Timex Trailrunner - Sports Watch - GPS - Heart Rate Monitor
The Timex Trailrunner
GPS systems is designed primarily for running and walking but can also be
used by cyclists. The device use global positioning satellites to work out
coordinates on the ground that will then determine speed, distance,
direction and height.
League runner PC Steve
Broadbent purchased his Timex Trail Runner system Christmas 2005. The
package costing £250 comprises:
Wristwatch - Featuring
all data readout
GPS Device - fitted to
rate monitor - fitted as chest strap
device - worn on waist band
After three months
usage Steve gave his evaluation on the Timex Trailrunner…..
I have read about such
devices for a couple of years but wondered whether they were more a hassle
to carry rather than a way of improving my running performance. I purchased
the full package for £250 from The Running Centre in Lancaster. I had looked
at rival models such as Garmin but felt the Timex was the best as the
digital data readout was incorporated within the wristwatch. This could be
worn as a ‘normal watch’ when you weren’t operating the other devices. It
also looked smart and wearable at any time or place.
This was operated by a
single, rechargeable battery and strapped to my upper forearm. It has one
single on-off button and within a minute will detect sufficient satellites
to send accurate data to the wristwatch. The watch then displays speed,
time, distance and height and refreshes this data every three seconds.
I was amazed at the
immediate response of the device and as I started to walk, the display
immediately began reading MPH, minutes per mile - pace as well as height and
metres travelled. Absolutely remarkable!
Heart Rate Monitor
I then strapped my HRM
to my chest and waited for response. Within a minute the watch was now
reading my HR as well as speed, distance and so on. It was like having your
own on board computer.
Timex Trail Runner, GPS,
HRM and download pod.
To add to the watch,
GPS and HRM there was a small ‘pod’ that collects data from both the GPS and
HRM. A simple one touch button synchronised one device then a second press
the other. This would now capture all the ongoing data for up to five hours.
Then connected to a USB lead the data can be transferred to your PC. The
results were fantastic.
Not only was I able to
view a detailed graph of my last training run I was also able to view a map
of the course I had taken with coordinates. These can be imported into an OS
map and superimpose upon the given legend fairly accurately.
Pictured above - Computer
graph and map showing speed and height over distance in the
2006 Police Sport UK Cross
Country Championships in Perranporth, Cornwall.
In the main, all
devices function well most of the time. However, common faults with all GPS
devices are buildings and dense trees that can obscure and break up GPS
signals - not a fault of the device. Also, I understand there can be up to a
30 foot difference in coordinates - something to do with the satellites
The Timex devices can
be occasionally temperamental. GPS to watch - spot on. However, HRM to watch
(When GPS is fitted) can give erratic high and low read-outs - this is
common with HRM used with GPS.
On the downside I do
wonder whether Timex could incorporate the GPS and computer download pod
into one wristwatch device. Garmin, the rival manufacturer has now achieved
this and has produced a fairly wearable one-piece device worn on the wrist
that contains everything but the HRM.
I would give the Timex
Trailrunner 8/10 but as technology progresses (as it always does) may look
to upgrading it to a smaller device in a couple of years.
To find out more about the Timex Trailrunner
Email Steve Broadbent