GPS Watches For Swimmers and Triathletes
Swimmers and triathletes will be disappointed to know that GPS watches can not use their GPS functions in the water. Almost all GPS watches are water resistant and will function in water, but are not designed specifically to be used for water sports.
The new Garmin 310 XT is fully waterproof as is the Polar FT60, RS300X and RS800CX. The Garmin 305, 405 and 405CX are only water resistant (IPX7) . This means that the latter can be submersed in 1 metre of water from no more than 30 minutes. If you do want to risk it, you'd probably get away with it, since most sports watches are quite robust these days. If you do decide to use your GPS watch in the water, please note that the GPS features will be ineffective. Most heart rate monitors do not function in water either, so swimmers are unfortunately out of luck on both accounts.
But there is one simple tip that some claim to have been used with success. By placing your watch (or GPS pod) inside a swim cap so it's above the waterline, you avoid the thrashing of your wrist through the water and get an unobstructed line to the satellite signals.
Triathletes do have the option to make use of GPS once they have transitioned from the water to the bike or run. Many popular GPS watches support a bike mount, which makes them the perfect training and performance tool for multi-sport athletes. GPS watches; like the Garmin Forerunner and Polar RS800CX watches also support a bike cadence device which offers you the choice of calculating speed and distance by measuring your bike wheel rotations, with or without the use of GPS. Triathletes who own the Garmin Forerunner or Polar RS800CX watches could even opt not to use the GPS at all and instead use a bike cadence device and a foot pod device on the bike and run leg of their event.
- GPS WATCHES | HEART RATE MONITORS