Which product for Triathlon training and Heart Rate monitoring?

orbsitron Registered Users Posts: 3
Apprentice Traveler
edited January 24 in TomTom Sports
Hi everyone,

I'm looking for a fitness wearable to accomplish two things:
1) Most importantly, help me determine my heart rate during various physical activities (running, jogging, hiking, walking, cycling, and if possible, swimming).

2) Help me track my stats for Triathlon training (distance, times, pace, calories)

I'm looking at either the TomTom Multi-Sport GPS Watch with Heart Rate Monitor or the TomTom Spark 3 Cardio, GPS Fitness Watch + Heart Rate Monitor. Here are the links...



I understand that the Spark 3 Cardio doesn't do heart rate monitoring in the water because it uses a wrist-based (likely optical?) heart rate monitoring mechanism which is subject to interference from significant moisture, let alone submergence in the pool.

My main question is, since the Multi-Sport watch uses a separate heart rate monitor device (presumably chest mounted? Unclear from the product page...), can it give me my heart rate while swimming?

Secondary question is, even for running/cycling etc., does either watch show the real-time heart rate on the watch display or is the heart rate data only visible after the fact, once data has been uploaded somewhere?



  • tfarabaugh
    tfarabaugh Posts: 16,936
    I would not even consider the MultiSport model (I am not even sure it is still in production). The Spark3 and Runner 3 have more storage, a more readable screen with larger metrics, along with a bunch of new features (indoor gym mode, indoor bike mode, music on the watch, custom race mode, the ability to follow trails, longer battery life, etc.). It may cost you a little more but it will well be worth it for the added features and future proofing (future updates are generally only be for the latest generation of watches, the original MultiSports do not appear to be getting any more updates). You are buying four year old technology with the MultiSport watches and are severely limiting yourself for the future.

    You cannot get HR in swimming in any case, as the OHR is turned off and BT does not travel underwater so a chest strap will not work (the Spark does allow external straps to be synced to it). If you want HR during swimming you would need to look at other brands who do that (either by using analog signals or collecting and storing the data in the strap). In other modes you can see the HR right on the screen during the activity along with charts showing the zone you are in and graphing your HR.

    As to triathlon training, there is no triathlon mode because they are not marketing or advertising it as a triathlon watch. TomTom specifically chose not to go after triathlons with this watch in the interest of attracting a wider audience who cross trains in multiple sports (the fact that the three sports happen to be in the triathlon is coincidence, not intent, they are the three most common non-team fitness activities). It is intended to allow users to train for the individual activities but not to be used as a "triathlon watch". It does not have open water swim, so it really would not work well anyway. If you want a watch that does full triathlons with transitions, etc. you will need to purchase one of the higher priced models from another company designed and advertised for that purpose. If you are just looking to track individual training sessions you would be fine.

    I hope this helped answer your question. If so, please mark it as a solution so others can look for it if they have the same question.
  • orbsitron
    orbsitron Registered Users Posts: 3
    Apprentice Traveler
    Thanks, tfarabaugh! That helps a ton.
  • ant38
    ant38 Registered Users Posts: 18
    Apprentice Traveler
    dont buy a tomtom one if they do one , dont think I will ever buy another tomtom GARMIN i think from now on
  • Anette J.T
    Anette J.T Registered Users Posts: 22
    Outstanding Wayfarer
    tfarabaugh wrote:
    You cannot get HR in swimming in any case,
    Yes you can! Just use Freestyle mode and it will work, that is how I do it.
  • tfarabaugh
    tfarabaugh Posts: 16,936
    True, but you lose all swimming metrics (which you would presumably want if you are using it to train for a swimming event), so as long as you are okay with that it will work. Accuracy will be hit or miss depending on the user and will generally not be as good as for other uses.
  • Mach
    Mach Registered Users Posts: 89
    Outstanding Wayfarer
    For triathlon I would recommend GARMIN FORERUNNER 735XT - 315 USD with free shipping at clevertraining.com. You can also purchase the 735xt with the triathlon bundle for 420 USD. OHR will always show incorrect data in water or while cycling, so you need a HR strap anyway.

    The Spark 3 is basically dead, as TT are preparing the Spark 4, right now I wouldn't Spark 3, unless you need very basic functionality for running & basic activity tracking. Just keep in mind that Spark 3 is not a triathlon watch.
  • JamesSmith1
    JamesSmith1 Registered Users Posts: 1
    New Seeker
    Which is the best product among those listed in this site?