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109 of 109 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2011
I have had this GPS watch for about a week now. I'm a moderate runner that trains for the half marathon distance mostly. I compared this Timex run trainer with the Garmin forerunner 210 prior to making my purchase and really there was no comparison except for price.

The Timex has so much more customization to it than the Forerunner. I have something like 15 custom fields to pick from to display on 4 lines of screen each time I look down at the thing on a run. I'm talking about heart rate, speed, avg. speed, pace, avg. pace, distance, calories, etc., etc., etc. By comparison, the garmin doesn't even do speed (just avg. speed) and you can't pick from much else as far as I could tell.

Also, I love that this watch is water resistant (up to 50m). I don't swim regularly but I can see myself getting this thing wet from time to time and not ever having to worry about frying the battery. The Garmin isn't waterproof. That's a big difference in my opinion.

I really like the size of this watch compared to the more expensive options out there. It can almost pass for an everyday watch on my wrist which is pretty cool. the regular display is big and bright and has all the classic Ironman features like Indiglo and alarms. Its as if timex wants you to replace your everyday sports watch with this guy. I've worn Timex watches in the past so the menu options (chrono, alarm, timer, etc.) were pretty familar and easy to use.

Here's another bonus: I've heard that the GPS watches tend to take awhile in acquiring signal from the satellites. the first time I did it it took about 30 seconds outside my house. However the next time (and subsequently thereafter) I powered on the GPS from my home, it acquired the signal almost instaneously like it remembers the location. This is a small detail but a pretty nice surprise as I leave for all my distance runs from home.

The PC connection was straightforward and easy to navigate. Actually I prefer to customize all those display fields from the computer when I have the watch connected via its USB cable. the cable attaches to the watch via an alligator clip that is nice and secure so you can tell when its plugged in. The computer program has drop down menus and buttons to select different things. I think Timex outsourced the map data to Google maps and the online computer workout piece to I think it was the right move instead of trying to build something in house. Let the experts do their thing and nobody does maps better than Google.

On the negative side, I think they could have made the watch a bit smaller and upped the battery juice some more but I'm sure that's all coming in future releases. I haven't played around with the Drink/Nutrition alarms and Recovery option as all that seems over the top but maybe can be useful to some.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2012
Back in November, I got my hands on the Timex Run Trainer and I've been using it everyday since then. And not just for its functionality as a GPS-enabled fitness watch but as an everyday watch as well. So now I've got over five months of experience of using this and I want to provide an update to the previous review, which was only based on having it for about a week.


I still think the watch is literally huge and at least 20%-25% of size could easily be shaved off to make something less unwieldy. Again, my Garmin FR210 has 90% of the same software functions and is half as large. Just to give you an idea of the size difference, I can easily fit the FR210 on top of the TRT no problems. If they make a 2012 or 2013 version of this watch, they need to seriously shrink it down. Size aside, the weight is hardly noticeable once you wear it after a while, I hardly ever notice it on my wrist unless it gets caught on something because it's so damned large; I can barely put my motorcycle jacket on without either taking the watch off or undoing the cuffs to their largest diameter first. But enough about its mammoth girth.

This thing seriously needs a new strap design. The stiff rubber doesn't conform to any wrist shape I've ever seen in my entire life, but it's perfectly round enough to fit around a bottle with no issue. Conversely, the Garmin FR910XT makes use of an ingenious design: make one arm of the strap swing freely like an actual watchband. Imagine that, a technology company using a piece of design tech from a regular watch, something Timex has made since 1854. Seeing this literally blows my mind, they got scooped at their own game. I cannot decide if Timex designed the Run Trainer to fit bicycle bars or bottles, but it wasn't made for a human wrist, that's for sure.

Indiglo still sucks horribly but I've learned when to use it most effectively. It's truly only useful well into the night, it's pointless at or around dusk. Fiddling with the contrast helps some but I still firmly believe that a color inversion on the display would work better, something Suunto has done with success. The actual brightness has taken some getting used to as well, but it's usable. Not great but not bad, but not really good either. It's there, so you use it or you don't.

While its functionality is still designed by engineers -- you can tell a UI or UX designer never came close to touching this thing -- getting acclimated to how it works does not take very long, especially if you read the manual. It still has operational or design quirks that I think would have been normal 5 years ago but should never occur today (e.g. all sensors stay on until you manually turn them off, I don't know of any fitness watch that doesn't turn those functions off after X minutes). Luckily, this is 100% fixable through a firmware update but getting Timex to actually fix that is another point altogether. Their support on their Facebook page is extremely responsive but does not always follow through.

To get the data off the watch, you have to use Training Peaks' Device Agent, which isn't bad, but it's another engineer-designed app, just like their website. It's all about getting data in front of your eyeballs, regardless of format or how it looks. Besides the fact that TrainingPeaks' website is god awful confusing for most people to use, locking users into using it is a very poor choice, especially for first time users. I'm not saying Timex or TP should debut a site as easy to use as Garmin Connect, but they do need to make strides to make the site (and software) far more usable for those users that aren't high-level athletes with coaches. Or they need to do something else: allow easy export (in part or whole) of your data into a .FIT file or similar file format. I've searched their forums and tried everything in TP's site but there's no easy way to export your data to any other service such as Garmin Connect, RunKeeper, Endomondo, or anything else. Instead, you have to rely on exporting the .PWX.GZ file generated by the Timex Run Trainer and then using a 3rd party site to convert to .FIT, .KML or another format for use on other services, which tends to not be the most reliable data output you'll get. These results tend to be hit-and-miss at best, with data points getting dropped, munged, or other data left out altogether. The worst fun part about this is you have to export each workout data set one-by-one and TrainingPeaks have no plans to offer any type of mass export. They want to keep your data in their analytics package and do not want to let you have data portability. And if you want any type of advanced analytics, you have to pay for their premium package, all to get the same results from other services that offer it for free. While this isn't necessarily a problem with Timex, it is their problem in that they only allow you to have one single data output format and analytics dashboard, but the other problem lies with TrainingPeaks to make getting your data out of their walled garden difficult, much to the dismay of their own users. I have a feeling this partnership came to fruition because Timex has a share in TrainingPeaks and making sure its use grows. Companies need to realize, as end users, we like choice and options to view our data and forcing us to use a single application to view that data is not a wise decision. If I'm paying over $200 for the Timex Run Trainer, the least they could do is pair it with a free year of premium TrainingPeaks access -- I realize there is a "special" Timex-branded dashboard account you can get but it only offers up a few free training plans (all of which are only useful for marathoners or triathletes) and one or two extra analytics options, none of which is any use to me. The upside to getting the branded dashboard is that it removes TP's annoying ads.

If you like using a footpod, just get yourself a Forerunner 210 or a much more expensive watch. For whatever reason, Timex decided that if you use both the GPS and a footpod at the same time, the watch needs to trust the footpod over the GPS for distance and speed data. That's right: it uses the footpod over the GPS...BY DESIGN. That's great if you're running on a treadmill but then, you don't even use the GPS anyway, you're inside. Every other watch will combine the data from both to give even more accurate results or will switch over to the footpod for distance and speed when there is weak or no GPS signal. With the Timex Run Trainer, you get the choice of using the GPS or the footpod, not both. Timex designed it this way on purpose, which is why I've never even synced my footpod with the watch.

The watch has different activity modes for stuff like walking, hiking, running, cross-training, and so on. But the manual doesn't talk about them at all so there's no explanation of why these modes are there, why you can configure them, or if they calculate the data slightly differently. The only reason I can see for them being in the watch is so that when you import the data to TrainingPeaks, it can be automatically color-coded for that particular activity. Other than that, I've found literally no difference in how `run' and `crosstrain' are used or calculated. They could excise this "feature" altogether and use the extra bits to make the backlight time out configurable.

Honestly, most of my complaints 5 months down the road in owning this are almost identical to the ones I had after using it for a week. I'm used to them now, but that doesn't make them any less annoying or boneheaded. If Timex doesn't fix such rather simple issues in their next iteration of a GPS-based watch, they should seriously consider not making them any longer. This is a crowded field and is getting more crowded by the year, and while Timex has only made two GPS watches (three if you count the soon-to-be released Marathon GPS T5K638 which removes HRM functionality), they're getting beaten by everyone else, including the Soleus 1.0 which is the first GPS-based watch from Soleus and pretty much everyone loves it. If Timex is getting beat by someone as small as Soleus, they have little chance of stealing market share from Garmin or people armed with smartphones and Wahoo Bluetooth dongles.


After my first week of using the watch, I hated the mushy, crappy buttons. Well, my mind has changed a little over time, but only a little. I still hate the mushy feedback and the fact that I hit them randomly from time-to-time with the back of my hand, but I've come to enjoy the feel of them. They're huge buttons, that's a definite plus. The mushy action does help prevent accidental presses sometimes but doesn't always succeed, it's a very mixed bag. But this mushiness is a champ when you're slogging through a mud run or heavy rain and the waterproof rubber under those buttons keeps the watch running. Timex gets an A for the idea, B- for effort. They could have rubberized the outside of the buttons and made them 100% waterproof with a really good functional amount of button travel. Maybe in the future. Perhaps they'll poach some of Garmins design engineers to do this since they've done it for a few generations now.

Last time, I thought the backlight timeout was too short and by default, it is. But I recently discovered that if you hold the INDIGLO button down until it beeps three times in succession, the backlight stays on. WIN! On every night run I do, I leave the light on the entire time now. I just wish it mentioned this in the manual. By measure, you need to hold down the INDIGLO button for about 8 seconds before it beeps three times.

I can now say that this thing is certainly water-resistant to 50 meters just like it says. Between a million showers (both in rain and in my bathroom), gallons of sweat, some beer, gobs of mud, and even slogging through saltwater, this thing hasn't quit and died on me from water exposure. Even when I press those mushy buttons covered in mud, they still function and my watch continues to live. Although, a thorough cleaning of the watch after any activity involving something other than water or sweat is highly advised. So far, it's built tougher than I am. The thick plastic face doesn't hurt either, it's extremely well sealed on my watch.

I know the watch is huge but the biggest upside to that is you get huge numbers on that display. During a run, I have my heart rate displayed in the middle on a 3-line display and there's no mistaking or mis-reading the numbers because they're huge. I would say that in a 3-line configuration, the middle data display is approximately one-half inch, absolutely HUGE compared to other watches. Definite plus. This large face translates well to running a 4-line display as well and I use that as my main display during non-running workout sessions. If I could configure it to a 2-line display, I probably would.

Certainly lending to its large size and tough outer plastic face, this thing is built tough. I've slammed it countless times against counter tops, bars, barbells, my kettlebell, and other tough surfaces and the body itself shows little to no signs of wear. Let's just say I think it's built like a plastic tank, tough but by no means indestructible. When I ran the Georgia Spartan Sprint a week ago, my watch face finally fell victim to a massive 400 foot long mud crawl, it's now covered in scratches. The face is still readable but the plastic is no longer shiny and scratch-free, but matted and dull. Granted, I think just about any other watch would have given up the ghost, but the Timex Run Trainer is still working. Now I just hope getting a new screen replacement is easy.

I love, love, love the EAT and DRINK timers because, well, they're super helpful. When I use them, I have them set up for every 15 minutes or so because I know in a 5k race, that will be about the same time we hit the first water/aid station so I can train in a nearly identical atmosphere to an actual race (they're useless in an obstacle course race though unless you have a hydration belt or pack). But I've also used them as alert timers for doing drills such as push-ups or dive bombers during runs, just to kick things up a notch. Really, not much to talk about here since it's just a timer that goes off at an interval you set.

Now that I've used this watch nearly everyday for almost 5 months straight, I've got a considerable amount of experience with it, as you can see. I've used this watch as both my daily to-wear watch and for every exercise I've done since I got it, the only time it has left my wrist was either to charge or after cleaning it from race-related debris. While it's not the most fashion-forward watch, it's not a garish eye sore either. The watch is in a tough field with a ton of choices and for the price, it does everything $400-plus watches do at half the cost, which is a definite plus. But the real question is this: would I ever recommend it to my friends as their first GPS-enabled fitness watch?


I'd just tell them to get a Forerunner 210. Why? Now, I love the fact that I get most of the functionality from Timex's own Global Trainer and Garmin's 400, 600, and 910XT series for under $250USD, but there are drawbacks. It's rather confusing and daunting to use at first and I think that even my technology-savvy programmer friends would find this tough to use. It's built-to-last but that makes it big, bulky, and ugly and ill-fitting. I know for a fact that this thing will last me a year's worth of swimming and mud crawls before it dies unless I do something stupid with it first. INDIGLO could be great, but it's not, it's 20 year old technology that functions like it did 20 years ago. The display could use some design enhancements (ref: Suunto's new Ambit, its display is gorgeous) but it's infinitely more readable than others on the market. Once you get used to TrainingPeaks and how it works, it provides an excellent way to analyze your workout data, just don't expect to use that data in RunKeeper. If this watch were Timex's first foray into the GPS-enabled watch world, I'd say they did a good enough job and have a very stable platform to build on but since this is now their second watch released since 2010, this second generation watch should have been a vast improvement over the Global Trainer rather than acting as an incremental upgrade at a lower cost (albeit, minus much more advanced features as well). If they want to stay in this market, they're going to have to really step up their game to come close to gaining traction.

Right now, I've got my complaints but the Timex Run Trainer serves nearly all of my needs without fail and until something super-ridiculous-amazing comes out to replace it (from any company), I'll keep using it because its function in obstacle course racing is unparalleled in its price range.
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71 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2012
It is with the great sadness I rate this watch with two stars. I really like the watch but...

If you don't care for your cadence then this is a really good watch and in that case I would definitely rate Timex Ironman Run Trainer at 5 stars. For the money it gives so much features that there is no question that it is superior to similarly priced Garmin watches. And if after a while it does not exhibit any issues with battery like my Garmin 405cx did then this will be even greater watch. I found myself constantly comparing Timex Ironman Run Trainer to the Garmin 405cx which is more expensive watch (I bought it for ~ $320 year and half ago) and most of the time the Trainer is on par with Garmin.

But I do care for cadence. And thus I have to use foot pod. Now look carefully. When you attach your foot pod the Timex Ironman Run Trainer AUTOMATICALLY OVERRIDES GPS distance and pace data with that coming from foot pod. I repeat - AUTOMATICALLY OVERRIDES. Which means that you don't really have a GPS watch anymore and the only way you can use GPS data from that point on is by looking at nice trace of your run on Google maps or whatever. But your distance and speed recordings are now no more accurate than would be those measured by any non-GPS watch with a foot pod. My small brain cannot grasp what the big idea is behind this design. Why on the earth someone would decide to override data from accurate equipment with inaccurate data from much less precise device is beyond my understanding. Don't Timex engineers understand that we buy GPS watch not just for looking at a map, but for getting accurate distance and speed measurements?

Now look, I understand that there are times when you would prefer to have foot pod data over that one from GPS. This is when there's no good GPS signal. For example in a gym. Or in the dense forest may be. But you don't have to be an engineer to figure out that the best way to design this would be to either let user to chose which data s/he wants to use or to automatically fall back on foot pod measurements when GPS signal does not produce accurate data. Better yet to use both. That what Garmin does and this really makes sense!

This was really huge disappointment for me since cadence is important for me. It is like tachometer in your car. If you don't drive stick then you don't care. But if you do then you cannot live without the tach.

I have a hope that Timex fixes this in a future firmware upgrade. After all if the equipment can use two channels of data and chose which one to record and to show then this choice most likely is controlled by software, not hardware. Garmin had similar problem some time ago and they fixed it with firmware upgrade. I would be very interested to see what Timex engineers are going to do about this huge design flaw.

If Timex fixes it in near future I would be more than happy to get back and give this watch a five stars rating. But until then I have to put 2 stars only.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2014
Is there an option for zero stars? STOPPED WORKING AFTER FEWER THAN 20 WORKOUTS!!! All I ever used it for was tracking my distance/pace with the GPS on runs averaging 10 miles each. When the GPS stopped working, the company refused to allow me to return it. They offered to repair it for free through their website's warranty system. I mailed my watch in and a few weeks later the company mailed me a brand new watch back with a bill for the cost of the new watch included in the box. No correspondence indicating what happened to the broken watch, no compensation for the value of the old watch, and they seem to think they are going to force me to buy a new watch without even contacting me first -- haha! Will not purchase Timex again.

This watch was a pain to set up. To get the time and all features working properly you need to connect it to a computer and go to the company's website and register an account.

The buttons are counter intuitive and a couple times I hit the wrong button and stopped my clock or turned off the GPS by accident, ruining my workout.

The GPS took on average over five minutes to connect and begin working, when it worked at all.

Edit update: After posting this review, I was contacted by Timex customer service who offered to send me a new model watch in the mail. Six weeks later, the new watch never arrived and Timex is ignoring my emails asking for a status update. Will not do business with this company again!
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Joe, please contact me at regarding the service procedures of your watch and how it (or the replacement) performs for you. We want you to be happy with your Timex product. Thank you, Angelina
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2011
I've been in the market for one of these GPS watches in an effort to better keep track of mileage and pace for my half marathon training for a while. I was deciding between this and a few Garmin models, but ultimately chose this due to the price.

Initial thoughts upon opening:
- The watch seemed a little big. I have small wrists, but this watch still seems to fit securely and comfortably. It looks big on my wrist, but it's comfortable and doesn't distract me while training.
- The quick start guide isn't awesome by any means. But if you are buying items off Amazon, I'm assuming you can do a quick google search to find the full user's manual. That will also lead you to the computer software needed to upload data to the computer/internet.
- The packaging is amazingly easy to open - you don't have to fight with scissors cutting the plastic housing.

Configuration and Usage:
- I downloaded the software and plugged the watch into my computer for the initial charging. The software is extremely easy to use to configure the watch. You can customize displays, set parameters, and input user data (height, weight).
- Note: On a typical stopwatch (or at least the wrist watches I've previously used just for keeping time), the start button is on the upper right and the stop is on the upper left. These buttons are switched on this watch and I've found myself pressing the wrong button when I'm stopped, waiting for traffic. There is an autopause feature on this watch that works very well - it automatically pauses when my pace gets below my selected pace.
- Satellite acquisition is fairly quick. Initially took 30 seconds to lock on. Now it takes less than 5 in most cases (sometimes longer if I'm running at a location that's further away from my previous run)
- The GPS is spot on. Running in the local county park Rail Trail with miles marked, the watch switched to 8 miles EXACTLY at the 8 mile post. I was thoroughly impressed.
- I upload my run data after every run. I haven't figured out if there is a way to delete previous workouts, but each time run data is upload, it sends EVERY workout to the computer and as you accumulate workouts, it takes longer to transfer the data. Luckily, it's easy enough to plug it in, walk away for a snack and come back
- Battery life is adequate. I turn the GPS on before a run and turn it off immediately after. I've had the watch for a little over two weeks and I've charged it twice (initially and one recharge) using it to run 11 times in those two weeks (a total of 52 miles at 7:37 pace).
- The display is very easy to see during the day. The Indiglo backlight is easy to see as long as it's DARK outside. I've had a few runs at dusk and I have had trouble seeing the display until it got a little darker outside.

Other thoughts:
- The charging/data transfer clip seems well constructed and really holds onto the watch. It's easy to attach and won't come loose unless you unclip it.
- The training peaks software gives great data. It shows elevation and maps your run route. You can place your run data on a calendar and add notes.
- A wall charger would have been nice to include in this packaging. I use a laptop which goes to "sleep" after inactivity, which shuts off power to the USB ports. My own fault for setting it up this way, but it's the only way to charge the watch.
- The latest software update is extremely easy to put onto the watch.
- I didn't purchase this from Amazon. I purchased from my local running specialty store where I received a 15% discount. With the 50 dollar mail in rebate, my total cost was right around 120 dollars. And for that price, this watch has met and exceeded my expectations! I would recommend this to anyone looking for GPS watch to help with their run training.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2012
I was ready to pronounce this the king of gps running watches until I found out that it completely erases all of your workouts and you have to reset all youre prefences when it dies. On a normal watch this wouldn't be as much of a problem but on a watch that dies after 3-4 hours with gps on it is a HUGE problem. I've already lost 10 + workouts in 2 months and despite my recent best efforts to download after every workout I just lost another 2 because the buttons DO NOT lock and the GPS turns on(runs battery down fast!) easily by accidental touches. You can forget about putting it in a workout bag. The only positive to this watch is it locks onto the gps faster and has smoother pacing number than any garmin i've seen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2014
So there are a ton of reviews stating this watch arrived "dead on arrival" or will not charge. I actually bought my watch through a non-amazon vendor and customer service quickly told me how to fix issue. My watch was sent in a sleep state (as I'm assuming many of the DOA's). To FIX you will need to plug in watch as described, then hold the outside 4 corner buttons for 10 seconds, then release. The screen will say loading, charge for the 4 hours and good to go. I don't have a lot of miles on it for a full review but so far so good.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2012
I purchased the run trainer two months ago and have since logged a couple hundred miles. I have several gripes. When downloading training sessions you have to download all the sessions everytime. Does not give you an option to select. Start the download and go have a cup of coffee. The downloaded instruction manual states workouts cannot be deleted but will be overwritten when saving new workouts. (The instructions contained with the watch are worthless.) If that is so why do I keep getting a message that my watch is full and delete workouts? Now that I am maxed out it will save the workouts but Training Peaks will not map and graph the new saved workouts.
Training Peaks is another issue. The advertisements wanting you to join are covering part of the information you have downloaded. If it is intended to be freeware Timex should review and do a little better job of quality control or change vendors.
Just a little disgusted and am contemplating returning my purchase.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2012
I bought this when my Garmin 205 took a dump. I loved my Garmin, so I was a bit apprehensive when I made the jump. I chose the Run Trainer because I liked the overall look of it and I liked that functioned more like a standard wrist watch compared to the 205 (although both are about the same size). Setting it up was a little more involved than with the Garmin, but nothing a quick online search couldn't clear up. The Run Trainer uses Training Peaks for all the online training goodies, and I had trouble upgrading my standard Training Peaks account to the Run Trainer version which has more features. A couple of emails to support and it was cleared up fairly easily.

Now that I've had the watch for a while (about 5 months) I'd have to say that I prefer it over my old Garmin. I really like how the watch functions much like an old school stop watch, with the GPS functioning as an additional tool. The custom screens are pretty easy to set up, and for me, the laps and split functions are much more intuitive than with my old Garmin. The custom eat and drink alarms are really handy for long runs. Battery life is good--I ran a 20 miler starting at half batt and had some juice to spare. I've seen some concerns with GPS accuracy, but I've found mileage to be pretty similar (if not the same) to mileage on known routes or compared with my old Garmin.

Training Peaks is OK to play with the data, but I think I still like Garmin's site a little better. The Garmin site just seems simpler and a little more streamlined to me. This is really my only knock against the Run Trainer.

I was apprehensive about leaving my trusty Garmin behind, but in the end I'm happy that I did. This is a great watch for high-mileage training, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to accurately track their training and performance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2011
I love this training watch. The GPS is right on, locates the satellites quickly and stays locked on. Easy to use buttons, and functions. Very easy to see and read the display in all conditions. Battery life so far has been outstanding. The watch is big, but not too big I wear it all the time as an everyday watch. I have always been a fan of Timex Ironman watches and this one does not disappoint.
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