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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > Jan-17 > RUNNING TECH A DEDICATED SPACE FOR ALL THINGS TECH

RUNNING TECH A DEDICATED SPACE FOR ALL THINGS TECH

TESTED RATED

SUUNTO SPARTAN ULTRA ALL BLACK TITANIUM (HR)

RRP: £599

Rated 7 out of 10 stars

Suunto already makes the best GPS sportswatches. But after tech titans such as Apple started producing fancy smartwatches, Suunto went and made the first, er, sportssmartwatch, the Spartan Ultra. So it must be good, right? Well…

It’s certainly lighter, smaller, sleeker and more comfortable on the wrist. The colour touchscreen is attractive and mostly fun to play with (sport mode screens aren’t customisable – though this will change), but it lags and isn’t iPhone-level sensitivity (though you can simply use the buttons). A natty breadcrump map helps to get you out of topographical befuddlement and there are some neat additions to Movescount. But there are app-syncing and accuracy issues, with the recording of ascent, for example, over-optimistic compared to the brilliant Suunto Ambit3 Peak. A claimed 26 hours of GPS recording is borderline acceptable for a watch with the word Ultra in the name – most runners don’t get round UTMB that fast.

Knowing Suunto, this will be a great watch at some point (wrist heart-rate monitoring is expected before Christmas), but it seems rushed to market.

suunto.com

5F RRP: FREE

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About Men's Running

We all think we’re giving 100% in races. But watching some elite athletes, their faces contorted in late-race agony, I can’t help but ask myself: how hard am I really trying? In Matt Fitzgerald’s How Bad Do You Want It? – a brilliant book with a toe-curlingly bad title – he writes about our ‘unreachable physical limit’. That’s not to say we are all super-athletes of unlimited potential. Quite the opposite: we are all wimps unwilling to break free from our mind-forged manacles. It is not the body that slows us down, but the brain. The bravest athletes – the Prefontaines, Radcliffes and Brownlees – get closer to their physical limit than most. The rest of us? My guess is that we rarely realise more than 80% of our physical potential. Yet we can, with consistent training and iron-willed determination, walk a little further along those hot coals. Perhaps not as far as Radcliffe or Brownlee, but further than we’ve ever gone before. It’s a theme that David Smyth explores further in the month’s ‘Suffer club’ article on page 60, speaking with some of these athletes about how they’re able to push themselves to their very limits. So next time you find yourself in a race, telling yourself the same old lie that you’re trying your hardest, be brave and ask yourself honestly: can I give more? The answer is, inevitably, yes.
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