Suunto Spartan Sport WHR brings the usual effective GPS and heart rate monitoring without the chest strap. It uses a wrist heart rate monitor using optical sensors. I find it a lot more comfortable without the chest strap because the chest tends to expand during uphill climbs on trails and mountains.
Suunto Spartan Sport WHR
Heart rate monitors is a great way to assess when you would push or pull your effort. It can help determine your progress when it comes to training. When you lack training, your heart beat shoots up immediately because it’s not used to the effort. The more you train, the better you get at managing your heart rate and the faster you recover. The same goes at managing your efforts during the race, if you push yourself to much, chances are you’re gonna bonk and would be harder to grab your second wind. On a bigger picture, training with HR monitors can also gauge your overall fitness level as your workouts and efforts are measured more accurately.
Me vs Heart Rate Monitors
I train with heart rates regularly and is key in my races especially when I went on with my marathons, it really helped me manage the efforts. When I switched to trails, there were times I’d use a heart rate and there where times I didn’t. The chest strap felt uncomfortable especially as my chest expands during climbs. The lung power is on overdrive on the climbs so it tends to expand. I went with feel especially since trail paces are slower than road races. Still, I was looking at the advantage of seeing if I can push it further. It still a lot better to wear heart rate monitors as it can really be advantage in managing your pace.
I’m a Suunto Boy
When Suunto came out with Suunto Spartan Sport WHR, I knew that this was the one product I wanted. I then had a chance to review it. I’ve been a Suunto user since 2013 and never have used a different brand since then. I started with the Suunto Ambit 2 Sport, which uses Ant+ and I still uses it with my bike since it’s cadence sensor is Ant+. I switched for Suunto Ambit 3 Sports, which uses Bluetooth technology for better connectivity with mobile apps. I also got to review Suunto Spartan Ultra and Spartan Sport, which is a big upgrade for Suunto using colored interface and more activity monitors. Now, the Suunto Spartan Sport WHR is in Review.
Reasons I love Suunto
- GPS detection is fast. It takes only a few seconds to detect GPS and you’re good to go.
- Easy to customize views and setting. Suunto measures a lot of metrics and you can customize your views. My key metrics are distance, average lap pace, duration, cadence, heart rate and altitude. With several windows, I get to mix it up.
- Lap summary – Included in the Suunto views is a lap summary with distance, pace and cadence.
- Cadence – Suunto can measure your cadence without a footpod using arms sways. It can even measure your pace when you’re on the threadmill without GPS using your cadence.
- Battery Life – It’s longer than the average GPS watch. Battery life can last up to 12 hours in training mode. Suunto Spartan Sport also has a power save option to extend the battery life.
- Navigation – Suunto has a track back feature you can use when you get lost. You can also save maps using GPX file, which you can use to guide you on the trail.
- Everyday watch – It can be worn everyday and on all occasions.
- Movescount App and Video Recap of your workout – Moverscount gives you all the metrics you need and it also has a video recap of your route using the movescount app.
Suunto Spartan Sport WHR In Review
I used Suunto Spartan Sport for the first time at Salomon XTrail Pilipinas 2017 12K race. Since I haven’t used Heart Rate Monitors for quite some time, it was on a getting to know phase back again at the start of the race. With a bit warmer weather and a fast start, my heart rate went up real fast entering the trail head. It took me time to recover as the trails went immediately uphill on really muddy dragging terrain. By the midpoint of the race, I was back in control of my pace and effort. It took me time to get used to. Salomon Xtrail Pilipinas is always a tough race and I guess I pushed myself just right for this one.
The next race at Color Manila Challenge, I was on a relaxed pace but the rolling terrain at Bayani Road was a real challenge. While it was a fun run, I played with my pace something running on the climbs to test how fast I can recover and it really helped that I can check my heart rate level with the Suunto Spartan Sport WHR. Compared to a week ago, I was now better at managing my heart rate in a race and that’s because I’m starting to relearn proper pacing in a race.
The following week I was at the Double Terrain Challenge. I’m in a much better condition, which makes managing my heart rate levels better. Even on a wet and wild condition, I was able to breeze through the flat and downhills before going on a steady pace on the river trek and the climb. End result, I had a really good time despite the wild conditions – muddy trails, slippery rock surfaces, steep climbs on wet trails and a lot more.
That’s 3 different races and there’s a big shift in performance with just proper heart rate monitoring with the Suunto Spartan Sport WHR. I guess the only drawback I see is that it consumes more battery with the wrist heart rate monitor compared to other Spartan Models. That can be remedied by going on power saving mode.
Suunto Spartan Sport WHR can also be used as a regular day to day watch and can be an activity monitor that tracks your steps and Heart Rate. I really like the heart rate monitoring part as you can see how your body reacts on your activities like sleeping, climbing a flight of stairs, drinking a cup of coffee and others. It’s gonna help you understand your heart rate levels better.
Suunto Spartan Sport WHR iis definitely something I need to train and race more efficiently. It’s definitely on my to buy list especially when I eventually retire my Suunto Ambit 3 Sport