Runners tired of licking their heart-rate-monitor straps and girding them to their chests before every run will finally be freed from that ritual with TomTom’s new Runner Cardio and Multisport Cardio GPS watches. That’s because the latest version of the Amsterdam-based company’s fitness GPS watches now feature built-in optical heart rate monitoring technology from Mio. Using a light on the back of the watch, the Mio monitors changes in blood flow and tracks heart rate without the use of extra straps or sensors.
This technology also makes it easier for athletes to stay on target by displaying heart rate and using alarms to notify the runner when a certain heart rate has been reached. The Runner places heart rates into five zones: sprint, speed, endure, fat burn, and easy. Set the target and the watch does the rest … well, except for the running.
Like the previous versions of the Runner, the Cardio version tracks and display pace, speed, distance, and calories burned. The Multisport Cardio connects to cycling sensors like speed and cadence using Bluetooth Smart. After the run or ride all the data can be uploaded to Web fitness-tracking sites like TomTom’s MySports, MapMyFitness, RunKeeper, TrainingPeaks or Strava so athletes can let friends or coaches see all the hard work they’ve been doing.
The Runner Cardio is available now for pre order on the TomTom website for $270. The Multisport, which also connects to Bluetooth Smart cadence and speed sensors is $300.