Ramp up your training with the Suunto T6D
There ain't a more complete fitness watch on the market than the powerful Suunto T6D.
No watch can do your workouts for you, but the Suunto at least takes some of the guesswork out. The T6D's biggest perk is that it'll calculate your 'training effect', mixing your personal fitness profile with a real-time analysis of your levels of exertion to gauge how you are progressing and make on-the-spot adjustments. It'll also give you a readout of your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which should, in theory, let you know instantly whether your session has been a success.
Triathlon coach Joe Beer (coachjoebeer.com (opens in new tab)) brings some science to the sweat.
Find your maximum heart rate
'You need to know your maximum heart rate to get the full benefit of a monitor,' says Beer. 'Run for 12 minutes at your fastest constant pace, then check your average heart rate. It'll be 90 to 93 per cent of your maximum, so work out 100 per cent from that.'
Take it slow
'Endurance training - where your heart rate is below 80 per cent of its max - is crucial because your body can't go all out every session and it needs some longer and slower sessions to build a better base level of fitness,' says Beer. 'So when your monitor tells you to slow down, listen. Stick to your session plan and push harder next time.'
'Make downloading and evaluating the data a part of your workout,' says Beer. 'It takes five minutes and gives you an instant overview of how well you stuck to your training plan or where you went wrong in a race. This allows you to know what you need to do next time to get better.'
Get one at suunto.com (opens in new tab)
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From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.