The training cycle gets serious for me when I put on my watch. Since I run all year long, I like some runs to be carefree. I don’t always need every measurement. However, when my marathon approaches, I don’t mess around. It’s important to hit my interval splits and it’s essential to know my pace. The Corus Pace is my new favourite watch, and I can’t think of any runner who wouldn’t be impressed.
Coros is a premium multi-sport watch, and the company has been a technology leader since bringing to market the Linx helmet, which cancelled out noise and gave cyclists a chance to listen to music. I’ve worn Garmin, Suunto, Fitbit and Apple, and have generally been impressed by each. Every last bit of hardware seems to excel at something different. The Garmin is reliable, iconic—offering strong GPS signals and no nonsense design, this was my training watch until something terrible happened. I lost it. My Apple watch is fancy. My kids love to watch (pardon the pun) me call my wife by speaking into my wrist. It has a compass, map and can check your heart rhythm, and menstrual cycle. It’s an Apple, which has basically become synonymous with best of the best.
Meanwhile: my Suunto watch looks best, works great and the Fitbit is fun because the whole family has one, even the kids. Nothing like my 8-year-old using her Fitbit to run 6K, furthest than any of her previous races.
The Coros Pace watch is designed for triathletes and keeps intense metrics for swimming and cycling, as well as on your run. In May, Coros launched the Vertix and announced it as “the most powerful GPS watch ever built.” I ran the marathon in Erie, Pennsylvania at the start of the month in my Pace watch and while my running partners lost their signals, I did not. The battery life on this watch is 30 days when on regular use. 30 days!
Wearable GPS watches have become a necessity for most serious runners and while iRun likes to advise caution when spending too much money on a sport that only really requires sneakers and pants, the Pace improved my training and bested my long run and speed work needs. It’s light (49g), water resistant and ready for me to get on the bike and make the triathlon plunge, should I ever take up Sportstats’ CEO Marc Roy’s offer to train me. There’s also a built-in heart rate monitor and data metrics on stride length and stroke rate, which is deeper into my running than I want to go, but will appeal to lots of you with big spring race goals.
To conclude: the GPS watch market is competitive and it’s important to prioritize the features that mean most to you. At this stage, the technology has been democratized and the price point is dropping and so, whatever your needs, a watch could help you train. For me, the Pace proved essential on my run-up to Erie, with big numbers on the watch face which made it easy to see my mileage, even as I got more tired with each kilometre I ran. The interactivity is intuitive and I would recommend this watch.
Just remember, no matter how deeply you fall in love, sometimes it’s OK to leave your watch at home and run by feel. That’s what Trevor Hofbauer just did at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. And look at him—Trev is en route to the Olympics.