I put it on the "running" setting, wore it over to the track, started up the timer and ran a mile (4 laps), walked a quarter mile (1 lap), reversed, ran a mile including three 50-yard pickups, and walked a quarter mile.
Loading the data analysis program onto my computer was seamless and I was able to look at the charts (YAY! CHARTS!) of my workout easily within five minutes:
- Manuals and setup are surprisingly easy and user-friendly.
- The wrist unit feels a bit big and clunky, but I could get used to it.
- There is some 50 feet of play in the position data, even though I ran in the same inner lane every lap.
- Total distance ran a bit high - distances measured around the track ranged from 0.25 miles to 0.28 miles. It probably would work better in straight-line running. It really got mad when I reversed on the track.
- The heart rate meter was a little flaky at times (notice some anomalous readings in the red line, plus it started beeping at me for low heart rate once while walking), although it did find the 3 brief periods of elevated heart rate in the pickups I did in my last 3 running laps (while the pace data was too variable to pick out these increases).
- The pace readings were a little high because the unit was measuring distance about 6% long.
Still, it was fun to play with (I love CHARTS! Even though it seems to auto-calculate the axes to include the anomalous data spikes, and they don't seem to be user-scalable) and I think it would be helpful for heart-rate based training - especially for running on local roads and doing followup post-run data analysis. I also think it would be fun to use during races. There are tons of features that I haven't tried yet - like the virtual running partner to help you pace yourself with, or using it on the bike. I wish it were waterproof enough to use during pool swims or open water swims, too.
I may just buy one for myself as a reward toy for reaching a weight loss goal. But that will have to wait a while until I actually reach said goal, about 25 pounds from now.