Run Strapless! The TomTom Runner Cardio

I can’t stand wearing anything extra on my runs. Especially during the hot summer months. Shorts, shoes, shades and a GPS watch are all I need when the temps soar into the 80’s. So, when I heard about the TomTom Runner Cardio GPS watch that monitors your heart rate from your wrist, I was stoked. Heart rate data without the uncomfortable strap across your chest. Finally!

TotmTom Runner Cardio Review
The stylish new TomTom Runner Cardio GPS watch

I’ve run with the earlier model, the  TomTom Runner GPS watch since last summer. I like it, but I have a few issues with it. First, the strap and the watch are two separate pieces and they don’t always stay together well. The watch face has actually fallen out a few times. Second, I had to wait until I uploaded my activity to see my average run pace. The display didn’t offer an overall pace number upon completion of the run activity.

Both issues are resolved in the new TomTom Runner Cardio watch. The watch face is integrated with the strap and the charger attachment fits into the one-piece assembly very easily. And, the TomTom Cardio GPS watch displays a nice workout summary upon completion of the activity.

TomTom Runner Cardio charger unit
TomTom Runner Cardio with charging unit plugged in
tomtom runner cardio display
Quick summary display of individual running workout

 

What’s in the TomTom Runner Cardio box?

Inside the plastic glass cube you will find several useful items. The TomTom Runner Cardio watch, the charging/syncing USB adapter, instructions, and product information. The first step is to plug it in to your computer and go through the basic setup tasks while the watch charges.

TomTom Runner Cardio Box

The TomTom Runner Cardio Watch Design

I think this is a great looking watch. Not too thick and bulky, not too flimsy, and very much like the trend-setting Nike+ Sportwatch. The height of the watch face is slightly larger than a number 2 pencil, and the soft rubber strap is secure and very comfortable. Because the watch must be worn close to the wrist for heart rate detection, the sizing is extremely accurate.

TomTom Runner Cardio watch design

TomTom Runner Cardio watch design

TomTom Runner Cardio watch design

The TomTom Runner Cardio: Syncing, Data and Reporting

The most important thing about a runner’s watch is how it collects, captures, and presents data. The TomTom Runner Cardio does all three things exceptionally well. The heart rate detection is flawless in my experience. It does everything else- pace, distance, lap times, GPS positioning, etc as expected. And, to make things easy on you, it syncs well with almost every online running platform.

TomTom even has their own site for athletes, TomTom MySports,  that will help you analyze your data and keep historical records. I suggest keeping your running data in multiple places because you just never know what might happen. I upload to TomTom MySports and Strava after each run. The whole process is automated and doesn’t take any extra steps after the first setup.

TomTom Mysports watch syncing

TomTom Runner Cardio Data Sync

TomTom Runner Cardio Data

The training features are also pretty neat. In particular, I like being able to compete against the shadow of an earlier run. This allows you to repeat a prior run with a virtual competitor (yourself) over the same course.

Summary of the TomTom Runner Cardio GPS Watch

I really enjoy running with the TomTom Runner Cardio watch. I’m pleased with the improved features and I like the overall design and style. Plus, I can capture heart rate data without a strap. But, most importantly, the TomTom Runner Cardio is an excellent GPS watch for runners.

 

This product was sent to me for review. This article contains affiliate links.

Thoughts?