With a new year and new challenges on the horizon, staff writer Tim takes a look at the perfect Multi-Sports tracking solution, from Suunto. The Ambit 3 Sports Watch with HRM, should provide you with all the metric-based motivation you need!
Every move counts…
In Suunto's book, and in mine, 'Every Move Counts': every step you take, every pedal you turn, every leg kick you swim, every weight you lift... Moves count, because they all help you to get strong, move faster, and experience more.
Suunto recognised the need for a device that could track each and every move you make; with reliable accuracy. One watch, which is truly 'Multi-Sport'. With that in mind, they produced the Ambit 3 Sports Watch.
The Ambit 3 Sports is designed to provide the user with an affordable all-sports solution, in a package that you could wear every day. It is a watch that can accurately track your running, cycling, swimming, walking, and so much more. Then, post exercise, it will help you to analyse and develop your training metrics. I've been testing it out of the last month, and it has proven to be an impressive data companion…
Ease of set-up and use
The first thing you have to do when you get any new sports gadget, is personalise it to your sports profile and preferences. Sometimes this can be a right chore. However, with the Suunto Ambit 3 watch, I found it surprisingly hassle-free.
The Ambit 3 uses Bluetooth technology to link with the Movescount App on your smartphone; or you can use a USB link cable to a computer. Once you've got the watch linked to your App account, you can customise pretty much every display and setting on the unit. Whether it is the backlight timings, GPS accuracy, number of sports displays, or the individual metrics that you want to see whilst you're working out; the Movescount App allows you to get your Ambit 3 Sports set up within minutes, to a very personal level.
The Movescount App also allows you to link the Ambit 3 to notifications that you get on your phone; so that you can receive calls and text message alerts straight to the watch. A handy integration, to make sure you never miss that urgent dinnertime warning call!
Of course, the App also allows you to perform post-exercise activity analysis; so you are able to see all your metrics on a bigger computer screen. Additionally, it also enables automated exports of activity data, to platforms such as Strava and TrainingPeaks; great to comparing your 'Moves' with others!
Easy to set-up, and subsequently easy to use and download. The Suunto Ambit 3 Sports started off well in testing.
True multi-sport functionality
The selling promise of the Ambit 3 Sports, is that it can cover all of your sports and activities, in one measurement device. It delivers.
The Ambit 3 watch is truly a multi-sport watch: with the ability to have 10 different settings on the device. You can track everything from indoor swimming to cycling, and have separate GPS settings, watch displays and reported metrics for all of them.
Whilst every sport is a "move", every sport also requires different feedback and functionality; and the Suunto Ambit 3 Sports ensures that you get that. Whether you want to see pace per kilometre for your run, or your maximum heart rate on your bike workout; the Ambit 3 Sports can be customised to your preference, for every sport.
Mapping and navigation
The Suunto Ambit 3 is also useful as a navigation device; with the ability to follow routes that you download from Movescount, as well as an inbuilt compass and 'navigate to' functionality.
The watch will enable you to follow a GPS breadcrumb trail route (there are no Basemaps or GPX mapping installed in this unit). The breadcrumb trail and compass should be enough to help you find your way, or to navigate to a point of interest; and the GPS accuracy seems very good, even on the 'Good' rather than 'Best' setting on the watch (you can save battery by setting the GPS accuracy lower).
Advanced sports feedback
As well as live feedback, mapping, and post-exercise summaries; the Suunto Ambit 3 Sports with HRM will also provide you with Recovery data.
You can wear the Suunto Smart Heart Rate belt to track your exercise, even when you're in the swimming pool! However, if you also wear it post-exercise, and for recovery sessions, then the technology can also be used to tell you how 'fresh' you are, and how strenuous your session was. This 'heart rate variability' feedback is smart stuff, and can really help you to get the most from your training; preventing overtraining, and facilitating 'overloading' at key points in your race calendar.
Suunto are also constantly updating the Movescount App with new functionality; so for example, you can now use your Suunto Ambit 3 Sports to measure sleep quality, too!
If like me, you have a season of cycling, running, walking and sea swimming ahead, then I would thoroughly recommend a watch like the Suunto Ambit 3 Sports.
Put simply, it's a motivational masterpiece. You get all of your ride, run, swim and trekking metrics, on one easy to use device. You can then upload and share them with ease; while also analysing to your heart's content. An impressive gadget, for any sportsperson.