Monday, January 25, 2021

Review of the Fitbit Versa 3 Running Watch

Fitbit Versa 3
Fitbit Versa 3

I wanted to tell you all about how I've finally entered the modern era of runnng watches. As you may know from my past posts, I absolutely love my Timex Ironman Watch. But this past Christmas, Santa gave me a Fitbit Versa 3 GPS watch. So as a result, I've been running with it for several weeks now and wanted to give you a review in case you too were on the fence about getting one or any GPS watch for that matter.

The Good!

Let's start off with what I like about the Fitbit Versa 3. First of all, I had a Fitbit Charge before but I rarely wore it so I already had a Fitbit account set up. That was very easy to do, and adding a watch to it was just as easy.

Unlike the the Charge, the Fitbit Versa 3 is very easy to see while running. Even in bright sunlight, I can see the screen with no issues. the watch tells me when I'm in the right heart zone which is good info and it displays not only my time, but my pace and distance. Very cool, I must admit.

I also like that I only have to charge it so far about once per week. Keep in mind, I'm only running 3-4 times per week so I'm not always using the GPS feature although to be fair, I honestly don't know if that affects the battery or not, but I would think so.

When you're done with your run and it syncs with your watch, it gives you a map of the route you just ran which I think is super cool. I realize all the watches do this, but again, I'm coming from a Timex Ironman watch.

The Bad...

The one thing I dislike abouthe Versa 3 is that the touch screen does not work well when it's wet or when I'm sweaty and so I'm wet. What I mean is that the the touch screen doesn't respond. As a result, on many of my early runs with the watch, when I'd get home and try to stop the timer, I couldn't. I'd be standing in my driveway swiping like crazy trying to get to the end button. I did find out that the invisible side button (and yes, you can't see it and I can barely feel it, but it's there) will pause it and give you the option to end the timer, but if you can't find the button fumbling around after a grueling run, it doesn't do you much good.

The next issue I have with it, and this is not a big deal to me, but I could see it would be for some, is that the GPS is not entirely accurate. A course that I know is 2 miles comes up on the watch as 1.9 or 1.92 or 1.91 depending on....I don't know what. When I zoom in on the map to see the route up close, I can tell why it's off but I'm not sure what to do about it. Apparently, my watch thinks I'm running through houses and buildings rather than going around them. This would obviously account for not only the general discrepencies in distance among all my routes, but the change in distance when running the same route. I ran the same route 3 times and had 3 different distances that it calculated.

Overall, I Recommend the Fitbit Versa 3

Besides the running aspect, you can also listen to (some) music, (I still haven't fully figured this out yet), it tracks your sleep which is very cool, and it allows you to pay for things with your watch (super cool to this guy). Compared to other GPS watches with similar features, I think the price is good too. In fact, I have a link to the Versa 3 on Amazon if you'd like to get one for yourself. I do receive a small commission when you buy as I'm in Amazon's affiliate program.


Monday, January 18, 2021

How to Run When It's Icy

During the winter, I get asked a lot about how to run when it's icy outside. It's a great question, because the last thing you want to happen is to slip and fall and end up injured and losing the winter to build up your mileage base. Below are my top 3 suggestions:

Suggestion 1: Don't Run

I know that may sound funny coming from a running coach, "Don't run", but honestly, I'd rather you stay healthy and not risk it. Stay in, run inside on a treadmill, or do some other form of cross training like a stationary bike, swim at an indoor pool, etc. Also, keep in mind, if you run consistently, missing a day or two is not going to hurt your performance. In fact, it may even help by forcing you to rest, giving your body a chance to rest and recover from prior workouts.

Suggestion 2: Run Very Carefully

If you love racking up the mileage and insist on running, then try shortening your stride. Taking smaller, more frequent steps will help you keep better traction and reduce the risk of a slip and fall incident. If you can, find snowy parts as the snow will give your traction whereas ice will just be slick.

You can also drop you arms out to the sides and lower than normal and use them for balance the way a tight rope walker would. It may sound funny, but it helps.

Suggestion 3: Use Crampons or Ice Cleats

If you live up north, where it can be icy and slick for days upon days, you may want to invest in a pair of slip-on crampons, also sometimes called Ice-Cleats. these slip over your runnin shoes and have sharp nodules on the bottom that will bite into the ice and give you traction, similar to the way chains on tires work for your car. Below, I have a link to a great amazon product. By using the link below, you will help support this site as I will receive a small commission.


Saturday, January 9, 2021

Timex Ironman Watch Review: My Favorite Running Gear


Timex Ironman Watch

In my opinion, the Timex Ironman Watch is the best, most affordable running watch you can buy. I’ve used the ironman watch for as long as I can remember. In fact, in the beginning, it would record only 8 splits for you which I thought was the coolest thing since my favorite workout was doing 6 – 8 x 400m repeats. This was way back in high school. I’m not so crazy anymore. So what’s so great about this watch when there are so many fancy smart watches out there? Let’s take a look shall we?

PRICE

First of all, the price can’t be beat in my opinion. For all that this watch does, and for as tough as it is, I think a good sport watch under $50 is a steal.

QUALITY

This watch is amazing. It’s water resistant up to 100m, I’m contantly banging my arm on things and I’ve never in all the years I’ve owned one, had any issues with the buttons not working or the band breaking.

EASY TO USE

When you first get the watch, assuming you haven’t had one before, it can seem a little confusing but if you just take a breath and look at the buttons, they are very intuitive.  Basically there are five buttons.

Bottom Left: Mode Button takes you from the time and date screen to the Chrono or Stopwatch mode.  Press it again it takes you to the timer mode. Next are Occasion, Alarm 1, Alarm 2 and Alarm 3.  The timer mode that I mentioned is a great feature because not only will it countdown, but you can have it repeat!  What does that mean?  Let’s say you’re doing my free Couch to 5K running plan.  The plan calls for running a minute and walking a minute.  You can set the timer on repeat so that after it counts down from a minute, an alarm goes off and it begins counting down again.  All you have to do is keep track of what you’re doing when the alarm goes off.  Run or walk!

Top Left: Set/Recall is the button you use to either set your time and date initially or to recall your splits.  When setting up your watch initially, you simply press and hold “set” and then press “Mode” to scroll through setting up the time, date, year, 12/24 hr format, etc.

Top Right: Indigo Light button. This is one of my favorite features of this watch.  Whether it’s early morning or late at night, it can be hard to see you watch display.  The old lights really just lit up one corner of the watch and was still barely readable.  The indigo light however, illuminates all the text and numbers in a bright blue/green color so it’s super easy to read.

Bottom Right: Stop/Reset button.  This is pretty self explanatory.  If you’re timing something and you want to stop, simply press “stop”.  If you’re using a countdown timer, when you’re done with it, simply hit “reset” to take it back to the setting you entered.  For example, if you set a countdown time for 15 minutes but finished a little early.  You can hit reset and it will reset the timer back to 15 minutes.

Bottom Center: Stop/Split button. Again, pretty obvious what this button does.  If you are using the stopwatch, this starts it.  press it again to grab a split.  Maybe you’re on a track doing laps or you want to compare your out and back times. Regardless, it’s a great feature and the button is so big and central, you can’t mess it up.

CONS OF THE TIMEX?

If you want a watch that tracks your sleep or your steps then this is not for you. If you're looking for a GPS watch, this watch is not fo you. I also would prefer the stop and mode buttons switch places.  To me, it would feel more natural to stop the stopwatch with my thumb if it was the bottom left button but honestly it’s not that big of a deal. It’s just ergonomics.

SUMMARY

If you’re looking for a great, reliable watch that will gives you a countdown timer, a stopwatch, has multiple alarms and occasion reminders, as well as recording up to 30 splits, then this is the watch for you!  One other great feature for me in a world of tech, is I don’t ever have to plug it in!  I have to charge my phone, my ipad, my Fitbit (another review coming soon) and my bluetooth headphones. It’s so refreshing and easy to just grab my watch knowing it will be ready and won’t run out of charge on my run.

If you are interested in buyin a Timex Ironman, please consider supporting this site by using the link below. I have partnered with Amazon as an affiliate and so I will make a small commission from your purchase.

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