Timex has a solid reputation for sturdy, reliable, and affordable watches, so it’s not surprising that their entry-level offering in the GPS running watch sweepstakes would be a solidly built and useful addition to their line. Like all Timex Ironman watches, it’s not much to look at, but it packs a lot of features into an inexpensive package, and while it’s a bit limited compared to other watches in its class, it outperforms them at a few key features, and does it at a price point that they can’t compete with.
The Timex brand owns the name Ironman, and the Ironman Run Trainer is designed to be a GPS watch for triathlons. Of course it is limited when it’s in the water since the GPS signals can’t go through the water. If you’re a dedicated triathlete, you will certainly get some GPS positions while you’re swimming but that won’t be that accurate as during the running and cycling part of the triathlon.
Timex Ironman Run Trainer
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- GPS-enabled sports watch
- Measures speed, pace, distance
- Displays four information feeds at one time
- Can be customized to show four different sets of feeds
- Compatible with ANT+ sensors and foot pod sensors
- 8-hour battery life when in full GPS mode
- Over 100 hours of standby battery life
- Water resistant to over 150 feet
- Indiglo back light
- USB connectivity for data transfers
- 8.4 inches x 5 inches x 2.5 inches thick
- Weighs 2 pounds
- One-year limited warranty
- Available with Heart Rate Monitor as well
The Timex Ironman Run Trainer is smaller than previous Timex GPS-enabled models, but it’s still a fairly big and bulky wristwatch. It’s bigger than almost any other running-only watch, and a little bit thicker as well. It has an oval-shaped case that gives it a much more vertically oriented appearance, but the screen is a square with rounded corners. As you can imagine from its large size, it has one of the largest amounts of screen real estate in its class, and the largest of the three numbers it displays is substantially larger than its closest competitors. Therefore it’s very easy to read the most important data while your competing.
Sturdy and Waterproof
While the Timex Ironman Run Trainer won’t give you any feedback while you’re in the water, it certainly doesn’t mind being there. It’s waterproof to a depth of over 150 feet, and its rugged case and bezel can take an enormous amount of punishment and still function properly.
While the Ironman Run Trainer might be quite big to use as an everyday watch for some people, it’s not a giant gauntlet like many watches made for multisport activities. It has the look of a very large conventional watch, and its easy-to-read face makes it a favorite of people that want to see the numbers on their training watch dials without lifting their arm up in front of their face, which can affect your gait and your pace.
Compatible With Foot Pods And Heart Sensors
The Timex Ironman Run Trainer is compatible with a foot pod sensor that gives cadence information to the watch even when you’re indoors, or if you’re outdoors but in a place where the GPS can’t pick up a signal like a tunnel or under a forest canopy. Users like the uninterrupted flow of data that foot pods give when the GPS goes out, but some object to the way the Timex overrides the GPS entirely when the foot pod is enabled.
You can also connect a Timex heart rate sensor to the watch in order to train in certain heart rate bandwidths and to log the heart rate data while you’re training or competing.
The Ironman Really Shines When It’s in Interval Mode
The Ironman Run Trainer has a best-in-class Interval Mode, which allows the user to set up workouts that go through a cycle of warm-ups, main exercise, and cool down periods that most exercise regimes require. It’s a simple concept, but it’s tedious to keep track of with other watches that don’t feature an interval mode. Not only does the Timex watch have one Interval Mode, it can be programmed for up to five different Interval sets, something few watches at any price point can do. The watch is really easy to use in timer mode, too, and if you use your watch to count down any period of time you’ll love this feature.
Easy To Understand Notifications
The Timex Ironman has vibration and audible alarms you can set up for notifications of various milestones, but it goes a step further than its competitors with a nifty audible drink and eat alarm that you’ll find handy on very long runs where it’s easy to lose track of time and miss nourishment. The big screen doesn’t leave any ambiguity about what it’s notifying you to do, either; it says DRINK NOW or EAT NOW in big letters to let you know exactly what the scheduled timers is notifying you about.
- Includes many features at an inexpensive price point
- Very accurate GPS tracking
- Supports heart rate straps and foot pods
- Amazing waterproofing
- Workout creator gives users lots of options and data fields
- Excellent, fast satellite reception
- Onboard altimeter
- Light weight for its large size
- The best interval training timing in any class of sports watches
- While slimmed down from its previous incarnation, users still find it to be somewhat ungainly
- The rubber strap is stiff, and holds a circular shape no matter how tight you make it
- Some user report problems with recharging the battery that take input from Timex customer service to resolve
- The famous Timex Indiglo backlight isn’t as bright as other models
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The Timex Ironman Run Trainer gets generally favorable reviews, but nowhere near the level of support that Timex enjoys with its line of traditional watches. While over 60 percent of purchasers rate the Ironman at four stars or higher, there a few reviewers that complain about problems with the battery on the watch.
While many report that they are able to work out the problems with getting their watch to charge by calling customer support, they’re generally irked that the watch need that level of support for such a simple operation.
Reviewers say that the device is very durable and useful, and that for the money, it’s an amazingly capable GPS running watch. While the Ironman Run Trainer is not a reliable as the more expensive Timex Ironman models, it’s still a good buy at its price point.