The difference a good GPS watch can make to your running development is huge. Whether you’re training for speed, distance or improved fitness, an accurate breakdown of your data can be fundamental to your success. If you are looking to invest in a decent GPS watch with a heart rate monitor, then you couldn’t go far wrong with The Polar RC3 GPS.
The first test of any GPS watch is comfort and the RC3 is very comfortable. Its large face provides great visuals without being cumbersome, the strap is ergonomically designed around the shape of the wrist and doesn’t shift about when moving and the heart rate monitor strap is soft and unrestrictive on the chest.
Another plus of the Polar is the capability to use the watch straight out of the box. Some GPS watches struggle with over complicated menus, others with delayed satellite link up, but the Polar had none of these; it was a simple matter of adding some basic user info, strapping on the heart rate monitor and pressing one button and you were ready to go.
When out on a run, this simplicity of use continues as you scroll between eight different training views, each offering a unique combination of information about your activity. If you want to specifically train to an average pace then ‘Training View 2’ offers this inline with your distance covered, ‘Training View 6’ is designed for zone work, 7 measures altitude and so on, offering a reassuring variety of functionality to cover all training requirements.
Alongside these options, there is a great unique feature on this watch in the guise of ‘Training View 8’ and Polar’s ‘Back to Start’ technology. The vast majority of runners will have experienced that desire to run when in unfamiliar locations, it is often the time that we enjoying running most, that sense of exploring the unknown under our own steam, but there is always that dilemma of how far to venture off the beaten track at the risk of struggling to find a way back.
This is when the ‘Back to Start’ technology comes into its own; the watch simply marks the coordinates of the location where an activity is started, you can then run, cycle, hike in any direction you so please and at any point, the RC3 GPS will be able to point you in the direction of home. The feature is not a trackback along the route of your original path but as the crow flies, allowing for further exploration of your surroundings without the fear of going completely off track. Getting home has never been easier.
Whilst we here at Runner’s World tried in vain to get lost amongst the streets of London, Polar took the challenge one step further. So confident in the fact their Back to Start feature can work for any runner, in any location – they put it to the test and videoed the results.
Retailing at £249.50, let the
Polar RC3 GPS be the only training partner you need for 2014.