minutes per mile blog

track and training tools

Back to work. And back to track!2-IMG_1070I don’t usually like doing track workouts so early in the week (since my legs are still a bit tired from the weekend’s long run), but since I have a half marathon in four days my schedule has been shuffled!

Anyways. The game plan was four 1200s, which equals three laps per rep. I was shooting for 5:00 reps, and managed to squeak just under 5:00 for all of ’em! Much more consistent.1-IMG_1071

There were a tone of runners out there today. Apparently Capital Area Runners, another large club in town, meets at my track on Thursday mornings.1-IMG_1068This is the part of the post where I usually show you pictures of food, but today I’m going to show you a picture of gadgets.

1-DSC03410Polar sent me their RC3 GPS watch + heart rate monitor to review. I was happy to give it a shot! I’ve taken it on a couple shorter runs over the past week or two and have been quite impressed. I seriously doubted it could compare with my Garmin 210 (which was the case with the Nike+ Sportwatch)… but actually, it shows solid performance as a GPS running watch and heart rate monitor.1-IMG_1072In terms of distance and pace calculation, the RC3 was basically spot on with my Garmin. Over an easy 5.4-mile run, both my watches were within 1 second and .01 miles in average pace calculations and distance calculations. Awesome!

2-IMG_1073Since this is my first time testing out a heart rate monitor, I can’t compare the RC3 to anything else I’ve tried; but since Polar is one of the most trusted names in the HR monitoring industry, I’ll assume the HR calculations were quite accurate as well.

I’ve always been curious about my heart rate while training and think that having this information could be a good tool.  For some tips on heart rate training, here’s what Runners World has to say. I could see a heart rate monitor being especially useful for: beginner runners; runners who have difficulty pacing; runners looking to lose weight; and ultra and long-distance runners. What’s nifty about the RC3 is that it has a lot of different training options so that you can even monitor your heart rate when you’re at the gym or cross training, too!

Other pros: Viewable history on the watch; toggled screens and settings; and loads of information, of course (heart rate maximum, minimum, and average; calories burned; duration; pace; time; heart rate zone report).

A couple minor cons: Less flexibility in programming/settings/display than the Garmin, and a less intuitive internet upload dock.

All in all, though, I was really impressed with this watch and would definitely use it in the future. Since my main concerns are pace and distance accuracy, the RC3 is a winner!

For those of you interested in reading more, I’d highly recommend the DC Rainmaker’s full review of the RC3!

  • Do you use a GPS watch? If so, which one?
  • Are you in a running club? How big is it?
  • Heart rate training? Yay or nay?

Of interest:

17 thoughts on “track and training tools

  1. That first picture makes me think that it is hot and muggy; not sure why. I use a Garmin Forerunner 410. Its my first GPS watch and I love it! It came with the heart rate monitor, which I’ve used once. I’ve looked into heart rate training and think its interesting but its not something I’ve considered doing (yet). No official running club for this gal; I get together with some friends/acquaintances a few times a month to run before work, though.

  2. I use the Garmin 405x – I purchased mine off amazon and it came with a heart rate monitor. I really enjoyed using it for a while but then I raced in it and ended up with some NASTY blisters under my fun bags. I was not amused. I haven’t used it since. I would try it again with maybe some body glide or something though. I think the information is very useful.

  3. Fun!!!! I love little workout tools. I had a Garmin, but I broke the band so it’s out of commission. I’m thinking about getting the new simpler one. Our CrossFit box is starting a run club hopefully in Sept!

  4. Fun!!!! I love little workout tools. I had a Garmin, but I broke the band so it’s out of commission. I’m thinking about getting the new simpler one. Our CrossFit box is starting a run club hopefully in Sept!

  5. Fun!!!! I love little workout tools. I had a Garmin, but I broke the band so it’s out of commission. I’m thinking about getting the new simpler one. Our CrossFit box is starting a run club hopefully in Sept!

  6. I’ve always been intrigued by using a heart monitor when running but I’m pretty sure I’ll get fixated on it. I like to run on feel and effort level but I guess it would help if you’re having one of those days when just walking seems tough and you need something to show you’re not actually trying that hard.
    I love my running club. It’s great to be around like minded people and it’s great to have such a focused support group :)

  7. I use the garmin forerunner 10. Its my best friend. i love it, its so cute. i got the pink one. Its perfect for me. i didn’t want anything too fancy. i’m not in a running club, though that sounds fun.

  8. I’m trying to decide on what watch to buy. The Garmin 210 and Garmin 410. I don’t really understand the difference!? If anyone has recommendations do let me know! Thanks :)

    • from what i understand the 410 offers more training data and more screenview options. it’s pretty hardcore. you can view moving average, mile average, time elapsed, and distance (at least, if not more) all at once on your screen — the 210 only shows some of this information at once. i’ve been happy with the 210 but if you are intense about data and don’t mind a bulkier watch i’d go 410

  9. I still don’t have a GPS watch! I’m definitely getting a tracker if not for a watch, though.

    I am in an Orienteering Club (METU Orienteering and Navigation Team) in my university. Although in our practices we could only round up 20-30 people we are a big community :) Almost 80 active members :)

    Heart-rate training will be my new best friend in the upcoming season. I’m planning to focus all my trainings (except maybe swimming) on my heart rate to see if I could benefit from this.

  10. hi. can you tell me how this inverted LCD works in darkness and low light environment?

    I’ve heard that the standard display (grey background, dark numbers) is much more visible and readable that the inverted one.

    What is your opinion on that?
    I am not sure which model to choose (black orange or blue) …
    Thank you

    • i don’t think that either option is particularly visible when it’s dark — you’ll have to use the “light” button to illuminate the screen. note that the RC3 has a settings function to change the display, so you can make it dark with light numbers or light with dark numbers. pretty neat! happy running!

      • Well yes, I am taking into account the illumination, and even with that the inverted LCD is poorly visible.

        I have nowhere to test it.

        Are you sure that the RC3 has the option to change the display mode, from inverted to normal??

        I’ve spoke to a Polar Distributor, and I was told that RC3 does not have that functionality …

        So I am a bit confused.