Timex Global Trainer – A (Mostly) Fond Farewell

I’ve decided to say goodbye to a loyal training partner. On September 1, 2010 I set out with my first GPS watch and haven’t looked at running the same way since. Once again, I found myself on the bleeding edge, purchasing Timex’s first foray into GPS technology. It was Timex, the name that has personified athlete timing devices for as long as I could remember. I did my research and read a handful of reviews put out by a few fellow bloggers, particularly the much respected DC RainMaker.

Close to two years later, it’s time to move on.  Hello Garmin Forerunner 610.  More on the Garmin will come later, but for now let’s do a post mortem on the Timex Global Trainer.

What worked

2013-02-06-002

Oh my, your watch is so big…

Why, thank you. I proudly sported my Timex. My wife would probably say it was too often. The photo at right is from my professional head shot. As proof, I wore it even in a business casual setting. It was, at a minimum, a conversation starter in meetings. Have a potential client that’s also a fellow runner? Done deal.

Durability

Outside of the charging cable snafu, see below, the watch was extremely durable. I logged two marathons, a 30K, ten half-marathons, a number of 5-10 miles races and all the training that comes prior to race day with this bad boy. I never worried about scratches, dents or dings as I worked around the house or in the yard with it. It’s a Timex and it just kept on ticking … sorry, couldn’t help myself.

Accuracy

After a month with my Garmin, I will say that the Timex was slightly more accurate. I know my routes, I know where my miles should be. I’ve driven them and reset the trip odometer plenty of times … just for kicks. At the end of the day, a GPS is supposed to be a GPS, but I’m beginning to think this is simply not the case.

Training Peaks

Timex includes a co-branded Training Peaks device agent with the watch. For me, Training Peaks was great. It was a HUGE upgrade from my foot sensor driven Nike+.

What didn’t

Locating Satellites…

Ultimately, my RunStreak lead me elsewhere.  Running everyday, sometimes for only 10 minutes, it’s the little things that can become slightly irritating.  Over the last few months I’ve found the TGT to have issues locking onto satellites.  During a recent trip to Toronto, it wouldn’t get a fix at all.  Even on good days, the watch would take nearly two minutes to lock on.  My Garmin locks on from my garage within 30 seconds.  When you run everyday in whatever weather mother nature has in store, this is huge.2013-02-06-003

More Power Scottie…

Battery life was great the first year. Now I doubt it’ll last longer than 5 hours in Performance mode with the GPS on. For me, not being a triathlete, it would be fine for any race I’m currently looking to finish.

The charging cable broke about 18 months in.  I ordered two more from Timex, N+1 redundancy, but in the meantime my watch was out of commission.  Not the best design for the TGT. I see the newer Timex GPS watches now use the clam shell which probably alleviates this.

Third-Party Integration

While Training Peaks worked great, I would have enjoyed syncing my data to other sources. Strava? Nope. DailyMile? Nope. MapMyFitness? Yup, until their plugin stopped working in December. Grrr. Sure, I could export the PWX files using tools and import them in, but that’s a boatload of work. I’m having a blast using whatever site I want, whenever I want with my Garmin … including Training Peaks.

Final Thoughts

No regrets. If It weren’t for my RunStreak I’d still be using this watch. Waiting outside in sub-zero temperatures morning after morning for the GPS to sync led me to look elsewhere. Also, I’m not a triathlete. I had visions of this watch turning me into one, but it just didn’t happen. Who knows? If the bug hits me to jump in a pool, I just might be inclined to break this out of retirement.2013-02-06-004

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One Response to Timex Global Trainer – A (Mostly) Fond Farewell

  1. greg March 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    I totally agree with your blog!! I did IMSG last year and it died 30 minutes before the end… Waiting for the GPS signal takes forever… How do you like your Garmin? Thanks… Greg

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