I never used to be overly interested in technology for running.  An an exercise physiologist, I had spent so many years working with heart rate monitors (HRM), that to use them on my own time was not interesting to me.  Also, many experienced runners are very good at estimating their heart rates based upon feeling.  So, initially at least, I was happy to get by without the technology.  Then I gave the first Suunto Ambit a try, and I was converted.

Using a HRM did give me a useful target and additional focus during my tough hill sessions and long distance runs in undulating terrain.  On flatter ground it was easier to see my fitness improving over fast 10-ks.  After the runs, the ability to check the route on mapping added an extra string to the route planning bow.  The Ambit is so much more than an HRM.  I was able to check breathing rate, skin temperature, altitude, and the heart rate coinciding with those, and that actually got me excited about the technology, in a geeky sort of way.  The GPS for navigation has gotten me out of trouble too, has helped with race navigation, and even helped me win a race.  Other runners were standing around scrutinising their handheld devices, and I just ran on by, glancing at the Ambit to see when I had a turn coming up.  The battery life can be over 50 hours, if recording on the optimal settings, and that has been tested by myself and others in the world's highest altitude ultra: La Ultra, The High.  In summary, the Suunto Ambit is the best single piece of technology I have ever used in my running, it has helped me to win a race, and the information recorded has helped log my fitness gains in training in the build-up to big races.  I love it.



In addition to the Ambit, I also use the Suunto Core. The Core is a superb watch, with an altimeter, barometer, compass and storm warning.  I wear it for general use and during longer expeditions, when I am not carrying a solar charger for the Ambit (the Ambit will last weeks without a recharge though, if not continuously using the recording or navigation functions).










































Thanks to Katy Withers, Matt Green and Ellie West for taking the photographs during the 2012 edition of La Ultra The High.  The other athlete pictured with me is Jup Brown.



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