Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

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angelescrest
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Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by angelescrest »

So my wife is an avid runner--not hard core serious, but runs every other day and is training for her second marathon. She has expressed interest in the Apple Watch previously, being that we are all Apple users and she likes the idea of the HR monitor and tracking her runs, among the other features.

Lack of GPS has now been resolved with the Series 2, and I'm debating buying it for her birthday. However, here's the issue. Being the Bogleheads that we are (and I don't mean the high income high saver type; we save heavily, but very modest income), she is still on an iPhone 4s, and despite a broken on/off button, and a crack, it is going very strong. Smartphones are not cheap, and we are on a tight budget. Right now she has an iPod nano (old school) that she uses to listen to music, but also at times carries her 4s to track her runs with the Runner's World app, which hasn't been working all that well recently--maybe due to an old phone or bad software, who knows.

She is not so hard core that she is looking for an exclusive running watch, and the conveniences of a smart watch are of interest to her. But I know there are Garmin forerunners that are popular, although there are many versions and I have no idea which is for what. Fitbit too seems confusing with how many models they have. The Nike Plus version I hear has a nice interface for runners.

So, what to do? Would the Apple Watch series 2 be worthwhile with an iPhone 4s? I don't know what it can do without a pairable iPhone. Should we not be so bogleheadish and get her a new smartphone? Get the watch now, and get a new iPhone when hers goes kaput maybe in the near future? Consider another watch that she only uses for running? If there's a really good GPS and HR watch that's considerably (>$200) cheaper, maybe she'd like that. I'd appreciate any thoughts from the running tech folks on Bogleheads.

Edit: since someone mentioned it below, and as I've discussed this with her, we are now considering just going with a dedicated HR chest strap like the Wahoo Tickr and using an app like RunKeeper or Nike+ Run Club for GPS. Not sure how long the battery will last on the phone though. If anyone has experience with just using a phone plus a HR strap, please let me know how that works. She won't run without the phone with her.
Last edited by angelescrest on Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
livesoft
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by livesoft »

She is clearly waiting for you to get her a new smartphone.
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walkabout
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by walkabout »

Everything I've read says that iPhone 5 or higher is required for Apple Watch.
Texanbybirth
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by Texanbybirth »

Why not get her a newer iphone? A 5s, SE, or even 6? Then she can get a HR monitor watch, I think they're called FitBits.

For someone who's not a serious runner, getting a new phone might be a big plus across the board.
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lawrun21
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by lawrun21 »

The best resource for figuring out the right running/triathlon watch to buy is Ray Maker's blog at http://www.dcrainmaker.com/. His reviews are very detailed and, if you are interested, he has an entertaining podcast about developments in sports watch technology.

The biggest drawback of Apple Watch 2 versus something like a Garmin is battery life. I have a Garmin Vivoactive HR which lasts about a week without charging, including use of GPS for running/cycling on a regular basis. But the Apple Watch is much better for everyday wearing purposes, and frankly looks a lot nicer than a Garmin. I love my Garmin, but I can see why a lot of people prefer the Apple Watch.

A Garmin (or similar brand) is not always much cheaper than an Apple Watch. In fact, some of the higher-end Garmin watches, such as the Fenix3, are more expensive than a low-end Apple Watch.

Also, I believe that as long as you can run the Garmin Connect app on your wife's iPhone 4s, then you can use a Garmin and would not need to upgrade. So maybe she could try downloading that (free) app first to see if it works before taking the plunge.
jfave33
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by jfave33 »

If she wants the apple watch then I would consider getting it plus a iphone 5/5c/5s or something.

Other dedicated running watches are probably better for running - the garmin ones are loaded with more running features. Some of the garmin watches have neat feautures like being able to track your wife's progress during her marathon in real time from a computer. They also have things like interval training. I'm not sure if the apple watch does constant heart rate monitor during a run either? However it sounds like your wife probably isn't interested in a lot of features.

Problem with the garmin route is whether she would be as happy - after all the goal is to buy her the best birthday present right? Only you know that (hopefully!) If surprises are not what you are looking for then just ask her which she would prefer.

Certainly a new to her iphone would be appreciated either way and a decent iphone 5/5c can be picked up for about $100-140. She might like the colorful 5c.
newinvestor84
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by newinvestor84 »

It sounds like the bigger issue is that the phone is getting old and may need to be replaced soon. If she's running with it, consider the smaller sized version (e.g. iPhone SE, 5s or 5). If you can’t splurge for new, you can get "mint" condition phones, often with the original boxes, at 3rd party websites. For example, I've bought 3 phones over the years from the website Swappa, and have been happy with them.


I know several women who received the first watch version as presents and now keep it in a drawer, due to the short battery life and clunkiness (size) compared to a regular watch. The new model has a bigger battery, but the GPS will eat that up faster…. The “conveniences of a smart watch” are few. If you’d be happy with this present solely as a piece of jewelry, then go for it, but if you’re looking for something practical, we might still be a generation-or-two out before that happens.
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angelescrest
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by angelescrest »

lawrun21 wrote:The best resource for figuring out the right running/triathlon watch to buy is Ray Maker's blog at http://www.dcrainmaker.com/. His reviews are very detailed and, if you are interested, he has an entertaining podcast about developments in sports watch technology.

The biggest drawback of Apple Watch 2 versus something like a Garmin is battery life. I have a Garmin Vivoactive HR which lasts about a week without charging, including use of GPS for running/cycling on a regular basis. But the Apple Watch is much better for everyday wearing purposes, and frankly looks a lot nicer than a Garmin. I love my Garmin, but I can see why a lot of people prefer the Apple Watch.

A Garmin (or similar brand) is not always much cheaper than an Apple Watch. In fact, some of the higher-end Garmin watches, such as the Fenix3, are more expensive than a low-end Apple Watch.

Also, I believe that as long as you can run the Garmin Connect app on your wife's iPhone 4s, then you can use a Garmin and would not need to upgrade. So maybe she could try downloading that (free) app first to see if it works before taking the plunge.
That's helpful. I'll have to look at the vivoactive HR. It looks better than the Forerunners imho, but at $250 is getting closer to the Apple Watch 2. I don't see why the app wouldn't work on a 4S, but will download and try. Can you listen to music with it via Bluetooth? What made you go with the vivoactive vs the other Garmins?

She is not much of a tech lover herself, but running and fitness is a big deal (she does a lot of barre too). This is her first smartphone, and she was hesitant to even go with that.

I'd love to get her a new phone, but $700 or so for a new one (tax, cases, etc) is a lot of money when 95% of the time we are only text messaging, making calls, or checking the weather.
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angelescrest
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by angelescrest »

jjface wrote:If she wants the apple watch then I would consider getting it plus a iphone 5/5c/5s or something.

Other dedicated running watches are probably better for running - the garmin ones are loaded with more running features. Some of the garmin watches have neat feautures like being able to track your wife's progress during her marathon in real time from a computer. They also have things like interval training. I'm not sure if the apple watch does constant heart rate monitor during a run either? However it sounds like your wife probably isn't interested in a lot of features.

Problem with the garmin route is whether she would be as happy - after all the goal is to buy her the best birthday present right? Only you know that (hopefully!) If surprises are not what you are looking for then just ask her which she would prefer.

Certainly a new to her iphone would be appreciated either way and a decent iphone 5/5c can be picked up for about $100-140. She might like the colorful 5c.
Thanks, I hadn't looked into the cost of a used 5c. Will check that too. Which Garmins do you recommend? She doesn't really do interval training, and I know nothing about constant HR.

We don't really do surprises. But if there is a Garmin or two to consider, I can show her the differences and let her pick between those and the Apple Watch
randomguy
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by randomguy »

Everyone I know pretty much uses the smart watch for a couple of things
a) seeing who is calling/texting
b) fitness - running/golf/biking

so far the dedicated watches do a better hob at b than the apple or android wear watches from my experience. Some of them even do a.

I doubt either of them make sense for you. Upgrade to a new phone. But it should be pointed out that buying daily use things like that often aren't considered gifts by a good segment of the population. The watch might be.
Hikes_With_Dogs
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by Hikes_With_Dogs »

I'd get her a Garmin 920 XT instead.
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by NorCalDad »

I recently replaced a failing iPhone 5c with a used 5c for $115. My plan had been to have the 5c tide me over until this week's iPhone release, but my used 5c works so well I may go another year or more with it. For starters, I'd look for a used iPhone 5 for your wife.

As for the watch - I'm a high-mileage runner and use a Garmin Forerunner 220, the third Garmin I've had. It's the best I've had so far, and it has lasted for two years. They can be found for less than $200 since they've been replaced by newer models.

I would go with a more running-specific Garmin if your wife is training for a marathon. The Vivoactive line seems geared more toward casual runners who want features beyond tracking their miles (steps, sleep, etc.)

As for the Apple Watch 2 Nike+ model, I have to say it intrigued me. Apple Watch was a non-starter for runners when it didn't have GPS. I don't carry a phone while running, and I don't intend to anytime soon, so the lack of GPS on the first version made it worthless. Adding GPS and making it look more like a running watch, plus allowing me to stream music/podcasts to wireless headphones, make it worth considering. The biggest question I have now is how accurate the GPS is compared to current running watches, and none of us can know that until it's been fully reviewed once it's released in late October. So if you have to get a watch before November, I'd go with a Garmin over the Apple Watch.
cricket49
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by cricket49 »

I currently have the Garmin 310XT which is a multisport watch but Garmin makes some really nice watches for runners only. I agree that DCrainmaker has a great site where he reviews the watches and if you scroll down the page you can click and compare the features of the various watches.
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lawrun21
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by lawrun21 »

angelescrest wrote:
lawrun21 wrote:The best resource for figuring out the right running/triathlon watch to buy is Ray Maker's blog at http://www.dcrainmaker.com/. His reviews are very detailed and, if you are interested, he has an entertaining podcast about developments in sports watch technology.

The biggest drawback of Apple Watch 2 versus something like a Garmin is battery life. I have a Garmin Vivoactive HR which lasts about a week without charging, including use of GPS for running/cycling on a regular basis. But the Apple Watch is much better for everyday wearing purposes, and frankly looks a lot nicer than a Garmin. I love my Garmin, but I can see why a lot of people prefer the Apple Watch.

A Garmin (or similar brand) is not always much cheaper than an Apple Watch. In fact, some of the higher-end Garmin watches, such as the Fenix3, are more expensive than a low-end Apple Watch.

Also, I believe that as long as you can run the Garmin Connect app on your wife's iPhone 4s, then you can use a Garmin and would not need to upgrade. So maybe she could try downloading that (free) app first to see if it works before taking the plunge.
That's helpful. I'll have to look at the vivoactive HR. It looks better than the Forerunners imho, but at $250 is getting closer to the Apple Watch 2. I don't see why the app wouldn't work on a 4S, but will download and try. Can you listen to music with it via Bluetooth? What made you go with the vivoactive vs the other Garmins?

She is not much of a tech lover herself, but running and fitness is a big deal (she does a lot of barre too). This is her first smartphone, and she was hesitant to even go with that.

I'd love to get her a new phone, but $700 or so for a new one (tax, cases, etc) is a lot of money when 95% of the time we are only text messaging, making calls, or checking the weather.
I was deciding between the Forerunner 235 and the Vivoactive HR. The Vivoactive HR seemed to be a good combination between having all of the running/fitness features I wanted, but also not being too big and bulky for everyday wear. And it was $50 cheaper at the time of purchase. The Forerunner 235 has some minor additional running-specific features, such as a feature that analyzes how much time you are supposed to recover in-between runs, but I hear it is fairly unreliable so I am not missing it. GPS accuracy is great, it locks onto a GPS signal in a few seconds, and the wrist-based heart rate tracking seems to be pretty good for where that technology is today.

You can't listen to music on any of the Garmins via bluetooth (as far as I know), though you can remotely control your phone's music player with it. TomTom makes a watch that stores music and allows you to listen via bluetooth, I believe. Pebble also recently released an interesting watch accessory that would allow you to carry music without a phone (http://help.getpebble.com/customer/en/p ... ?b_id=8309).
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by jfave33 »

I've had a garmin 10, 220 and 225. The 225 is bulkier with an in built heart rate monitor. The 220 was the best watch I've owned. Reliable and fast gps lock. The 225 felt a little too bulky coming from the 225 and the 10 was too basic for me. The 230/235 would be even better but more expensive.

Also used a tomtom runner cardio which had a nice hrm built in. It was also a decent watch though not quite as good as the garmin with gps lock, website, navigation through menus etc. The hrm worked well though. Can be found for $100.

I've had a polar m400 which was a decent watch too. Has notifications and fitness tracker whcih the others I've tried have not. Can be bought new for $130.

If I was to pick my favorite I'd go with the garmin 220. Though any mentioned would work well for a pure running warch.
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by happyhiker »

I have had at least 5 Forerunners and I wouldn't be without one. The model I have now is the 25 with the chest strap HRM, about $140, HR strap extra. I just checked the website and saw they now have a Forerunner 35 with wrist based HRM for $200 which might also be a good one. It looks more like the Apple Watch than the 25 does. The 25 has been very good so far. It is the smallest Forerunner yet and very basic in function. I used to have a 610 and before that, a 420, and they had many features that I never used. All I really want to know while I am running is distance, pace, time and heart rate, and I want to be able to upload my runs to Garmin Connect when I get home. Also, when I researched my purchase of the Forerunner 25, I read in several reviews that the wrist-based heart rate was not very accurate for running, which is why I went with the 25 and the chest strap. The 25 also counts steps in addition to the running basics, so no need for a separate step counter. The battery life is the best of the Garmins I have had, though it usually does need charging after a long run.

FWIW, DC Rainmaker has good reviews and I always read up there before I buy.
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by Afty »

I am also a long time Garmin user, currently using a 220 that I'm 100% happy with. I believe you would need to buy the 225 or 235 to get the built in HRM though. From everything I've seen, serious runners use a dedicated fitness watch and not a smart watch.
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by rolandtorres »

Sport or smartwatch is a luxury when you have gps, music and great free apps like Wahoo Fitness to track/train with the phone she has and apparently doesnt mind running with. Just get something that will measure HR and send heart rate to the phone via bluetooth and app- you can get a Wahoo tickr chest strap or a Mio link wrist strap for 50-60.
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by angelescrest »

Afty wrote:I am also a long time Garmin user, currently using a 220 that I'm 100% happy with. I believe you would need to buy the 225 or 235 to get the built in HRM though. From everything I've seen, serious runners use a dedicated fitness watch and not a smart watch.
Yeah it certainly is sounding like it. Is it the battery life (while using GPS)? What features are essential behind HR and GPS tracking that a dedicated watch gives?
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by angelescrest »

rolandtorres wrote:Sport or smartwatch is a luxury when you have gps, music and great free apps like Wahoo Fitness to track/train with the phone she has and apparently doesnt mind running with. Just get something that will measure HR and send heart rate to the phone via bluetooth and app- you can get a Wahoo tickr chest strap or a Mio link wrist strap for 50-60.
We talked yesterday, and this might just be the way to go as she said she wouldn't run without a phone to make emergency calls (we are in a more rural area). I'll check out those two HR straps. But does that mean you need an armband, and have to tap the smartphone to wake it up and look at your HR?

Is there any device that measures cadence, that can be used w just the phone?

Interesting that nobody so far has advocated for a smart watch of any kind.
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by Cash »

NorCalDad wrote:Apple Watch was a non-starter for runners when it didn't have GPS. I don't carry a phone while running, and I don't intend to anytime soon, so the lack of GPS on the first version made it worthless. Adding GPS and making it look more like a running watch, plus allowing me to stream music/podcasts to wireless headphones, make it worth considering. The biggest question I have now is how accurate the GPS is compared to current running watches, and none of us can know that until it's been fully reviewed once it's released in late October. So if you have to get a watch before November, I'd go with a Garmin over the Apple Watch.
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by hdcd »

I've wanted a new cool watch also whether it be an Apple or Garmen but keep going back to the need to have a phone in case of emergency. And not wanting to have another gadget. Add in music, gps, Apple pay.. and my goto is iphone 6s with Wahoo tickr HR monitor and Strava (free version) for the app. To me the watches are cool but they are fixed - can't add anything to them. Phones will always have apps to play with :D

If you are considering upgrading the phone I highly recommend going with a minimum iphone 5S or 6. The 5S is faster than the 5 or 5C with the added benefit of being able to use Apple Pay which is super slick and a nice option to have to pay for things without carrying a credit card. The price delta between the 5S and 5/5C can't be that much with the 7 coming out.

Want to add that a iphone 5s and Wahoo tickr are probably around the price of a lower price Garmen and she gets a newer phone!
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by SuzBanyan »

angelescrest wrote:
rolandtorres wrote:Sport or smartwatch is a luxury when you have gps, music and great free apps like Wahoo Fitness to track/train with the phone she has and apparently doesnt mind running with. Just get something that will measure HR and send heart rate to the phone via bluetooth and app- you can get a Wahoo tickr chest strap or a Mio link wrist strap for 50-60.
We talked yesterday, and this might just be the way to go as she said she wouldn't run without a phone to make emergency calls (we are in a more rural area). I'll check out those two HR straps. But does that mean you need an armband, and have to tap the smartphone to wake it up and look at your HR?

Is there any device that measures cadence, that can be used w just the phone?

Interesting that nobody so far has advocated for a smart watch of any kind.
Beginner and slow runner/walker here. I used my iPhone only for quite a while. It was only inconvenient when starting or stopping. Otherwise, it fit nicely in the pocket of my running skirt and I never noticed it.

I added the Apple Watch last year for convenience (and now wear it every day). It monitored my heart rate, but I don't think it would have been sufficient if I was doing heart rate based training.

While the gps on the new Apple Watch would be nice for a run in the Bahamas without cellular service, like your wife, I always run with my phone.
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by angelescrest »

hdcd wrote:I've wanted a new cool watch also whether it be an Apple or Garmen but keep going back to the need to have a phone in case of emergency. And not wanting to have another gadget. Add in music, gps, Apple pay.. and my goto is iphone 6s with Wahoo tickr HR monitor and Strava (free version) for the app. To me the watches are cool but they are fixed - can't add anything to them. Phones will always have apps to play with :D

If you are considering upgrading the phone I highly recommend going with a minimum iphone 5S or 6. The 5S is faster than the 5 or 5C with the added benefit of being able to use Apple Pay which is super slick and a nice option to have to pay for things without carrying a credit card. The price delta between the 5S and 5/5C can't be that much with the 7 coming out.

Want to add that a iphone 5s and Wahoo tickr are probably around the price of a lower price Garmen and she gets a newer phone!
Hdcd, are you happy with the Tickr, and weren't missing the Tickr X? I'm looking at the Tickr, which is $50. How do you monitor your HR? With an armband?
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by hdcd »

angelescrest wrote:
hdcd wrote:I've wanted a new cool watch also whether it be an Apple or Garmen but keep going back to the need to have a phone in case of emergency. And not wanting to have another gadget. Add in music, gps, Apple pay.. and my goto is iphone 6s with Wahoo tickr HR monitor and Strava (free version) for the app. To me the watches are cool but they are fixed - can't add anything to them. Phones will always have apps to play with :D

If you are considering upgrading the phone I highly recommend going with a minimum iphone 5S or 6. The 5S is faster than the 5 or 5C with the added benefit of being able to use Apple Pay which is super slick and a nice option to have to pay for things without carrying a credit card. The price delta between the 5S and 5/5C can't be that much with the 7 coming out.

Want to add that a iphone 5s and Wahoo tickr are probably around the price of a lower price Garmen and she gets a newer phone!
Hdcd, are you happy with the Tickr, and weren't missing the Tickr X? I'm looking at the Tickr, which is $50. How do you monitor your HR? With an armband?
I've been happy with the Tickr (it's a strap and it does do HR monitoring.) The Tickr X just has some more features that at the time I got it, weren't worth it to me. Think I got a special promo with Strava and Tickr bundled but can't remember the price. Strava premium gives you some extra features that are nice but in the end weren't worth paying for another year. Hardly notice wearing the Tickr and I use it for running and mountain biking. It pairs well with my iphone. To me it was a good investment.
rolandtorres
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by rolandtorres »

angelescrest wrote:
rolandtorres wrote:Sport or smartwatch is a luxury when you have gps, music and great free apps like Wahoo Fitness to track/train with the phone she has and apparently doesnt mind running with. Just get something that will measure HR and send heart rate to the phone via bluetooth and app- you can get a Wahoo tickr chest strap or a Mio link wrist strap for 50-60.
We talked yesterday, and this might just be the way to go as she said she wouldn't run without a phone to make emergency calls (we are in a more rural area). I'll check out those two HR straps. But does that mean you need an armband, and have to tap the smartphone to wake it up and look at your HR?

Is there any device that measures cadence, that can be used w just the phone?

Interesting that nobody so far has advocated for a smart watch of any kind.
The Wahoo fitness app will announce your distance, pace, heartrate and maybe some other things on some cadence I havent bothered to configure right into the headphones. other apps might have similar voice updates. Note, the Mio has colored lights which show which heart rate zone youre in which is about all I care to know during the run itself but they have a Link model for a bit more that has actual HR value.

One luxe thing to consider are wireless sport headphones that have buttons to skip tracks, make calls etc without touching the phone. then she can carry the phone wherever on her body witnout needing access. I find armbands a hassle.
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch 2

Post by TimeRunner »

Check out Suunto (Finland) Ambit3's, various models. Wife has Ambit3 Run, I have Ambit3 Vertical. Ambit3 Peak is the top model of this line. You can catch these on sale. They are very waterproof, and can be used for swimming, biking, running, trail running, indoor exercise (spinning, treadmill), etc, with the right accessories. Wahoo Fitness Blue SC (speed/cadence sensor) works great on bikes.

This might be more than she needs, but she won't outgrow it, no matter what she does after marathon.
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Re: Hailing runners and tech Bogleheads re:Apple watch and Mio

Post by angelescrest »

rolandtorres wrote:
angelescrest wrote:
rolandtorres wrote:Sport or smartwatch is a luxury when you have gps, music and great free apps like Wahoo Fitness to track/train with the phone she has and apparently doesnt mind running with. Just get something that will measure HR and send heart rate to the phone via bluetooth and app- you can get a Wahoo tickr chest strap or a Mio link wrist strap for 50-60.
We talked yesterday, and this might just be the way to go as she said she wouldn't run without a phone to make emergency calls (we are in a more rural area). I'll check out those two HR straps. But does that mean you need an armband, and have to tap the smartphone to wake it up and look at your HR?

Is there any device that measures cadence, that can be used w just the phone?

Interesting that nobody so far has advocated for a smart watch of any kind.
The Wahoo fitness app will announce your distance, pace, heartrate and maybe some other things on some cadence I havent bothered to configure right into the headphones. other apps might have similar voice updates. Note, the Mio has colored lights which show which heart rate zone youre in which is about all I care to know during the run itself but they have a Link model for a bit more that has actual HR value.

One luxe thing to consider are wireless sport headphones that have buttons to skip tracks, make calls etc without touching the phone. then she can carry the phone wherever on her body witnout needing access. I find armbands a hassle.
Rolandtorres, thanks for your suggestions. I think the Mio is what she is looking for--heart rate tracking straight from the device, without the need for a second display in the form of a other watch. Those LED lights, while she hasn't tried them, seem to be sufficient for her needs. I don't know if runners prefer that visual cue over say an audio one, but it looks convenient. It's also very affordable. As far as GPS tracking, we have done testing with the iPhone, and that appears to satisfy her needs since she will carry a phone anyhow.

Which Mio do you use, or recommend? The Link or the Fuse?
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