There are No Longer Excuses: MySuunto Ambit 2 Review

Suunto Ambit2s

Suunto Ambit2s

Are you in a training rut? Have you ever wondered how to effectively improved your workouts? One of the training mantras I shall never forget was told to me by Coach Michelle Estuar and I quote “Make every workout count. You should have a goal, each time you train”. That stuck to my head ever since. Even in leisurely runs I make it a point to work on my form, my leg turn over, my posture, my arm swing. Even more on training days in prepping for races.

Then another Coach Jedi master moment for me as I imagine Coach Ben Alacar say “Get out for your comfort zone, you need to push! push! push!” on the value of INTENSITY in your training.

Have you seen me personally? I actually look like the guy in charge of the buffet and far from a runner, but somehow over the years being with runners, running multisport and fitness coaches.. I am just immersed in the world of running,  people, specially those new to running ask me questions. One of the questions Im often asked is “How does one train to improve on running?”

Ill be discussing this in detail in another blog, but for now the general outline would be something like this.

I. Goal Setting – what are you short, medium, long term goals, speed? endurance? weight loss? find my soulmate in running?all of the above? what do you prioritize?

II. Training plan – Ensure that you have a written training plan and a LOG, logging is a great way of tracking your workouts and seeing your development.

III. Nutrition plan – Nagsalita na ang payat. So mamatay na ang nagtanong. Ok so im not the sexiest looking dude with authority to say this. But its not rocket science to figure out that that nutrition plays a big but neglected role in training. Im guilty of this (Clearly!), but I have to watch what I eat. It doesnt mean that if you can burn 3,000kcal a workout, you can binge on downing 5,000kcal of food. It does help to

III. Training & Race Day

A. Form

B. Base fitness training

C. Build

D. Taper

E. Race Day

F. Recovery

Id stop there.

So how does the Suunto Ambit 2S come in all of these? Pretty much everything! With the Suunto Ambit 2S I can now monitor my training and workout in detail. Monitoring your workouts, logging and tracking them, helps you achieve your race and fitness goals. You get to check if are able to stick to your training plan, if youre speed, stamina, strength is improving.

The new Ambit2 S is a light and sleek GPS watch for multisport athletes that packs all the features needed for cycling, running, swimming and multisport training. The GPS provides accurate pace, route navigation and tracking, while the heart rate monitor lets you train within your ideal zone.

Cycling: The new Suunto Ambit2 S will support power meters (ANT+) and offers various power measurement values and numerous options for in-depth analysis.

Swimming: The Ambit2 S also offers comprehensive swimming functionality, including pace and distance, automatic intervals, stroke rate and swimming time related to different pool lengths. The Ambit2 S will also learn to recognize your swimming style, which makes performance analysis easier.

Running: Runners benefit from highly accurate pace and distance thanks to FusedSpeed™, the Ambit’s accelerometer integrated GPS, as well as interval timer and autolaps for training.

Multisport Training: Users can switch between sports, making the Suunto Ambit2 S ideal for recording your multisport training or race.

Granted you have already set your Goal, be it a run, climb, swim, bike or for multi-sport.  First off is to set your current fitness benchmark. Say if your goal is to run a full marathon, you need a current benchmark. You dont need to test yourself by running 42km. You can run a simulated test to guage your expected 42km run.

Yasso 800s

The Yasso 800s is one of the known fitness guages in runs and help predict your race performance. Run 800 meters at your comfortable pace (lsd pace, 10km beyond pace) and do a 400 meter recovery jog. Repeat 9 times. So the Yasso 800s is a 10x 800 meters with 400meters (distance based, not timed based) jog, recovery run/walk in between. Take the average of the 800Meter runs and that would be the guage of how fast you will be able to run your 42km but in hours and minutes instead of minutes abd seconds.

In using the Suunto Ambit 2S, wear your heart rate monitor chest strap and watch, you just click on the menu, CHOOSE SPORT, which is RUNNING, its going to search for your heartrate, then search for GPS signal. Press start and you are good to go! Make sure that you press on LAP per every 800m and recovery interval to identify your pace later.

Below is a video I made on how easy it is to use this.

MULTI-SPORT / TRIATHLON

Personally for me, my goal will be to Race White Rock Triathlon on October 12 which is a roughly a 2km swim, 90km bike, and 21km run. I was so excited to use Suunto Ambit 2, so I did a sprint distance of 750m swim, 20km bike and a 5km run.

Stupid me, I wasnt able to depress the LAP button long enough to CHANGE SPORT. I should have watched this video first.

DONE WITH YOUR WORKOUT? UPLOAD IT IN YOUR COMPUTER AND TRACK YOUR WORKOUT

Tracking your workouts and training are important to gauge your development, and it all gets exciting once you plug-in your Suunto Ambit 2 to your computer.  Connecting the Ambit2 is simple as you clamp the data cable provided to watch, and connect it to your computer via any USB port.

Attaching the data cable to your Suunto Ambit2

Attaching the data cable to your Suunto Ambit2

Its best to have online connection, your system will then automatically search and install the Moveslink2 software via the internet. It will update the Moveslink software, and ask you to open a Movescount account. Fill in your personal bio data. If you have any recorded workouts saved in your watch it will automatically transfer the data and upload it to Movescount.

Moveslink interface when you connect the Suunto Ambit 2 to your computer

Moveslink interface when you connect the Suunto Ambit 2 to your computer

Lets go check out my workouts via Movescount. With the screenshot of the Movescount below. The interface is simply. With the initial menu flashed on screen as pictured. You have your summary of workouts. In some training plans, like in multi sport training, training plans in sprint, olympic, half, of full ironman distances are specified in number of hours duration and distance covered per week; which is what the movescount interface immediately shows. You have your DURATION, DISTANCE and CALORIES. Thats why its best to always don on your HEART RATE strap to monitor your HEART RATE to determine and level of intensity in your workouts.

For the DISTANCE and DURATION summaries. Each sport that you engage in is recorded.

MovesCount interface

MovesCount interface

So checking each sport in detail. Lets check out a sample run. Below is the MOVESCOUNT SCOREBOARD for a specific workout, in this case a RUN. One thing I like about the Suunto Ambit 2 during my run is that while running I look into my watch and the biggest display set is my pace per KM. As you know in running, in race plan strategies you get to monitor your run splits in units of pace or in this case, minutes per Km. So in terms of training and fitness you can guage that, at your current fitness level, this is how it feels to run a 5minute per km or a 10minute per km pace where in your intensity in via heart rate BPM is also recorded.

Lets examine my workout. Immediately my average pace is displayed. Not really proud of it, but hey we got to start somewhere. In this case Im currently at 9 minutes 55 seconds per KM for a 3km run. Here is where it gets interesting. Monitoring your training intensity. If you check out training plans provided to you (sourced by your coach or programs in the internet) .. TRAINING INTENSITY is provided via TRAINING ZONE. These are levels in minutes per training zone. You have Easy, Moderate, Hard, Very Hard, Max. So what does this say about my training? I lack in running fitness because it takes so much effort for me to run at a 9’55 min/km pace, 17minutes going hard and 7 minutes very hard at below average speed.  But then again thats my current running fitness. Now I know where to improve on. (someone is shouting weightloss in the backgound)

Another great detail here to consider is VO2 Max. Fitness can be measured by the volume of oxygen you can consume while exercising at your maximum capacity. VO2max is the maximum amount of oxygen in millilitres, one can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight. Those who are fit have higher VO2max values and can exercise more intensely than those who are not as well conditioned.  For running, at my age, the average is 40low end to 60hi-end ml/kg/min. My result in this workout gave me a 31ml/kg/min score which again tells me. In a sea of 40plus year old runners, Im at the low end, even below end of the spectrum (bell curve). In tagalog. Chikka pace lang sila, ikaw suka pace na.  Not sure kung patawa ito. But it is recommending that for my 3Km run 10hours daw recovery time ko grrr!

Run Summary

Run Summary

What is the VO2 max of elite athletes? (source: runningforfitness.org)
Here is a sample of measured VO2 max for selected athletes.

Athlete Event VO2 Max
Bjorn Daehlie Cross country skier 90.0
Miguel Indurain Cyclist (winner of Tour de France) 88.0
John Ngugi 5 times world cross country champ 85.0
Dave Bedford 10km World Record holder 85.0
Steve Prefontaine 1 mile in 3:54.6 84.4
Lance Armstrong Cyclist (winner of Tour de France) 84.0
Joan Benoit Marathon runner (2:24:52) 78.6
Bill Rodgers Marathon runner (2:09:27) 78.5

Sebastian Coe Middle distance (1 mile WR) 77.0
Grete Waitz Marathon runner (WR 1980) 73.0
Frank Shorter Marathon runner 71.0
Derek Clayton Marathon runner (WR 1969) 69.7

Shet! ang layo ng 31ml/kg/min ko!

By checking out the MAP below, whats interesting is that there are points in RED in the map, where it shows where your intensity increased in our runs. So kung walang red, hindi ka intense! How I wish though that the ZOOM could be better down to 100meters above earth.  So good news to wives they can now check their husbands training kung talagang nag train or nasa mot mot lang ang training, may GPS na at intensity na. Matakot ka na pa nasa Mariposa naka checkin (tanga na pag nag Foursquare pa) at puro Red intensity ang heart rate.

Map of my run. Route indicated, clearly far from Mariposa or Sogo

Map of my run. Route indicated, clearly far from Mariposa or Sogo. Red Orange indicated shows intensity zones where I ran hardest.

If you wanna get all obsessive compulsive on your runs,  there is a detailed graph there. So even if youre not as fit as me, you can get a feel for what it feels for your training to monitored like an elite Russian or China Athlete whose whole life is dedicated to training. Each point in the graph details your performance.

Get that elite athlete feel and get precise data in each point of your workout.

Get that elite athlete feel and get precise data in each point of your workout.

Now not only can your wives check out where you have been spending time and spending all your energy, but also your coach. This is how Coach Andy Leuterio monitors his students improvement and training in triathlon. I was able to get a brief interview of him during the media launch of Suunto Ambit 2.

SWIMMING

Finally! a watch that I can use in Swimming. The other watches Ive tried like the Polar RCX would need a GPS pod and unfortunately that one is not waterproof, so I couldnt use that in the swim. I tested the Suunto Both in INDOOR SWIMMING mode and OUTDOOR SWIMMING. I wouldnt recommend the outdoor swimming mode if youre just outdoors in a pool, the readings will get quite erratic, if you need to record your workout in an outdoor pool make sure you swim your next lap on the other lane so GPS tracking is better. The OUTDOOR SWIMMING mode is best used in linear if not truly outdoors, by that meaning, in open water beach or lake. The INDOOR SWIMMING is accurate, though Ive only used the freestyle. I havent TAUGHT other SWIM STYLES yet. But will definitely have to soon. I didnt bother to track my heart rate on the swim anymore. The good thing about the moves count data with the swim is that it shows the rate of strokes per minute. Sounds kinky but effective.

Your stroke rate can be measured in your swim along with your 100m pace

Your stroke rate can be measured in your swim along with your 100m pace

You can check more on the Swimming feature of Suunto Ambit 2 in this video.

CYCLING

I tested the cycling feature on my Roadbike and rode just around the village. The watch can actually sync on compatible cycling pod devices that measures cadence/wattage and include that in your stats as well. I just used the GPS function and heart rate. Based on the graphs, I didnt really ride hard, it was difficult to ride hard due to vehicular and pedestrian traffic in our village. Cant wait to ride  Bugarin, Jala Jala with my new Suunto Ambit 2.

Training Statistics and Map is a charm. Check varying degrees of intensity as well at any point in your ride.

Training Statistics and Map is a charm. Check varying degrees of intensity as well at any point in your ride.

You can check more on the Cycling feature of Suunto Ambit 2 in this video.

TRAIL RUNNING, CLIMBING and OUTDOORS

I was also able to catch Coach Ige Lopez who was able to test the Suunto Ambit on TNF 100. Trail Running 100 kms has its demands and he said that the Suunto Ambit totally delivered. Even in areas where there are trees and canopies, or if you chance yourself running through tunnels, the GPS can track and assume tracking in blind areas. Suunto Ambit 2′s has  outdoor functions such as route navigation, barometric information, altimeter with FusedAltiTM, 3D compass and other outdoor specific features.  Packed in a glass fiber reinforced casing with a battery life of up to 50 hours in GPS mode, the Ambit2 is the ultimate watch for serious adventurers, explorers and multisport athletes.

Here is Coach Ige Lopez take on the Suunto Ambit 2

Functions aside, and fashion sense in. Wearing the Suunto Ambit 2 is stylish. Its sleek design is classy. If you you opt for a Suunto Ambit 2 S you pictured below you can really radiate your style. You can wear a suit or barong, don your Suunto Ambit 2 and still look fine along with the event and occassion. Thats actually one of my dilemnas. I get to host events.I have no problems with sporting events but its the formal corporate events that Im concerned with, in which for some strange reason I would still need a stop watch or GPS functions at times. The Suunto Ambit 2 is just mighty fine.

Finally a multisport sportswatch thats Sleek Stylish ans Sexy

Finally a multisport sportswatch thats Sleek Stylish ans Sexy..Suunto Ambit 2

 

(L-R) Suunto Brand Ambassador, MultiSport Coach  Coach Andy Leuterio, Time Depot's Mascy Pineda,  Suunto Brand Ambassador and Elite triathlete, ultramarathoner Kesha Fule, Suunto Brand Ambassador Multisport Coach, Adventure multisport / elite trail runner Miguel Lopez

(L-R) Suunto Brand Ambassador, MultiSport Coach Coach Andy Leuterio, Time Depot’s Mascy Pineda, Suunto Brand Ambassador and Elite triathlete, ultramarathoner Kesha Fule, Suunto Brand Ambassador Multisport Coach, Adventure multisport / elite trail runner Miguel Lopez

 

This calls for a definite part2, and I guess in each fitness journey blog of mine, im gonna have to show my workouts for my accountability to ensure that I stick to my training and workout plans. I still havent tapped on my swimming or my role as a swim coach; and my cycling as well.

Do await my fitness journey blog on how a fat guy like me can hopefully make through White Rock Triathlon with my Suunto Ambit 2 in tow! There are definitely No Excuses! Train on! Rock the Road!

You can check out the Suunto Ambit 2 on a Time Depot nearest you:
Time Depot – SM City Masinag
UGF 116 SM City Masinag, Antipolo City
Phone: (02)655-6172
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – Shangri-la Plaza
Level 5 Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City
Phone: (02)477-3877
Mall Hours: 11:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – Robinsons Place Manila
Level 2, Rob. Place, Manila
Phone: (02)353-8079
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Manila
2/F SM City Manila
Phone: (02)353-8558
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City San Lazaro
UGF 178 SM City San Lazaro, Manila
Phone: (02)554-0452
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – Lucky Chinatown Mall
2/F Lucky Chinatown Mall, Binondo Manila
Phone: (02)621-1328
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – Power Plant Mall
3/F Rockwell, Makati City
Phone: (02)659-6723
Mall Hours: 11:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – Festival SuperMall
Level 2 Festival SuperMall, Muntinlupa City
Phone: (02)556-3903
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM Mall of Asia
2/F Entertainment Mall, Pasay City
Phone: (02)556-0652
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 10:00PM

Time Depot – Eastwood Citywalk2
2/F Eastwood Citywalk2, Quezon City
Phone: (02)687-7838
Mall Hours: 12:00PM to 11:00PM

Time Depot – Robinsons Galleria
Level 3, Rob. Galleria, Quezon City
Phone: (02)477-4224
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Fairview
LG/F SM City Fairview, Quezon City
Phone: (02)355-7089
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Novaliches
G/F SM Ciy Novaliches, Quezon City
Phone: (02)442-6263
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – The Block
4/F North Edsa, Quezon City
Phone: (02)442-0069
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Baguio
3/F SM City Baguio
Phone: (074)424-3660
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Marilao
2/F SM City Marilao
Phone: (044) 815-6754
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Pampanga
G/F SM City Pampanga
Phone: (045)455-3318
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – MarqueeMall
2/F MarqueeMall, Angeles City
Phone: (045)304-0731
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Rosales
G/F SM City Rosales, Pangasinan
Phone: (075)653-3193
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – Harbor Point Mall
2/F Harbor Point Mall, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Phone: (047) 250-2824
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Tarlac
UG/F SM City Tarlac
Phone: (045)606-0161
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Batangas
2/F SM City Batangas
Phone: (043)702-6393
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Dasmariñas
UG/F SM City Dasmariñas, Cavite
Phone: (046)484-8623
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Calamba
2/F SM City Calamba, Laguna
Phone: (049)530-0115
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Naga
Level 2, SM City Naga
Phone: (054)871-0038
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – Robinson Palawan
Level 2, Rob. Place, Palawan
Phone: (0923)746-9707
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Bacolod
2/F East Bridgeway, Bacolod City
Phone: (034)468-0127
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – Ayala North Point, Bacolod
Level 2, Ayala North Point, Bacolod City
Phone: (034)707-1022
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Cebu
2/L SM Northwing, Cebu City
Phone: (032)238-9565
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – Ayala Center Cebu
Level 3 Active Zone, Cebu City
Phone: (032) 520-6218
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – Robinsons Cagayan De Oro
Level 1, Rob Big R, Cagayan De Oro City
Phone: (088)852-1376

Time Depot – Centrio Cagayan de Oro
Level 2, Centrio Cagayan de Oro City
Phone: (088)323-2719
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – Centrio Cagayan de Oro
Level 2, Centrio Cagayan de Oro City
Phone: (088)323-2719
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – Abreeza Mall
2/F Abreeza Mall, Davao City
Phone: (082)321-9879
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – SM City Davao
G/F SM City Davao
Phone: (082)282-2642
Mall Hours: 10:00AM to 9:00PM

Time Depot – Robinsons Place Gensan
Level 1, Rob Place, General Santos City
Phone: (083)554-2256
Mall Hours: 9:30AM to 8:00PM

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4 thoughts on “There are No Longer Excuses: MySuunto Ambit 2 Review

  1. Nice review, pretty sure this brand will be popular amongst runners. On another note, don’t dwell to much on your oxygen intake (your a swimmer and runner and biker!) your oxygen intake is higher than your average sedentary human (superior in fact! no matter how thin and sexy they are) so your a cut above the rest. Oxygen places a great role in fat burning as well, that’s why proper breathing is important for us athletes wanting to cut around the corners (of our body) hehe. Proper breathing as well supplies enough oxygen when performing getting the body to function at optimum efficiency… (and we all know optimum efficiency is something ‘we’ guys need when running) But you probably know these thing already… just pointing out a lot of runners out there take advantage of oxygen and dismiss proper breathing techniques which can actually make there body stronger. hehe

    • thanks for the info theresa! Great info on breathing technique. Na aliw lang ako kasi for the longest time i dont know my VO2 max. Im already happy though with my HRM and Rate of Percieved exertion (free no equipment needed measure)! Wish me luck on my fitness journey that I make it to White rock!

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