But, then running got the best of me and I quickly jumped on the GPS bandwagon with this guy (Garmin Forerunner 205):
This was actually a decent and dependable watch, but the problem was it weighed 95 pounds and covered most of left arm.
Eventually, I graduated to this (Garmin 210):
So...enter this watch, which was sent to me by Epson (yes, the guys who make printers). The SF-810.
It was in September when TomTom sent me a GPS watch to review. I was still pretty happy with my Epson, but thought I'd try it out.
And...wow. I have no vested interest in going on and on about how much I love this watch. I'm going to gush about it simply because I love this watch THAT MUCH. Let me tell you why.
But, first - here he is. His real name might be TomTom, but I call him Tom for short because it is very clever.
I present to you the TomTom Spark 3 (cardio + music):
First, let's talk about the look/design/size. This watch is sleek and reasonably sized. Not bulky at all. In fact, I wear it now as my everyday watch as well as my running watch. It can hold a charge for up to 11 days depending on how much you use the GPS features, so no need to charge it much.
How it looks on my almost-50-year-old arm:
Next - this is going to blow your mind. This watch comes with Bluetooth headphones. You can load up to 500 songs directly onto the watch. You then sync the watch with the headphones and GO. No wires, no fussing, no need to carry your phone. It's genius. And, it's super easy to load your playlists onto the watch from iTunes, etc.
The watch has all the traditional and expected measurements - anything you could want. Pace, duration, distance, time, elevation loss/gain, cadence. There is a built in heart rate monitor that measures heart rate on your wrist, so no chest straps and other annoying crap.
Another cool thing? The watch can be in any mode you want - running, swimming, biking, even treadmill! And, for you triathlon folks, it is fully waterproof.
What else? Well if you are into the whole tracking thing, the watch doubles as kind of a fitness tracker in the sense that even when it's not in GPS mode, it is tracking your steps, calories, etc throughout the day. I am not big on counting my steps but it has been fun to see how far you actually walk in a day (especially in airports! And Vegas! Who knew?).
Lastly, after runs, I sync up the watch with the TomTom app on my phone to get all the fun details. the app is extremely user friendly:
So, basically this is the rock star running watch of the century. IMHO. I've worn and run with it non stop now for two months. Once you go Tom you realize it's the bomb. Or, something like that.
If you are looking for a last minute holiday gift for your running friend/partner - this is it. Trust me on this one. There are a few different models, but if you want the one with the headphones and all the bells and whistles, go for the TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music. There are two sizes available for the watch band - small and large. The small works well for me (I have about a 6" wrist).
If you want a more professional and detailed review go HERE to DC Rainmaker's site. I don't do that here.
What kind of running watch do you use? Would you recommend it?
This watch was sent to me by TomTom. All opinions are my own.