I’m not really in the business of doing product evaluations. I just don’t have the patience that reviewers like DC Rainmaker appears to posses. These guys are so thorough it almost makes me sick.
It turns out that I should have waited for their review of the Fenix 2 to make it to the web. At the time (pre March 20), I was considering the Suunto Ambit 2 and the Garmin Fenix 2. The Fenix 2 won because like the Suunto, the claim was it would operate for 50 hrs of battery life and the watches have a comparable feature set. I don’t often run for 50 hrs, but most watches will barely get you 8 hours, and from time to time, I will be out running for 8 hours or more. The second reason I picked the Fenix over the Suunto was because I already owned a Garmin HRM that is compatible with my very nice Polar strap (no chaffing).
When I first started running, I only focused on running pace. That after all, is a measure of how fast you are going, and the faster the better right? Well not in all cases. Heart rate tells you much more. The more you can relate to how hard you are working your heart, and how quickly your RHR recovers, the better off you are. You don’t want to be running 125 km at 90% HR. Well if you physically could sustain that, I guess there is nothing wrong with that. But many folks fatigue long before 125 km is reached if that is how hard they are pushing; just sayin’.
Anyway, I am here in Grande Cache getting ready for the big day. I am have been reviewing my time goals, my fueling plan, and last but not least, my equipment readiness. Since owning the Fenix 2, I have had some serious trouble with it. At Seaton it froze and failed to record the whole race. Similarily at Limberlost, I have a full summary, but an apparent lack of data points. Suffice it to say I wasn’t coming to Grande Cache with just one device. Good foresight (or just paying attention to the signs).
As I ranted earlier, I bought the Fenix 2 on the assumption that I could use the HRM and GPS for 50 hours of battery life. You’d think you could safely make the assumption seeing as how you’d be hard pressed to find anything that mentions otherwise in the literature that Garmin offers. In fact, in the little ditty that they have on Ultratrac mode, the method by which you supposedly attain the 50 hours of operation, there is no mention that the ANT+ sensor is disabled.
So what is the significance here? ANT+ is the protocol that the Fenix 2 uses to have nice polite conversations with your HRM.
Fenix 2: “That is 90 bpm, thank you.”
HRM: “You’re welcome. Oh by the by, I have another update for you, add 10 more bpm. It appears that he may be running!”
Fenix 2: “Copy”
You can imagine my surprise. The manual only tells you have the truth. Please prove me wrong and find the note that informs you that Ultratrac disables ANT+. Manual is found here.
So this is the straw that broke the camels back. I will hang up the Garmin and I will be going back to the Polar which was able to record my GPS points for 21 hours of the nearly 23 hours I was out there. To add, it was also capable of recording my heart rate for the entire race.
- Canadian Death Race – 125 km – nearly 23 hours
Failures in track recording