Just when I thought I’d tried every fitness tracker and GPS under the sun, along came Suunto with their Spartan Trainer Wrist HR. It was perfect timing as I’d just come to terms with signing up for Tough Mudder and this watch seemed like the kinda injection of adventure that I needed!
Some basics about the watch:
– Weight 56 grams
– Water resistant to 50 metres
– Daily targets for steps and calories
– Heart rate and motion sensing on the wrist
– 10 hours of battery life (up to 30 hours with power saving options)
When it first arrived though, I was in the middle of the Bests Bootcamp Academy struggling with the watch I had at the time to get all my timings right when teaching.
I literally popped the Spartan (that’s what I shall call it from here on in) out of the box, charged it with their fandangaly charger (it’s like an alligator clip, see the picture below) and popped it on my wrist to teach.
Can’t go that wrong when there are just 5 buttons, right?! The stopwatch was easy to find (one but last on the menu) and simple enough to use; start, stop and refresh perfectly highlighted with red and green accents.
I spent a little time playing around at home with the Spartan too, to change the watch face and get all the settings right. I downloaded the Suuntolink software to my laptop to do all of this but you can in fact update the settings via the watch itself or using the Suunto Moves app on your phone (I’m team iPhone with limited space available for apps so being able to use the Spartan without the app is epic in my eyes!).
It comes already loaded with 80 different sports modes so chances are what you’re looking for is already on there. And over the past few weeks I’ve had a go using the few I would use most regularly on a day to day basis.
To get started traking an exercise you simply navigate to “Exercise” and then scroll to your chosen activity. My first activity using the watch was when teaching (2x) Lift classes at FRAME. Along with
heart rate (broken down into training zones), it also records / measures calories burned, your estimated VO2 max and suggested recovery time (22 hours for my weights classes).
|Screenshot from desktop|
Next up was “Cycling – Basic” for the Barbados Cycling Festival Sportive. I figured there was no bigger cycling adventure than being half way across the world; it also meant that I didn’t need to pack my bike computer so the Spartan doubled up as that and a watch.
I made sure I linked my Suunto Moves account to my Strava account so the information would automatically be uploaded to Strava when I synced the watch.
I dunno bout anyone else but I’m usually the one at the back of run club shouting “wait for me, my gps hasn’t locked yet!!” but on ride morning I had no issues (and I didn’t even sync that morning to update the satellite information). I started at the front of my wave and zoomed off (yes, not the way to pace yourself! Lol).
I was keen to keep an eye on the accuracy of the distance the Spartan was telling me I had covered and by about the half way mark I was certain it was doing a good job.
From the stats above, you can see there is a lot of information that’s recorded including PTE (Peak Training Effect) which indicates the impact of a training session on your maximum aerobic performance and recovery time (which is cumulative based on other HR tracked exercise).
And then there was Tough Mudder (I’ll be writing the whole experience up in a seperate post soon…)…
…let me just say, at one point, I couldn’t even see what the Spartan was saying for all the mud covering it! Luckily, a quick scrub with an old toothbrush when I got home sorted all that out and got it back to Ocean blue from mud brown!
But Tough Mudder don’t really give an exact distance for their events; I signed up for the 5 mile event and as you can see from the pictures above I ran over 6 miles. I love being able to see our route and replay it as well as knowing how far I ran (time is not really a thing in Tough Mudder). The Spartan made it through the event in one piece and I’m even more impressed than I originally was…
So guys, I’ve just shared a snippet of what the Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR is all about and even I have so much more to discover and learn about (I mean, all those stats need to be put to good use right?!).
The software update at the end of August included sleep tracking and the ability for the watch to display battery percentage which is a huge winner for me; isn’t it the worse when you go to start tracking something and your watch says “sorry, there is not enough power to track this activity” or worse still, dies half way through?!
The watch is lightweight, simple to use and doesn’t look half bad, eh?! Providing all the stats you could need and quick to pick up the GPS signal… not much more you need, right?!
If you have any questions I may be able to answer, just comment below or reach out to me via my social channels all linked below!
What fitness tracker are you currently using, or do you have your eye on?!