I’m not a huge runner but whenever I run I use Strava for GPS tracking. I had been carrying my phone with me while I ran, but since it’s on the larger side and I can’t easily glance at it while I run, I looked into getting a watch with GPS + a heart rate monitor. After some research, I decided on the Suunto Ambit3.

Suunto Ambit3 on my wrist

Here are the things I like about it:

Running

Now I can leave my phone at home when I go out for a run. Also, during a run, I can glance at my wrist to see my current pace, elapsed time and distance, heart rate, and cadence. These have been interesting metrics to see despite not having any real background in running and how to interpret those numbers.

Recovery time

One of the biggest unforseen benefits of this device has been its recovery time estimate, which can display in the main menu. I’m not actually sure how it’s calculated, but it’s helped me immensely in this situation: I’ve run the day before and I have a ton of free time the next day - because I have so much free time I feel anxious that I should go out for a run, which is probably not super advisable since recovery time is important. Having a number I can use to justify to myself why not to run has been very helpful, even if it’s just a ballpark.

Suunto Ambit3 showing recovery time

Soccer

I play in a recreational soccer league on Tuesday nights and I started to wear the watch + heart rate monitor during our games. Being able to glance at my heart rate and be like “whoa, I need to chill out for a bit” has kept me from tiring myself out and given me extra stamina in the game.

Ease of use

I originally intented to only wear this watch during exercise. Even though the watch is pretty large, it makes it so easy to track spur-of-the-moment workouts (like a long walk or a hike) that I keep it on all the time. I’ve gotten compliments on how the watch looks and some comments on how large it is (if I had any sort of fashion sense I would probably not be wearing a bright lime-green watch along with what I wear), but I like the watch a lot and it’s brought a lot of benefit to my life.