to bike.  I will try and sync the trainer with the cadence sensors I currently have on my bikes.  I will let you know the results in my next review.

Bike mount easy to move from bike to bike

 

Mounted on bike

 

I am very excited about training with the Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS.  I don’t have anymore triathlons scheduled this year but I will continue to use it for all my training.  I will have more on the trainer in about a month.

 

Update: Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS 11/21/2011

The Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS is working fine now but I have had several issues with it to get to this point. I know it has been more than a month since my initial review and I promised I would test many of the features I did not test in my initial review but I ran into several problems with the trainer.  After using the trainer for several workouts, I noticed some of the features would not work.  As I mentioned in my initial review, I could not set up the trainer from my computer.  I initially thought it may be my computer so I tried it on my son’s new computer and I had the same issues.  The way I set up the trainer on the computer would not transfer over to the trainer so I had to set it up manually on the trainer itself.  On top of that I could not get the chronograph to work and eventually it would not track my miles.  I would go out on a 75 mile bike ride and get home to review my workout and it would say I rode .3 miles in 1 second.  Needless to say I was not happy.  I tried changing settings and I would get the same results.  I called customer service and after speaking to the person for a while they decided I needed to send the watch in for repairs.  I was not happy about that since I just received it a few weeks prior but I paid the postage and insurance to have it repaired.  After four weeks I received a watch back in the mail along with an $8.00 bill for the repair.  I am not sure if it was a new watch or my original one repaired.  I took the watch out and charged it up.  All the settings were different so I hooked it up to my computer excited to se it up on the computer and transfer the data to the trainer.  Guess what…same issue.  The data would not transfer.  Again, I was not happy.  I set everything up manually on the trainer and went on a bike ride.  Guess what…same issues so I decided to try it on a run.  I started out and again the chronograph would not work but it seemed to be tracking the miles but the pace was incorrect.  It would track the miles but only at large intervals.  It went from 4/10ths to 1.6 miles to 3.6 miles to 4.8.  It was really strange.  It also had my pace at 19:06/mile.  I may not be the fastest runner out there but I know I wasn’t moving that slow.  At that point I turned off the watched and decided to turn it back on to see if the review page may be correct.  When I turned the trainer back on, it locked on the run screen but it was totally blank.  No matter what I did, it would not change from that blank screen.  At that point I was done with it.  I emailed the person in charge of the 4alloutdoors blog and told her my issues.  She said she would contact the rep and let me know what to do.  After several days, she said the rep had not responded so write a review and see if they respond.  I decided to call Timex customer service one more time to see if they could help me figure out what is wrong.

 

I finally got to someone who could help me and I am up and running.  It seems that I had an older version of the trainers software loaded on there and I needed to update the software.  He called it firmware and the new version is 3.14.  I was in my car so I could not do it at that time when we initially spoke.  He told me how to download the firmware and to call back if I had any issues.  As I normally do when it comes to computers, I could not figure it out.  The customer service agent gave me his direct line when we spoke earlier in the day so I called him up.  He asked me a few questions and in no time he had the new firmware loading up on the trainer.  As you could imagine, I didn’t have a positive attitude about this working.  Once the firmware was loaded, he stayed on the line and helped me with all the issues I was having.  Thanks to my new friend at Timex customer service, I am now able to set up the data fields on my computer to the trainer. After we hung up, I changed clothes and went for a run.  Everything worked.  Before I got too excited I went for another run the next day and then a bike ride the following day.  All fields and information seemed accurate.  I know the run mileage was accurate because I did routes I have run before and know how far they are.  The bike mileage, time and average speed were very close to other rider’s computers that I compared them to.   I then came home and downloaded the three workouts to my computer and reviewed them and that went well.

 

Since I just got the trainer working again I have not had time to test several of the other functions but plan to before my final review.  I am planning on trying it out on a swim later this week and hope the GPS will inside the bubble that covers our outdoor pool.  Please check back with me in about a month for my final review.

 

Final Update: Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS

 

Since the trainer started working like it was supposed to, I have used it numerous times and I am having a love / hate relationship with it.  For the most part it works for the things I want it to do but there are little things that happen while I use it that drives me crazy.  The thing that bothers me the most about the trainer is the auto start/stop mode.  I like the idea of it and it is very useful when I train but it is too sensitive.  I have the speed threshold at 1 mph.  That is the speed that the chronograph will start when it goes above 1 mph and the speed the chronograph will stop when it falls below 1 mph.  It is great to have so when you stop for traffic or have to tie your shoe the clock stops (or starts) automatically so you can get accurate training time.  An alarm beeps and a display pops up on the face that says auto start or stop.  I can have the trainer sitting next to me not moving a bit and it constantly beeps and auto starts and stops.  I went on a 20 mile hike with my son yesterday and our pace was just over 3 mph’s and the auto start and stop beeped for the first 11 miles until I could not take it any longer.  I had the trainer attached to the top of my day pack so it would not be affected by my arm swings since I use trekking poles and my arms move a lot more with them then they would if I was running.  Once I turned off the auto start / stop on our hike, I could not get the chronograph to resume and the trainer stopped tracking our miles and pace, so basically everything was turned off even though it was still on.  I tried several different things but I could not get it to work properly.  Luckily the trails had accurate mileage on the map so we knew how far we went.   I’m sure it is user error but I went back through the instructions today and could not find anything that could help me.

 

I am impressed with how well the GPS works even in thick cover.  On our hike, it never lost signal.  I have used it for several mountain bike rides and the same thing, it never lost signal even in the thickest canopy of trees. I did try to use the trainer inside the bubble of our pool but the GPS function did not work.  I would have been very surprised if it did.  I have found with another trainer I have that it is best to put the trainer inside your swim cap while swimming to not only protect it from the water (even though they are waterproof) but I get more accurate readings when it is not on my arm.  I like the multisport function that allows you to track up to five events.  That is perfect for a triathlon.  I can go from my swim to transition 1 to bike to transition 2 to run by just pressing the DWN/STP/RST button between events.  I have not used it in a triathlon yet but I have used it when I do brick workouts (swim – bike or bike – run back to back without rest) and it works great.  I like that I do not have to stop and reset the trainer to go to the next event.   I like the performance pacer especially on a run.  It helps me keep a consistent pace throughout my run.  It is easy to set up and beeps if you are going faster or slower than your set pace.   The larger buttons on the trainer makes it easy to move from screen to screen even with large gloves on which is great on cold days.

The trainers large buttons are easy to push even with large gloves on.

 

All in all I like the Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS.  I wish there was a training class for it because it is so complex and does so much.  Maybe I would not have some of the issues I am having if there was even an online class to take.   I look forward to using it in a triathlon this spring and I will continue to use it for training.  The information I download from it is very detailed and helpful in tracking my progress.  I want to thank Timex for providing the Global Trainer GPS for me to test and 4AllOutdoors for the opportunity.

 

 


 

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