The TRIATHLON WATCH I use and how I use it during training


– Morning Trainiacs. One of the most commonly asked questions that I get is, what watch do you use? Give you a spoiler alert. Garmin 935. Give you a little bit
of disappointing news, I did not chose this
because I think it’s the absolute best watch that
everyone needs to get. I’ll explain today why I chose this watch, how I use this watch, and what watch I recommend for, yo I gotta wait a little bit before this side of the pool opens. So we got time. (Upbeat music) So this is the watch I use. This is the Garmin 935 XT. Now, I’ll start by explaining
why I purchased this watch instead of any other watches. When this was on the market, it was kinda like this and
the Garmin Fenix 5 series were the top of the line watch. It was the top of the
line multi-sport watch, specifically for runners,
cyclists, triathletes. Could be used for anything, and it had basically the
same software features as the Garmin Fenix series, but it was a little bit smaller. Now I don’t like wearing a lot of jewelry, besides wedding ring, which
is now the aurora ring, and this watch. That is all that I wear, so I wanted basically
the top of the line watch that was in the smallest form factor. Another reason that I went with
this top of the line watch, isn’t because I use it
for all the different bells and whistles and features and I believe that everyone has to have the top of the line watch. Couple of things. Number one, I believe in purchasing things that are fairly future proof. I don’t like buying
something that is cheap, because I feel that if you buy something that is tremendously cheap, in the end it’s actually
going to cost you more. So I want to get something
that I knew was going to last quite a while. I think this has been maybe a year or so, and totally usable. Also, I believe in buying
things personally for me that kind of future proof myself. In this case, because
so many people ask me questions about watches
and data and metrics and things like that, I believe in a at least, personally for me, being able to get something that if readings, metrics, features,
updates of this come out or new gadgets come out
that have to tie into something that’s a little more high end, I’m able to do that. So that’s really the only reason that I bought this watch specifically. But as far as all those bells and whistles and all the potential readings
that I can get from this, let me explain how little I use, and I actually do use this. Okay, so let’s talk about how
I use this first in the swim. Cause that’s where we are. Now, this has the ability
to track everything from your distance per stroke
to your swim goal score, to your stroke per length, your average pace per hundred meters, or hundred yards. I really don’t use any of that. Frankly, if none of you followed me, all I would use is, the pace clock. The only reason that
I use this in the pool is because all of you like to follow along with what I’m doing on Strava, see how long I’m swimming and Instagram photos of my watch
when I do a big or a fast swim. They tend to do fairly well. So the only reason that I
really use this in the pool is for all of you. The only feature that I do use this for, in the pool, is if goggles fog up by
the end of the swim set, and I can’t quite see the pool clock, I’ll use this, for the interval times. That’s it. That’s all I use it for. And you look at elite swimmers, that’s all they use. Rarely will any elite swimmer
use anything but a pool clock and swimming with this, it ends up being a little
bit more of a nuisance. Now why do I end up
posting some of those times that I take from this on social media and talk about how there’s progress. Well, because I think a more
important thing to measure in the pool isn’t your
average time per hundred yards in a swim based off of this, because you can fudge that
by stopping and starting in between all of your sets by doing more or less drill sets. In my case, I don’t really worry
about stopping/starting when I’m at the wall. Sometimes I will, sometimes I won’t. Sometimes if Jerry coach of tower 26, the swim program that I use, prescribes, hey with this part of the swim I want a time that you need to report in, I might use this but I also
might use the pool clock, because when it comes right down to it those generalities of the swim golf, the distance per stroke, the average time per hundred
meters or hundred yards, all of that pales into comparison to how are you actually preforming. And the only way that you know if you’re actually
making performance gains is by doing standardized test parts of your set that you can track over a period of time, and this just gives way more information than those specific
performance times that we need. Now let me do that swim and I’ll get to how I use
this for the bike and the run. I’ve got 5 more minutes to wait. (soft synthesizer music) (water splash) That was a pretty awesome milestone there. That was 3, I don’t know
why I’m looking at this because, turn it off. 3000 meters, 50 meter long course. Huge milestone. Never swam it that fast, in my life. Go to the Instagram post
that I did on February 20th. You’ll see how fast. Alright, cycling. Alright, so as far as using this watch on the bike is concerned, I do not. Ever. But that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t. The reason that I don’t use this watch is because I have this Wahoo Elemnt bolt. In custom triathlon terrain red. Yeah, that’s right. But what I put on this is I put cadence, I put heart rate, I put power and oh depending
on the ride maybe ride length, depending on things like that. Now the reason that I’m using this instead of my watch is because it’s just so much nicer to be able to mount that, look down and have a nice big screen. It’s kind of like the cycling standard. Whether you using this or, Gracie, what’re you eating? Hey. Gravel. Whether you’re using this
or another bike computer, you need a head unit if
you’re going to start using a bunch of metrics
when you start cycling. Now, to save yourself some money what a lot of people end up doing then they first end up getting
that metrics and the data on their bike, is they use their watch. So if in the case that lets say, I’ve hopped on the bike last summer, and this has been dead, well I have the watch
paired to the power meter, paired to the heart rate monitor, paired to the cadence and I just store everything there, keep it off to the side
and not really look at it but if you want to look at it, there’s a lot of mounts that you can get to end up mounting that watch, this watch, whatever
watch you have on there. So it’s not like the watch
itself is the specific thing that I’m using, it’s the power meter, it’s the cadence meter, it’s the heart rate monitor, it is all of the peripheral devices and this is just a way to display it and capture all the data. Notice that I’m not saying
this is a critical watch. You’re gonna see that in
another form in a second when we talk about running over here. So when we start getting into running there are a few metrics that I’ve started looking at depending on
what type of run I’m doing. If I am doing base
mileage in the off season, in the base building season, at the start of the year, I end up doing a lot of
that training by heart rate. So I use the Wahoo ticker as
a chest heart rate monitor, because what I find is that even though this has
wrist heart rate sensing what that little flashy
light that I showed you, it’s not very accurate, when you start moving around a lot, when you start sweating a lot, this very accurate, this might be as much as
30 beats off a minute. So not a really big fan of it. But, I will use this heart rate monitor to capture the heart rate and then I will stream
that and display it here. When I start introducing
little bursts of speed in the base building phase of the season I am not really looking at pace. I start by long runs, just kind of fastest average without a significant drop off, so I start feeling that out. So I’m not really looking
at my watch for that. When I’m doing track efforts, I am looking at splits, so all I need is time. I don’t need this to
tell me that I’m running at a 330 per kilometer pace. I’m just looking for a split and I’m doing it on a track or a treadmill where everything’s measured, so again, this is not
really very critical. At the time that this does
become critical with power is right now. Right before the races start happening in the course of the year, I want to start dialing in race pace. So if I’m going to run outside, I will display my pace per kilometer. If I’m running inside I’m going to use the stride power meter for the foot pod because it is more accurate, like way more accurate than
the treadmill pace detection on this or the treadmills actual pacer. So I will stream the
pace from that to that. So notice again that I’m
not really using this as the critical device. Which is why when people ask me what watch do you recommend, I don’t really even answer, because it’s kind of
just personal preference. Let’s wrap this up. So notice that really
the critical aspect of what watch I’ve chosen
really has nothing to do with the actual workouts. As far as workouts go, essentially I just want a
little bit of time function, and I want it to be able to pick up pace, sometimes but not all the time, and I want it to be able to
connect to the peripheral. So that’s the bigger thing. Do you guys want to come up? Come up. I know this isn’t your
side but you can do it. Come on. Grace. (Pats couch) So instead of stressing out
about what watch you get, think about what you want
to have as far a peripherals in your training. Are you going to be using a power meter? Are you going to be using a foot pod? Are you going to be doing
a lot of track running and just need splits? Are you going to be
training by heart rate? All of these things matter a lot more than what watch you get. From the watch standpoint, it really doesn’t matter. However, I will put affiliate links in the description below
to 3 watches that I would recommend at a beginner,
an intermediate and a high, premium price point. And I’m going or recommend
those watches based off of their interaction with other devices. Not this watch itself is a great watch. I’ll be looking at value, and I’ll look at how is it
going to fit with all the rest of the training that I would recommend. So it’s less about recommending the watch and it’s more about recommending
what training I would do. I’m sorry but this isn’t the
answer I sure a lot of you want which is like this is the best watch or that is the best watch, or Suunto is better than Garmin, or Garmin is better than I don’t know, for all that stuff go
check out DC Rainmaker. He compares all the
features of everything. I am more about the training. And from the aspect of training, this is basically just a screen. Alright trainiacs. Check out these affiliate
links in the description below if you are interested in getting a watch. But don’t stress up about it. Later trainiacs. Right Grace?

Comments 45

  • first 😀

  • Silver 😊

  • As a Garmin 735xt user, I can confirm wrist heart rate´s inefficiency. It sometimes indicates that I´m training in zone 1-2 while I´m doing HIIT (intervals). And sometimes it does the exact opposite. Sooo…

  • I like my 920XT. Increasingly feel however like Garmin's most recent watches are becoming similar to Gillette. Lots of eye catching features that no one really asked for.

    Agree with you on the swimming stuff. A special place in hell exists for people who push off when someone's mid turn because their watch told them to and they were paying attention to nothing else.

  • Don’t you track your swim yardage???

  • How about during a race to track the three disciplines + overall? And what about tracking open water swimming training. I find a good watch useful for those situations.

  • I have the fenix 5x and the Tickrx
    The issue I have is the tickrx overwrites the other metrics the fenix has

  • I have the Fenix 3HR for 3yrs already and it's a great watch for triathlon

  • You should've gone with the Garmin Fenix sapphire 5X. HRM Tri and a bike sensor. I love mine and it's great to help me keep my training up to date and the data. I just don't use the music, phone and the pay function. When I'm working out, I think that's my time so I stay away from phone calls and just think about the workout.

  • I like using a watch as a central place to track and download workouts to an online website. This avoids doing it manually in a spreadsheet or paper log (although those will work as well). As for biometrics, that is very personal and depends your preferences. Bad news for biometrics haters: more and more of them are going to be available in the near future!

  • I use the exact same watch.. I got it because I find it as the best bang for my buck in my training towards doing a full IRONMAN (battery life especially)! In swimming it's fairly terrible (especially HR tracking), but it's incredibly useful for me in cycling and running. I use the clip off watch, so I can put it on my bike head unit!

  • I have a Apple Watch and it’s perfect for me because I don’t have power meters, super expensive foot pods.

  • sell out… product pusher… i am tired of this infomercials, I am out!!!

  • I use the 935 watch too (with glass screen protector so it's a Forerunner 935 sapphire…), I'm open water swimmer and for pool training I use the pace clock, but sometimes I like to use the watch simply because I register some training on it with the calendar.

  • Can u explain the swim metric you spoke about in the swim click. I really don’t know what ur were talking… FYI I’m a nube….thanks

  • extended display from 935 to edge 520. best for triathlon.

  • I use the same watch.i charge it once every 2 weeks.as to tracking,very helpful especially in cycling😊😊😊

  • You are missing out on so much that could enhance your training. First and foremost is the Garmin Tri HRM. It’s metrics will not only give you more accurate HR than the watch, but a ton of metrics the wahoo doesn’t. It would als help with your treadmill accuracy. Granted you have the Stryd for that. Also the Garmin HRM Swim. You might not need it during your workout, but it is nice to reference that data later. Also, I find my 920XT, predecessor to the 935 to be a great bike computer. You mentioned it only as a cost saver, but set up in triathlon or brick mode, you can quickly bounce from one activity to the next and include your transition. I get not wanting to fuss with it in the pool, but it only takes a couple of sessions to really dial it in and it again it gives you better data to reference over time. If your using it to help your training, you’ll come up with a consistent start/stop for your swim workouts. If you’re doing it to impress others on social media, that’s your time to waste.
    I’m not saying the Garmin 935 is the end all be all, but not even trying to tap its potential is a waste in my opinion.
    Finally, your comments around HR training and not really following pace make me question your training platform. I have not tried it, so I won’t make assumptions. However the plan I follow is time/power based on the bike and time/pace based on the run. I don’t think many solid plans are HR based anymore. So I find it strange that your doing your workouts based on that.
    Just my thoughts. I certainly appreciate most of your videos and really enjoy the podcast.

  • Bike mounts for your watch: I was in Okanagan Lake (beautiful Pennington) at a tri camp. It was literally my first time in open water. We tried a little contact in the water while swimming. Nothing big and to help get over that weird feeling of swimmers "touching you". My Garmin was on a mounting strap where you can remove the watch and mount it to your bike. My watch is somewhere in Okanagan Lake. A very expensive lesson. Keep you watch under your wet suit and be super careful about mounts. On watch #2, I simply rotate it so it is on the inside of my wrist for rides.

  • I have the 935 as Well…the only time i use it during an activity is while running (Heart Rate,Intervalls etc) while swimming i Sometimes use it for structured training (i create it Garmin Connect so i dont have to memorize it) and barely at all while biking…however, i always track my Training so i can review my workouts and see If im improving over time…in my point of view that is the main reason i have this watch

  • Fenix 5+ Sapphire.. brilliant watch

  • Exact same watch on my wrist. It's also very good for golf!

  • Taren- I would be interested in knowing what power and cadence meters you use? Do you like the power meter that you have and how does it compare with the power rating from your trainer?

  • Isn't it a Forerunner 935, not 935XT?

  • Found the swim part a little harsh and the reason why? 1) No swim clock in my gym pool 2) It's only 20 meters; so using the watch to gauge performance stats is important. Yeah, 100m times are a benchmark but seeing negative increments over time is very positive. Personally have not tried using the Garmin workout plan -> watch for swimming but will do down the line. Have a Fenix 3 Sapphire HR at the moment but bought a Forerunner 935 and actually I may sell it it on as it's so super light and small form factor. And yeah Stryd am really enjoying using it and will see next weekend for a 41 mile Ultra 🤣 Great video Taren but it does come down to watch people would like as you say 👍

  • used both watch fenix 5 and edge 820 (which i want to upgrade to 1030) we all love our metrics great video

  • suunto is good ttoo

  • Gracie's look while you explain! Also: wrong coffee mug 😉 Any specific reason why you got rid of your 920xt?

  • Cat crap; the anti-fog product, not feline feces; is what I use to keep me goggles clear so I can see the pool clock.

  • Grace is definitely not impressed with the wrap-up part of the video man 🙂 I couldn't focus on you, I kept looking at her 🙂

  • Eternally jealous of how empty your pool is. There are 6,000 people to a lane in pools in London. At least.

  • Where was this video in January when I splashed out for a Fenix 5 Plus?! Jokes aside, another great video. What you say is absolutely right. I had a Polar M400 and only changed because it didn't track swimming. So I paid a fortune for something to track swimming, which was stupid. I use my watch in much the same way as you do. Having said that the Fenix 5 Plus is a great watch to wear all the time so I have no complaints.

  • I use a Garmin 910xt works perfect for all you say

  • #TeamCoros

  • Dude Taren, what watch is that? Seriously guys, do the work, the rest will sort itself out. Some days go fast, some days go far, and some days, just go (and everyone once in a while, don't go).

  • Hi, Taren! Great info here (and it was interesting to get a sneak peek of how you use your Garmin for the different sports).

    But super off-topic question: not sure if you've already mentioned this before, i.e. in a previous video, but what breed (or mix?) is Grace? She looks like a silver Lab. 🙂

  • I love my 935 it rocks! PS. I would love to see a video of how the people at your pool view you. I can only imagine what folks would say if I talked to a camera at my gym AND filmed. Now I would assume people are use to it, but could you explain the journey or progression of that?

  • I have fallen out of love with Garmin Fenix 5 sent back today after 2 months…:. Wahoo on the other side are awesome ….. Sent a photo from my broken chest strap…::. Not only did they replace the strap they upgraded me to a ticker x for free top service 🤪🤪🤪🤪 bolt will be my next computer

  • Taren / others what do you think about timex Ironman watches for training?

  • College swammer, Pace clock and a big ol whiteboard is all I used in my swimming career. Swimming wise now I use my watch exact same as you

  • I don't use the watch's HR. I use the same wahoo CHEST HR and the Garmin TRI….

  • So in conclusion all you need for triathlon training is a Casio F-91W right? Just kidding, nice video!

  • Hi Taren! Do you prefer the Wahoo Bolt over the Garmin Edge ?

  • I'm old enough to remember when the Timex Ironman was the best tri watch around.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *