Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS Watch Review

The Timex Ironman Global Trainer is the first mulitsport GPS watch that has the shape and appearance of a normal sports watch. While it still needs to be fairly big and bulky in order to provide the battery life and functionality required for multisport training and events, it doesn’t look like the usual horizontal gauntlet that triathletes normally wear on their wrist. The Timex Global Trainer has a rectangular screen in order to display several data streams simultaneously, but the screen is integrated into a round bezel that looks like a very large regular watch.

Timex Ironman Global Trainer

Timex Global Trainer Speed and Distance with Heart Rate GPS Watch

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While many manufacturers are now offering Bluetooth connectivity for their sports watches, Timex is sticking with the more common ANT+ compatibility to allow the Global Trainer to communicate with accessories like a heart rate monitor or a cadence monitor for cycling. Timex has a long history of offering sensible, durable, affordable watches, and the Ironman Global Trainer is another great performer at a very inexpensive price point. If you’re a serious athlete with a complex training schedule, or a triathlete or other multisport competitor, you should consider the Timex before purchasing a sports watch because it does so many things well at a very low price.

Specifications

  • GPS-enabled training watch
  • Supports use in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and Italian
  • USB or AC charging
  • 2.17 inches x 2.52 inches x .71 inches thick
  • Compatible with ANT+ sensors for heart rate and biking
  • Built-in altimeter
  • Compatible with Windows or Apply operating systems
  • 6 different operational modes
  • Lightweight resin case
  • 1-year manufacturer’s warranty

Features

The Timex Ironman Global Trainer comes out of the box with everything you need to get started. It supplies both a USB cable for data transfer and charging as well as an AC wall outlet for straight charging. The package also includes a handlebar bike mount that comes in handy if you’re a cyclist or participate in triathlons.

Six Different Modes for Easy Operation

The Ironman Global Trainer is a big device, but its comfortable wristband is adjustable and allows the watch to be worn by even runners with very slender wrists. It’s easy to turn on the Timex, and simply holding down one button for a few seconds brings it out of standby and puts it into the first of six modes for activities. The default is Performance Mode, which tracks normal workouts. There’s a Multisport Mode for triathlons. You can change the watch to Navigate Mode if you want to use it as a simple GPS navigator or compass. It has a Review Mode to look over the results of the current workout or historical data if you like. There’s a dedicated Configuration Mode that allows a user to customize any of the functions and displays of the watch. Finally, there’s a PC Sync Mode for downloading stored information and updated settings to your computer. The Timex is compatible with either Windows or Apple operating systems in Sync Mode.

Four Separate Data Streams With Smoothing

In its simplest performance mode, the Ironman Global Trainer can track your runs while it shows you four different information streams at the same time. Many runners choose to display distance, pace, time elapsed, and split times, but the watch can be configured to show any combination of information that you prefer. The Timex smoothes the results by averaging the numbers it collects over a period of around six seconds in order to keep short bursts of speed or a quick slowdown from skewing your overall results.

Handy Lock Screen for Heavy Use

The Timex Ironman can display more than one screen of information, and you can scroll through the screens by pressing an up/down button on the side of the watch. If you’re worried about jostling the buttons inadvertently, you can lock the watch by pressing the Enter key and holding it for a few seconds, and the watch will stay on the same screen until you release it by repeating the operation. That’s a great feature for people that participate in multisport events that involve long periods of furious activity.

Auto-Split Function Makes Complicated Workouts Easy

The Timex has a handy Auto-Split function. You can set the watch to any distance you want, and the watch will calculate your time over that distance over and over again. You can also set the Auto-Split for time elapsed instead of distance covered. That’s great if you are timing workouts that have time sets. Time sets can be tedious to keep track of, so the Auto-Split function can make even complicated workout routines more straightforward.

Pros

  • Offers the same functionality as other multisport watches in a less boxy shape
  • Excellent smoothing of run pace minimizes speed fluctuations over the course of a run, especially if GPS signal is intermittent
  • Waterproof to over 150 feet
  • Can remember over 1,000 laps of information
  • Can track and record 20 separate workouts
  • Altimeter allows runners and cyclists to measure ascend and descend rates in addition to distance and pace
  • Synchs with TrainingPeaks fitness website
  • Extremely customizable
  • Downloads, uploads, and synchs via simple USB hookup
  • Can be charged via USB or by using AC outlet, both included in package
  • Tough, shockproof housing
  • Light weight for such a large and capable device

Cons

  • No ANT+ foot pod support means treadmill runners can’t use this watch to track distance
  • Backlight isn’t as bright as other watches
  • Power meter isn’t very accurate

Final Verdict

Timex Global Trainer Speed and Distance GPS Watch

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The Timex Ironman Global Trainer is an incredibly durable and useful multisport training watch. Like all Timex products, it favors function over form, so it’s not going to win any design awards for its appearance; but its ability to put all the functions of a triathlete’s watch into a normal round case is commendable. It features great battery life, light weight, amazing water resistance, and it allows users to customize every aspect of its performance and display. Over 77 percent of users rate the Global Trainer at four stars or better, and also testify to its durability over time.

Multisport events and training can include really rigorous activity in challenging environments, and the Timex is able to handle them with ease. Some users have noted that the watch can take longer than other sports watches to lock on to GPS satellites when you first turn them on, but other users point out that if the device is simply left completely still when it’s first turned on instead of wearing it on your wrist right away, it locks onto GPS signals even faster than its competitors, so they don’t see it as a flaw. The Timex Ironman Global Trainer is a bargain at its price point and is highly recommended.