TOMTOM RUNNER 2 CARDIO

PRICE: £190

The TomTom uses Optical Heart Rate technology that does away with a chest strap and takes the heart rate from the skin on top of the wrist, a good feature for those who find chest straps uncomfortable or inclined to slip. It also has the capacity to store 3GB of music (around 500 songs), which it sends to the wireless headphones (supplied). As well as running mode, the watch has swim, cycling, gym and treadmill modes, and can track your daily activity, including how much sleep you get. You can choose several workouts, including achieve a goal (such as run a set distance or time), complete an Interval session (you can set the run/recovery intervals), or race against a previous time and distance – a great little feature if you want to beat your parkrun personal best midweek! You can also set a pace or heart-rate zone and the watch will alert you if you fall outside the set zone. The screen clearly shows three data fields, which are easy to read while on the run. There are no separate buttons; scrolling through the functions is done by one large square button below the screen. To get the most from the watch you need to download TomTom’s MySports software either onto your computer via USB from the watch or via an app to a smartphone. You can then send all your training history from the watch for analysis, and it is straightforward to upload the data to Strava. 

We liked: Having your training data and music on one device is handy, and the wireless headphones prevent annoying tangles. Easy to set up, so you’ll soon be out training rather than reading through the user manual. 

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Not so hot: The Optical Heart Rate technology is less reliable than a chest strap, and for some skin types can be wildly inaccurate. An optional chest strap is an additional cost.

Get-faster session: Choose relaxing tracks to listen to on your easy runs or recovery sessions. This will help you avoid running too fast on easy days so you can run faster in hard sessions and races.

VERDICT

Suits a runner who likes to listen to music while training. Easy to operate and stylish enough to wear as an everyday watch.