This post is the second in that series. Does the fact that it's been four months mean I haven't been thinking hard about things that "I want"? No. By "what I want" I don't mean things I just can't justify purchasing or just can't afford, like this awesome anti-gravity treadmill (models start at around $30,000). I also don't mean science fiction things like a bionic achilles tendon. I'm talking about things that I don't think exist right now, but that someone should develop. And sell to me at a reasonable price. Or better yet, give me to test and review. Some of things I "want" might already exist - please let me know if they do. Some of the things I want probably aren't realistic just yet, but I'm sure they will be soon and you could take my idea and be the one to make all the money.
This time "what I want" is the next generation GPS watch. I've been training with my Polar RS200 for years. I don't have the footpod attachment, so, for me it's a simple heart-rate monitor watch. But actually, after the last heart rate strap I purchased stopped working, now I only use it as a stopwatch. It's totally functional and works perfectly fine as a watch and heart-rate monitor. I've had the battery changed at least twice since I've owned it; sending it to Polar for the battery change is a pain, but not a huge deal for me. I've resisted stepping up to a GPS watch because I haven't found one that I like. The earliest models were too expensive for my taste and newer ones all seem to have issues that I find unacceptable - like a short battery life, or they're too big and bulky for my tiny little wrists or they require an ugly separate GPS module that I have to wear on my arm or waist.
I'm sure the watch I want is coming soon - in fact, a new Timex watch was just announced, is coming out later this year and might be pretty close, but there's not enough information released yet to be sure.
Here's what the watch I want features:
- GPS - of course, with distance and pace
- Heart rate monitor, with a soft strap like the Polar Wearlink one
- Rechargeable battery, with a battery life of at least 12-15 hours
- Both barometric and GPS-based altimeters; having the barometric altimeter makes it much more accurate (read a simple explanation here or a more detailed one here)
- Small enough that it actually looks like a watch and fits my aforementioned puny wrists; the Garmin 305 and 310 models are too big for me
- But it still needs to be able to display 3 or 4 stats (i.e. heart rate, pace, speed, time, distance, current split, etc.) simultaneously, and enable me to customize what is in those "windows"
- Compatibility with a cadence sensor on the bike would be nice, but not totally necessary
- The ability to store and easily switch between at least two different heart rate profiles; my HR zones for running are different than my cycling zones and on the Polar RS200, I have to manually input the different zones any time I want to change. This means I can't change them mid-training during a brick and it also means that I have remember to make all the changes before I start exercising
- The capability to upload data to functional, easy-to-use software (I don't think the new version of Training Peaks counts, but that's another story)
- Storage of personal safety data in a file in case of emergency; nothing fancy but something that an EMT could access to call my wife; just in case, you know
- Obvious other simple features like lap counting, countdown timer, backlight, waterproof, etc.
Indoor bike - Jan 27
Run - Jan 27
Distance: 3.8 miles + strides
Time: 28 min
Conditions: Sunny, high 50's
Yoga - Jan 28