Let me clarify. I do not work for Suunto or am, in any way, affiliated with the company. No, I am simply an appreciative user.
Suunto, based in Finland, manufactures and markets premium athletic training products. Several years ago, I was given a Suunto t3d heart rate monitor for Christmas. I was sceptical. Why would I need to monitor my heart rate? I was healthy, fit for my age and committed to an active life style. Well, I was wrong. The monitor is a highly valued training companion. It records workouts, measures their training effect, advises whether I am improving (or not) and recommends a workout schedule. Previously, my gym visits and road rides went unmeasured. I had no idea whether I was improving my cardiovascular fitness. I won’t get into the details about zones and training effect measures here but will say the monitor is like having a personal trainer at your side for every workout. And, like a good coach, it motivates you every step of the way.
Last year, I was given carbon handlebars for my road bike. A birthday present. I didn’t want to re-attach my cycle computer for fear of scratches and, frankly, I didn’t want to disturb the elegant lines. That’s when I learned of the Suunto Bike Pod, a quick release front wheel axle that connects wirelessly to the heart rate monitor to also record speed and distance. I immediately purchased one from the local MEC store. Now I can simultaneously record heart rates, training effect, distance and speed of my road rides. I can compare the relative difficulty of local rides and measure my effort. I know there are other performance monitoring tools. Some also include GPS and a mapping capability but, the Suunto solution is elegant. It leaves the handlebar and stem lines untouched and, perhaps more importantly, is incremental. You add elements as you need or want them.
A month ago, I learned about www.movescount.com, an on-line, free training diary provided by Suunto to record and graphically display the t3d workouts. The newer or more advanced models of Suunto’s heart rate monitors come with a wireless computer connection to automatically load workouts to the Movescount cloud. But Suunto has not left the older models behind. A Movescount Mini is available for the earlier models. The mini fits into a USB port on your computer and, with a single press of one of the t3d buttons, workouts are automatically loaded to your Movescount account for review and analysis. Workouts are recorded by activity (ie cycling, indoor spinning, weights, running etc) and can be viewed individually or in summary. For each workout, Movescount records the duration, distance (if applicable), time exercised at each target zone and training effect. The displays make it very easy to compare workouts and monitor performance. And, you can share your workouts on-line with others – coaches, trainers and friends.
Suunto has a family of inter-connected, incremental training products – heart rate monitors, bike pods, foot pods, movecount connection devices and, perhaps most importantly, an on-line training diary – that record, coach and motivate. I am an appreciative and enthusiastic user and would not hesitate to recommend the Suunto products.
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