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April 20, 2014

Suunto Ambit 2 on my Wishlist

Suunto Ambit 2
Screenshot from @topgold.

I PUT THE world's best GPS watch onto my Father's Day Wishlist and then started letting the Suunto Google Plus Community push its updates to my phone because I know the combination of those two tactics will help me divert my fast food spending into the Suunto Savings Account. I figure I will have enough money for the Suunto after avoiding 117 takeaway meals.

So that means sometime around Christmas 2015 I'll have the funds for the $500 purchase and I think my well-telegraphed intentions will help nudge this health and fitness tracker into my Christmas stocking. It will be worth the wait.

I've been reading about Interval Heart Rate based Training with the Suunto Ambit and it's exactly the kind of interval training I used to do when winning two mile races as captain of my high school cross-country team. But that was 40 years ago and I know my days of five minute miles are long gone.

I broke the 10-minute barrier while running two miles only because of dedicated interval training. That kind of rigorous process is part and parcel of the Suunto Ambit 2 software. The software puts training programme into the Ambit2 on your wrist where I cold plan my own moves or choose from thousands of programs already shared in Movescount.com. The MovesCount Community is very active with people sharing circuits they've downloaded and the watch reminding people of their daily targets, tracks completed. The handy thing is the Suunto Ambit2 provides speed and intensity guidance during training. It's information much more helpful than the audio coaching comments piped through my iPod Touch Runkeeper.

I've seen Ambit2s measuring running cadence from the wrist (no need for a Nike+ insert or a separate Foot POD). But I cold still use a Foot POD and the watch will automatically pick the data from the POD, and automatically calibrate the Foot POD.

I also like how the Suunto Ambit 2.0 fine tunes social hiking for me--even though its export of .GPX files is one of the slowest things it does. Its navigation functionality adds outdoor features such as compass bearing tracking compass calibration along with a built-in storm alarm and a weather trend indicator. That's actually not required in Ireland since it rains all the time when on the trail anyway.

Suunto was founded in 1936 by Tuomas Vohlonen, a Finnish orienteer and inventor of the liquid-filled field compass. I think long-time Twitter colleague Richard Azia started using Suunto because of its repuataion for sports watches and dive computers. With a little luck, I'll have one on my wrist and my waistline will reduce by three inches within a year of regular usage. When that happens, I'll be mentally ready to conquer new territory with our athletic children.

[Wishlisting the Suunto Ambit2 Heart Rate Monitor on Amazon.]

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Comments

My first was a Suunto D9 which I used when scuba diving. I had a simpler second suunto for via ferrata. The Ambit 2 is my third suunto and this one is great. For about a year I was looking at mobile phones and wishing they would make one with good battery life. When this failed to happen I saw that the Suunto Ambit2 existed and I decided to change direction. The advantage of these watches is that they lose about 1% of charge per day when you are not using them and a little more when used as a watch and GPS.

Satellite detection is fast, so 30 seconds later you should have a GPS fix. Hiking with non geeks means that if the device is not fast enough you will start tracking a few minutes in to the walk.

So far I'm happy with it.

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