Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Garmin targets fitness watch at serious athletes

Steve Rogerson
April 11, 2017



A GPS running and triathlon watch with performance monitoring tools and wrist-based heart rate technology is available from Swiss company Garmin.
 
In addition to round-the-clock heart rate monitoring, the Forerunner 935 includes training features, allowing users to fine-tune exercise and recovery to be a better athlete. Easily paired with the Running Dynamics Pod, Forerunner 935 users will be able to see all six running dynamics without the need for a chest strap. At 49g, every detail in its lightweight, comfortable design was chosen with the athlete in mind.
 
The watch is being announced in conjunction with a print, digital and social campaign featuring 13 professional Garmin-sponsored elite runners and triathletes from across the world. The campaign shows how the dynamics offered by the Forerunner 935 help these athletes fine tune and elevate their training and be more competitive on race day.
 
“With similar features to the FÄ“nix 5 – our popular multisport GPS watch built for fitness, adventure and style – the Forerunner 935 is catered more towards athletes focused on performance and results,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president. “As a top-of-the-line GPS smartwatch, the Forerunner 935 not only provides users with insight into how their body is responding to fitness, but also offers data for every activity, allows them to automatically upload to Garmin Connect, and is customisable with free apps, data fields and more from the Connect IQ store.”
 
Training features – with technology provided by Firstbeat – make it easier for users to monitor performance and prepare for a race or training cycle. Training status automatically analyses previous exercise and fitness levels to provide insight into how the athlete’s body is responding – letting them know if they are training productively, peaking or overreaching.
 
Training load gives users an overview of their weekly activity and helps them determine if they are training in the right zone and whether their sessions are too easy or hard. Additionally, the training effect metric tracks and reviews the aerobic and anaerobic benefit of a training session, letting athletes know how their training is improving their ability to push the limits. With these training features available at their fingertips, athletes can make adjustments and improvements to their training to become better, faster and more efficient come race day.
 
The watch lets users go further with their running data. The Running Dynamics Pod clips to the waistband allowing athletes to see all six running dynamics – including cadence, ground contact time, stride length and more – on a compatible device without the need for a chest strap. The smartwatch also has dynamics to help with cycling and swim training.
 
While on a bike, it will track dynamics including power zones, time seated and standing, platform centre offset and power phase. In the water, it will track distance, stroke, pace and personal records.
 
With the Elevate wrist-based heart monitor, users have around-the-clock heart rate monitoring without the need for an additional strap. With GPS and Glonass coverage, athletes can better track their activities in challenging environments than with GPS alone. Additionally, it includes ABC (altimeter, barometer and compass) sensor capabilities. The built-in altimeter provides real-time elevation information, while the barometer can predict weather changes by showing short-term trends in air pressure. The compass can help users keep their bearings whether they’re moving or not.
 
Athletes can easily transition between sports with the press of a button using the auto or manual multisport feature. Additional built-in activities include hiking, trail running, skiing, paddle sports and golf. It is also compatible with Varia cycling awareness accessories, Vector pedal-based power meter system and Index smart scale.
 
Strava Live Segments allow users to view real-time results on a run or ride, leader-board rankings and how their current effort compares to their PR. Starred Strava segments automatically sync with the watch for live feedback during an activity. Purchasers will receive a 60-day trial of Strava Premium, and owners of Connect IQ compatible devices will receive a 30-day trial.
 
The TrainingPeaks app allows users to download free workouts directly to their watch, then view the workout in real time, complete with intensity targets and interval durations. Following a session, athletes can automatically sync their completed workout back to TrainingPeaks for a detailed analysis of their performance and to measure their progress towards their goals. Users can also customise their watch with data fields, watch faces, widgets and additional apps from the Connect IQ store including Garmin’s Uber ETA and AccuWeather MinuteCast Minute by Minute Forecast.
 
When paired with a compatible smartphone, it automatically uploads to Garmin Connect, an online fitness community where users can track workouts, sleep patterns, join online challenges to compete against friends and earn virtual badges. GroupTrack allows users to keep tabs on those they train with, while LiveTrack lets loved ones follow along on runs and rides in real time.
 
The watch has up to 24 hours of battery life in GPS mode, up to 50 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode and up to two weeks in watch mode.