TomTom Runner

Recently I was invited down to Battersea Park by TomTom UK to check out their new sports watches. They’ve launched two new watches – the Runner and the Multi Sport. The former is a running only watch, with treadmill and outdoor settings, and the latter is a multi sport extravaganza that measures treadmill and outdoor runs, cycling AND swimming.

After a warm welcome from the TomTom team I was handed a new TomTom Runner watch to test out – there was a group run to test it out but I couldn’t participate thanks to my broken elbow, so I just fiddled around with the settings and had a look at its functions. The watch has a ‘one button’ design underneath the screen which means all of its functions are accessed in one place, with no fiddling about with extra buttons in different places, which is different to any other watches I’ve had my mitts on. I was also immediately struck by how light and thin the watch was too.

Rosie Bannister from TomTom UK talked us through the new watches and the idea behind their development. The watch is the slimmest and lightest on the market and that big buttons turns out to its GPS receptor, which means it’s got extra super satellite finding power – good news for runners who are fed up of hanging about waiting for their watch to make a connection. The display and button form a removable little console that means you can switch straps – I have the black/pink and the grey/yellow, which is excellent because I am so indecisive and I like to co-ordinate with my lycra.

She also said they were developed with the aim of goal setting, and the watches aim to promote five pillars of training:

Goals
Strength
Fuel 
Pace
Rest 

Goals to give you something to aim for and the watches help provide measurable progress. Small goals and big goals – goals for each training session, race and beyond. Strength training to give you a strong, injury resistant body to hold up through tough training regimes. Fuel to keep your body going. Pace to keep smashing PBs. And rest to make it all come together.

Sports coach Rebecca Cox and Team GB ultra runner Robbie Britten took a strength training session (there were burpees – I was grateful for my broken elbow!) before leading a 5k run around the park to test out the functionality of the watch. Meanwhile, I checked out the goal board, where TomTom encouraged people to state their goals. These ranged from the impressive (“sub 2:30 at the Berlin Marathon”) to the more modest (“run my first 5k”), with my personal favourite goal being…

I’ve taken the TomTom GPS out running and it’s really easy to use – the one button function is super simple and the watches buzzes as you move through menu and then whenever you start/pause your run, which is quite satisfying. The big display is easy to read and it has a graphical training partner that allows you to enter your goal (say, 10km) and the display will move round a big circle on screen to give you a visualisation of how far through your run you are and how long you have left. It’s simplicity and user friendliness are big bonuses and its large display makes it a pleasure to run with. I also think it’s pretty darn attractive. I’m pretty excited about the multisport too and think it’ll be an amazing 3-in-1 tool for triathletes, but as I haven’t used it I’m afraid I can’t give you much of a low down.

Here’s a lovely little video from the day…

The watches are currently available to pre-order online and will be available in shops from September. The GPS Runner is available from £149.99 and the GPS Multisport is from £179.99.