Monday, 25 August 2014

TomTom Cardio Runner - My first impressions

Last month Running Bug ran a competition to review and keep a TomTom Cardio Runner. I entered and thought nothing of it until a few weeks later when I got an email confirming I had won one to trial, how exciting.

When my watch arrived I was like a kid at Christmas as I tore open the packaging to be greeted by my new TomTom Cardio Runner in all it shiney glory.

I had done some research into the watch but could not get my head around how it could monitor heart rate using light. I was baffled by the technology and was thrilled to be able to try it. I had read the DC Rainmaker review of the watch in an attempt to better understand the pros and cons of the watch.

I couldn't wait to get home to try out the watch for myself to see if it worked as accurately as what I have become used to when using a chest strap.

In the interests of science I decided to go for a run wearing two watches so I could compare the HR's between what I (and most other people) have become accustomed to and the new tech in the TomTom Runner Cardio.

On that first run the maximum difference I noticed between the recorded heart rates between the two units was 3bpm. I would love to be able to show you the data to back this up but had a technical malfunction and can't upload the data from this first run off my new watch.

As you can see in the above photo the difference in 1bpm. I was amazed that the difference was so little.

Since that first run however I have been able to upload the data from the watch to Strava and other fitness tracking services.

I haven't been for anymore runs wearing both watches. It just feels weird running with two watches. The plan is to complete another run wearing two watches so I can categorically state that the new technology is as accurate as the traditional technology.

Since that first run I have found myself reaching for the TomTom to log my runs. It is oddly liberating being able to run without a chest strap.  The weight of the TomTom Cardio Runner is also less than I have become accustomed to, which is a nice bonus

I love the fact that you can set HR zones to run to and it lets you know if you are training in the right zone. I find this really helpful and motivational as it is constantly there to remind you if you are working too hard or not hard enough.

I am looking forward to working with the other features of the TomTom Runner Cardio over the coming weeks to see what other niceties I can find in there.

I am not going to lie, I was sceptical about the tech but form my first couple of weeks with the watch, I am mightily impressed by it.

Thanks for reading,



  1. Last month Running Bug ran a competition to review and keep a TomTom Cardio Runner. I entered and thought nothing of it until a few weeks ...

  2. Despite which one of the handheld GPS units you pick, you will be upbeat that you got one, particularly the first occasion when you get yourself lost in the forested areas.