Gadgets for Newbies?

Does anyone have an recommendations for which gadgets you need starting out?

I'm thinking having a clue what my heart rate/zone is as I'm running cycling would be a good idea? Do you get a chest strap and watch and then use that for both activities?

Also I'd like to know my current speed and maybe average speed over that ride/run.

Do I need a cycle computer and then a separate heart rate monitor and watch that will tell me my heart rate on both the bike and run and then also speed on the run?

What do I go for? I'm more an ebay bargains budget than the £250-£350 Garmin mega beast budget but others will differ.

Please does anyone have any tips to stop me buying rubbish and wasting pennies?


  • HappychapHappychap ✭✭✭

    Ali, when buying any kind of gadget consider what you will be using it for in three years time not just now, that will prevent having to upgrade watches when it's no longer fit for purpose because you've decided to do something longer or harder or different.

    Then write a list of everything you want it to do.

    A HR monitor is useful but only if you know what it's telling you.  Don't get one just because you think you should or if you can't be arsed to do a Max HR test or read up about training zones etc.

    A GPS system will do more of your mileage/pace needs without the extra need for a cycle computers.  Some GPS systems come with bike attachments so you can get cadence monitors and such likes.

    But really, start with the list and then compare with the specs.

    Garmin is 'generally' the most popular manufacturer.  In my experience they have realy good customer service, good software updates, excellent web site facilities to record and log training.

    Look at the 310 if you plan to do tri (you can use it in the water) or a 305/405/210 if you don't plan to swim with it.

  • Thanks HC, I've been using runkeeper and the hal higdon app on my iphone so they do my GPS and show me total time and km/mile split times. But I can't see it whilst I'm running or cycling and looking back I'm having some very slow km/miles on nice flat sections of road and I suspect I could push myself a little more.

    My run training app now says to do some miles at race pace and currently I can't tell if I'm doing so until I get home, the answer is usually a resounding no.

    Hence I'm starting to think a little info might be useful? Currently still learning to FC so not looking for more info on swim times yet, but as you say might be worth investing now rather than having to upgrade later.

    Will go have a look at your suggestions, thank you.

  • Nike + app and endo mondo apps are good, plus theres a 99quid gps watch in this months runners world mag - can't remember who makes it though, sorry! I was 2 years in before I bought a gps, started off using mapmyrun and a casio digi watch with stopwatch. There's a lot to be said for training as to how you feel too, rather than to a pace. Enter some races too: I ran 5k and 10k foot races, and bike time trials before entering triathlons. Are you a member of a club?

  • If I were starting over I'd get this...

    You can add cycling gadgets that measure cadence (and speed if indoors) and even a foot pod to match running cadence. All the GPS, Heart rate data you could want. Designed for triathlon so has lots of swim data as well (indoor and out) for when you get to that stage. Wish I had one!

    I suspect Happychap could even suggest somewhere you can buy one!

  • Gladys if I had the money that would be what I'd go for.

    Curerntly Christmas list is looking very over demanding this year!

    I'm ebaying stuff to pay for camping with the kids this summer so no posh kit yet and I need a tri suit before Sept 9th and my shoes have hit 350 miles. I notice the 310's are on ebay as people ahve upgraded to the 910xt. Is it really that much better? The 310's are starting out a nice prices but as time ticks by the price goes up and up and up!

    Might go and check out the apps as just would like a little more info to tide me over really. Hoping to do a 10K race this Sunday which might help me check my progress (or lack of) as its about 2 months since my last one.

  • KhanivoreKhanivore ✭✭✭

    I wouldn't have achieved the progress I have made without my Forerunner 210 but now that i had a mini swimming break through and I am getting closer to buying a road bike I really wish I had gone for the 910XT. Damn you triathletes - I only joined this forum to learn to run! image Now look what you have done to me!

    When you consider I will probably end up getting a bike computer and a swim watch the 910XT would have been a much better bet economically and functionally. Only had the Forerunner 210 a couple of months so I definitely won't be swapping over for a 910 now - oh well.

  • KhanivoreKhanivore ✭✭✭

    p.s. the 910xt has a lap counter for the pool which works via an accelerometer and I don't think the 310xt has that - since my swimming is all in pools right now that would have mattered.

  • HappychapHappychap ✭✭✭

    The 910 is AMAZING.  image

    One thing I really love is the pool lap counter and the open water tracker which provides so much more information when swimming.  It's been a real help to improve efficiency in the water and also see how good (or bad) your sighting is image

    But, the 310 is still an amazing watch. 

  • 910 if cash allows.

  • And if it doesn't sell a kidney.

  • KhanivoreKhanivore ✭✭✭

    Yeah you are all making me feel worse pfffffft


  • +1 Garmin910xt is the most useful choice. I have a pool mate and a garmin forerunner (in fact I am on garmin number 3, as it doen't like getting soaked in the rain!) I have a cateye cadence/speed thingy on my bike which is really useful.

    I wouldn't get too hung up about a HR monitor. Listnening to your body is far more important! 

  • KhanivoreKhanivore ✭✭✭

    Main use for the HR monitor for me is on the turbo trainer as i don't have a power meter or cadence meter on my bike. It is useful for that bit at least.

  • image aahh I see, I have my bike cadence thingy on mine. I have see so many people make them selves ill by getting hung up about thier heart rate that they forget the basic stuff. 

  • Garmin 800 bike thingy is a good option if you already have a run hrm

    It gets you home when you get lost image
  • For cycling, ALDI do a basic cycle computer with heart rate monitor. Calculates speed/distance by wheel revolutions. Last time they had them in stock they were £12. Much cheepness! image

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