Lately, I’ve been making an extra effort to go trail running and get in good physical shape for this upcoming trip to New Zealand. About month ago, I also received a new Suunto M5 training watch and with its different training guidance selections, it’s been really helpful in keeping me on track. See, the Suunto M5 has an internal brain that follows the ACSM‘s (American College of Sports Medicine) training program and gives you guidance toward achieving your goals, whether it’s to lose weight, get more fit, or just run have a good run.
Now, when I say that the M5 has an internal brain, I mean that it takes all the personal settings that you program into it, like age, weight, fitness level and resting and max heart-rate, combines that with your past workouts and your goals, and in turn, spits out a recommended training regime and calendar to help you get to your own personal finish line. The M5 also has a fitness test feature and periodically asks the user to update the personal settings, so it always has the most accurate information to make the best workout recommendations.
I’m not one to really follow workout programs and specific training plans, but the M5 has proven to be a great little heart-rate monitors none-the-less. It’s small and light, the wrist strap is well ventilated, which helps keep the sweat down, the buttons and functions are extremely easy to learn and use (and lockable), and the Comfort Belt chest strap instantaneously paired with the watch every time I went out running and didn’t have any sharp or weird seems that poked or prodded my skin.
Using the Sunnto M5 is rather simple. Just hit the exercise button, note the recommended training level and goals for the day, wait for the chest belt connection and then you are good to go. As you train, the LCD screen displays your heart-rate, along with arrows and audio signals (I tend to turn these sounds off) to tell you if you are below or above your target, and also gives an elapsed time readout at the bottom. Calories burned, average heart-rate, max heart-rate and time to recovery are just some of the additional information the M5 gives you to help you benefit more from your workouts.
The Suunto Movescount interface…for the uber-serious fitness geeks.
For those that are uber-serious about training and want to maximize their fitness even further, or if you just want crunch the numbers, Suunto also offers a wireless Movestick USB connection, as well as free access to the Movescount feature online. This is dreamland for someone who does multiple sports and wants to combine their personal information in one easy to use format. It also adds a little bit of social media type stuff, so users can share information, which is always a good thing.